Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're Alive!

Hurricane Ike has come and gone, and we're still here! And now that we have both power and water working in the house again, we are all feeling a little more human again. We are all so very spoiled with the luxuries of modern day living!

First, a quick update on our status: Surprisingly, we were hit pretty hard by the storm Friday night, even as far inland as we are. We lost power very early, and slept very little that night, but we were extremely fortunate in that we received almost no damage at all at our house. Several neighbors lost roofs, had trees that fell on their houses, or received other severe damage. There are fences, limbs and even entire trees down all over the neighborhood. Thankfully, we are far enough from the water to have missed the extreme flooding and absolute destruction that hit so many coastal communities like Galveston, Surfside, Baytown and so many others.

We did pack up Mom and her cat Jake on Friday and brought them up to our house in Tomball (far northwest Houston / Harris County). We all rode out the storm together, and with the cool front that came in the wake of the hurricane, even the lack of air conditioning for a few days was not that bad. We had water service back (very limited pressure, but enough to flush toilets) by Sunday, and the power came back on just as we were sitting down to a late candlelit dinner Monday night. Phone service was off and on until yesterday, but we charged the cell phone in the car once or twice (during scouting trips / AC breaks).

Luckily, we never lost natural gas service, so we were able to cook on the stovetop. We had stocked up plenty of drinking water and lots of canned goods, and we cooked and ate meat from the freezer as it thawed from lack of power. We never were really in bad shape, unlike so many others in the area and to the south of us. Again, we were very fortunate.

Mom's power and water service were back on by Tuesday morning, so I spent a good portion of the day yesterday getting essential food stocks for her (we had to stand in line for over an hour and a half just to get into the grocery store), taking her back home, and cleaning up her fridge and back yard. Other than some fence damage and possibly a few shingles blown off the roof, she did not have any real wind or water damage at her townhouse either. Again, we were fortunate — some in her neighborhood did not fair as well, although the damage there did not look near as extensive as what we saw further north in our neck of the woods.

Please be in prayer for the millions of people in the area who are still suffering from the storm damage. At last report, there were still over 2 million homes without power in the area. Thousands of homes have suffered severe wind and flood damage, and still more simply don't exist any more. The pictures we are now seeing of the coastal communities are heart-rending. WW's Aunt Frances and cousin Beth and her family had to leave their homes in Pasadena and Deer Park, and still don't know when they will be able to return home. There are lots of other extended family members and friends from whom we have not yet received any word — we are praying for them all and hoping for the best.

Well, the "quick update" became much longer than I had planned. I'll add another post later with some of the more humorous and personal events of our storm experience.


Kathleen said...

It was great to hear from you last night with good news. Heard later on the news that Toronto had more rain and wind from Ike than we did, just 200 miles away. Go figure!

Kyle said...

Wow, that's pretty wild!

Hey, do you happen to have email addresses for either Aunt Helen or for Thomas & Carolyn Powell? I was wanting to check in to see if they were all okay (Aunt Helen may have already moved up closer to Randy's family, I'm not sure).

Anyone else back in Baytown that we still know and should be trying to check on?

Kathleen said...

I sent what I have for Aunt Helen directly to your e-mail. I don't have anything for Thomas and Carolyn, and I'm not sure of anyone else I know who is still there.

KatDoc said...


Good to hear that you are all safe and well. So many are still suffering so greatly.

Being without electricity is such an annoyance; you don't realize what a big role it plays in your life, especially if you rely on it for heat, cooking, and hot water as well as lights and entertainment.

I was only blacked out for about 6 hours in SW Ohio this Sunday; my mother's condo was out for 48 hours. I have a gas stove, she is all electric. My sister in Columbus is on her third day without power and no phone service; at least she has a gas stove and water heater.

Although I complain about the hassles, I know that they are minor. I really feel for those in Galveston, etc., who are in much worse shape than we Ohioans are.