Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Further Hurricane Ike Update

It is now Thursday, four full days have passed since the last part of Ike left our area. Clean up efforts were detailed slightly by a rain storm Sunday morning.

Stores are open, but most don't have perishable goods such as bread, meat, dairy, and fresh fruits. Ice and gas still create huge lines. We got our power back, only to have the air conditioner run out of freon the next day. It has been nice and cool the last few days, but after several days of no privacy because our windows had to be open all the time we really wanted to close them and use the A/C instead. Plus the A/C also helps clear out the moisture that had started making the house smell musty due to the windows having been open. Many people are still without power, even in our town.

The night before last we had friends and their two kids stay with us. They needed to get into some electricity and cool air. They wanted one night to catch up on their tv shows that they have missed. It is very disruptive for them to be staying a different place every night, but they feel like they are putting people out and don't want to be a burden on others. Having them here wasn't a problem at all, though convincing them of that was a different story. During the day they are cleaning up the remainder of the family business.

Yesterday, just has the husband was going to bed, there was a knock on the door. "We need everyone out of the apartment, or at least out of the upstairs." They were cutting the branch that was over our roof down. They wanted to make sure that no one was upstairs just in case something went wrong. The branch was the size of a small tree, probably weighed at least a ton. It had to be cut down because another branch, from another tree, had landed in it during the storm and they couldn't guarantee the integrity of the limb. It was rather nail biting to watch them cut the limb down, but they did a great job. The only damage was a few boards were knocked out of the fence in our backyard, which I now have to sweep all the leaves out of again.

School was canceled for the whole week, the staff will have a meeting on Monday. I'm guessing that it will be about the supplies students will need, about how many of our students lost their homes, and whether we will be taking in any evacuees from the surrounding areas. My husband doesn't think so, since most people fled to Austin or Dallas, but I think that many will be returning to the area to be near their work even if their home is gone. I have a feeling we will be getting some students, and possibly even some teachers added to our various campuses. It will be interesting to see if I am right, and when we will make up the missed days or if the TEA (Texas Education Agency) will excuse us from making them up. Now I'm gong to finishing writing our first test of the year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The "T" and "C" Block

T is for tree. Completed September 16, 2008.

C is for cookie, or in this case car. Completed September 19, 2008.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

I thought I'd post just a few pictures now, and share the story of our family friend that was slightly injured. Most of these are from our complex. There is an addendum in our lease saying they aren't responsible for damage done to cars by the carports. Come to find out, from a home inspector that lives here, that they are not made up to code. The carports were made from fencing material, basically aluminum, as you can see by the pretzel shape of some of the pieces.

I'm also included a couple from around town. As bad as it looks, our town got off very, very lucky compared to other communities like Galveston, Baytown, and Chambers County.

As for our family friend, she was extremely lucky. A very large tree fell on her house. It fell through her attic, and into her bedroom where she was sleeping. The tree landed on her bed, somehow only knocking her out of it onto the floor. Then all the things stored in the attic started landing on her. Luckily her neighbors saw the tree fall and came over to check on her in the middle of the storm. She was able to walk downstairs and let them in. They helped her get her essentials together, clothes and medicine etc., and she stayed with them for the night. Her son went to check on the house after the storm, and he didn't even want to enter the building as it looked incredibly unstable. She will probably have to leave her home. I am hoping she will stay with my grandmother, at least until her house is habitable again. My grandmother is still in deep mourning for her husband, but is too proud and independent to stay with someone.

You can see the pieces of metal everywhere, there is a daycare next door that got a lot of this in their playground, they are going to have to clean that up completely before they reopen.

If you look very carefully on the left hand side of the photo below, you will see that the carport is sitting on car rather than above it.

This is the Exxon next to our complex, you can see one of the lights is knocked over in the parking lot. The gentlemen you see either work for Exxon or for their insurance company.

This building use to have an entire fake stone front and said "Antique Center". The local Kroger lost some of its stone as well as had damage to the front and back of the store. They will be open today.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike, Part III

We made it through the storm alive and well. None of our stuff was damaged either. All of our family is fine, though one family friend had some slight injuries (It was a very near thing). We lost power at 10:30 Friday night, my family lost power at 3am. Got it back just now at 9pm.

The night of the storm was horrifying. We were in the eye wall the entire storm. The wind literally howled, our daughter described it as a "mechanical Godzilla". We hunkered down in the living room on an air mattress and the baby girl slept in the closet under the stairs. Needless to say we didn't sleep much, though we eventually passed out from sheer exhaustion. We tried to distract ourselves with music, books, and food. The carports at our apartments were ripped apart, and many people's cars were damaged. We had a tree branch fall into our back patio and tear off part of the gutter and land on the fence. The fence leans a bit but is fine otherwise. Our friend, Steve, still has his trailer to live in, an unexpected piece of good luck. However, his family's music store lost it's roof. They are going to have to find a place to hold music lessons until it's fixed.

School will start again on Wednesday. I'm really glad I have a couple of days to get the house back in order, and clean clothes, etc. Tomorrow, I'll be going through our frig and freezer to see what is still good and what needs to be replaced. It's questionable as to what will even be available at the store. I am so looking forward to having a cooked meal.

On this blog tomorrow, I will be posting some pictures of the aftermath of Ike. Mostly at our apartment complex, a couple in town.