Monday, September 22, 2008

One Long Night, One Longer Week

Thursday the 12th all the local tv stations began broadcasting 24 hour a day Ike news. We watched the weather and all the work being done as Ike approached. There was still a question of exactly where he would go. Friday morning at 5:00am we all watched as the sea started to sneak over the banks in Galveston. News people and locals all said that was unusual. Jimmy and I were ready. We had food a water. We moved things around outside to hopefully keep them from becoming projectiles. Late Friday afternoon I noticed the winds began to kicking up a little. Nothing out of the ordinary, yet. By 10:00 pm, winds began to stiffen and rise to about 40-50 mph. Still things were calm. We had planned to sleep(sleep?) downstairs in case the roof was damaged. As the night wore on we listened as the winds became increasingly stronger and louder. We continued to watch tv. Jimmy kept playing poker on-line. Around midnight the dogs began to realize something was not right. Daisy started to quiver. About 1:00 am we lost the cable. The wind and rain had become loud and intense. We tried to follow the tv on-line until about 3:00 am saturday. Then the power was knocked out. Without the roar of the storm it would have been eerily quiet.

We sat in total darkness as Ike stormed through. There was a little light on the outside of the firehouse thanks to their generator system which immediately kicked in. Except for the raging storm, it was completely silent. I really wanted to go outside and watch, but I had heard that opening a door would make windows blow out. I don't know how true that it, but I resisted the urge. I heard a loud thud outside the front window as a small tree which had died long ago, trimmed but never removed, finally gave up and fell to the ground harmlessly. We waited, and waited. After what seemed like an eternity, the skys lightened and it was daylight. We ventured out to see the damage. The back yard area was flooded, but no more so than we have seen during an average hard rain. The drainage ditches on either side of the road we flowing briskly. Our side never escaped the bank. The other side though, overflowed and nearly covered the parking lot where a lot of RV's, boats, trucks and other vehicles are stored. I had fully expected them to have been tossed or overturned. Other than a lot of pine tree limbs down, it was ok. As I walked to our parking lot I discovered that the only apparent damage was to the chimney of the unit in front of us. It had been knocked over into the chimney next to it. A big, gapping hole was in the roof of the front unit. It also happens to the the unit where "Mr. Personality" anda his wife live. Sadly, there was a good bit of water damage to the second bedroom. They are expecting a baby Oct. 8th and this was to be the baby's room.

Most of the neighborhood had little damage other than tree limbs and pine needles and cones everywhere including the street. A couple of houses had huge, old trees which split in half. Only one house had a tree fall into the home. So now what? No power... but people came outside and begain to help each other clean up the mess.

Thus began a long, long week without power. No tv, no computer. We only entertainment was via radio. After Monday Jimmy was able to go back to work. Most of the businesses in our area work without power too. So battery powered radio was all we had. I kept changing channels for variety. After a while I realized that I had heard just about all the playlists, so I switched to a news station. Well, there is only so much information available on radio. During the day I ocassionally read or drove around in search of ice. It was a good thing I had filled my car with gas before Ike. Two good things, we never lost water and our water heater is gas so we could still take hot showers. Some people like Amanda and Pat had no power or water.

The big question all week was when we would get power. At one point there were over 2 million people without power. Would you like to test your marriage? Just try living around each other for nearly nine days without power. Grrr...!! Add all of this to not being able to know what is going on in the rest of the world or seeing any pictures of what happened to Houston/Galveston and the rest of the areas struck by the hurricane. News junkie that I am, frustration was my constant companion. Our friend Jan called several times to tell us what she saw of CNN. Gradually power was being restored but all we had heard was that it might be two or more weeks till we got power, groan. Then Saturday evening I noticed that the Remax building and a small shopping area down the street had outside lights. But not us. Maybe soon? Then yesterday morning as we sat drinking a cup of luke-warm instant coffee we heard a "Bang". "Crap", I thought, "Did a transformer blow?" I walked outside to see if any of the transformers behind the buildings were on fire. Whew, no. But it was then I realized the power was back on! Yipee!

Finally, we began to plug back in things. No cable though. We got out the "rabbit ears" so we could watch local tv. It was only then we were able to see any of the damage. Later the cable came back on. Yea! Football! But in the fourth quarter of the Packers/Cowboys game, the cable went off. At least one cable truck has been across the street working on the neighborhood amplifier all night. Nothing yet. Back to the "ears".

Things are improving gradually. Thanks to all of you who have left your comments checking on me. I appreciate it so much.

There is so much more to tell. More to come...stay tuned.


Dr.John said...

Worried about you. Glad that a powerr loss was the only really big problem for you.
Glad you got power quicker than they predicted.

bettygram said...

Glad you weathered the storm pretty well. It must have been scary and not knowing is hard. The Cowboys beat the Pack, you can be happy I am sad.

cube said...

Sounds like you made out well, considering. It really could've been much worse. Glad your life is getting back to normal.

pineapple said...

I'm glad you made it through the storm without major damage and that you got your power back so quickly!