Saturday, September 20, 2008

We Survivied Ike

It's definitely been an interesting week and things are still not back to normal. We just got power back last night and most people are still without. Most businesses are still closed and most people have not yet returned to work. Traffic is terrible because traffic lights are either out or just flashing. Some stores are open without electricity. Gas lines were horrible for days after the storm but have gotten better as a few more places have started opening. I think our local Wal-Mart is still running on a generator and only has limited cold foods. I never knew bread and milk could be such a commodity. Luckily, I bought two gallons before the storm. The day before the storm was a grocery store and gas line hell. I had to buy bagels because there was no bread to be found. I did get plenty of ice, water and other necessities though.

The storm was supposed to hit us sometime after midnight last Friday night/Saturday morning so I wanted us to all sleep together in the living room. The winds had picked up in the afternoon and by evening were getting strong. The kids played outside until dark, then we all showered and got ready to hunker down. (By the way, Karen, I heard that word ALL WEEK from the news media, too!) We fully expected to lose power so we had flashlights and candles ready to go, along with a radio and battery operated TV. We were all set up with the air mattress in the living room and a kid on each couch. Once the wind got stronger and the rain started we let the dogs inside and watched TV until we lost power at about 10:30pm. We were all bummed that it went out so quickly! We turned on the radio for news and within an hour had all four fallen asleep. Caden slept through it all and Les slept through most of it. Cassidy and I both woke up continually throughout the night. The howling and squealing wind was scary. I would doze off for a while but the wind was worrying and waking me. I kept in touch with friends/family most of the night via text. The cell phones didn't start acting up until the day after the storm. Everyone would lose service on and off for several days afterward and some people could only text.

Our set up for Ike.

I woke up at 4am and it was completely quiet outside. Absolutely no wind or rain. I text'd Kelli asking her if it was over, not realizing we were in the eye of the hurricane and that we had another round coming our way within the hour. She told me to go outside and see if we had any damage. I grabbed a flashlight and took Jaxon with me cause I was scared. (Abby is going deaf and she slept through most of the noise). There were trees down and debris everywhere, leaves and twigs all over our cars and house, limbs down all over the place, but no significant damage. Cassidy and Les woke up and followed me shortly after. The still and quiet didn't last long.

We were still awake when it started again but at some point managed to doze for periods of time. Les had to leave for work at around 7am. It was still very bad outside and I was scared for him to drive, and also scared a tree might fall on the house or something after he left but he had no choice. He's emergency personnel and had to be there for his shift. Thankfully, we were all safe when it was over.

Our house and street the morning after. We had minimal damage. Like almost everyone else we lost most of our fence, a strip from our carport, some pieces of our storage shed, tree limbs and shingles.

I was surprised when I looked out into our backyard and was staring right into my neighbor's backyard. We lost 85% of our fence on all three sides. The tree on the right was laying on the power lines. We've had to keep the dogs inside almost 24/7 now and it's been a PITA. It doesn't smell all that great either. We can chain them in the front for a while as long as the mailman has already been by.

Our new bigger back yard.

By Sunday we were miserable without power. Lauren wanted us to come to her apartment but I just didn't want to leave. There was a lot of clean up left to do and I felt like I should be here to keep up with the animals and house since Les still had to work. We were able to get a generator Sunday evening and that made it so much better. It was expensive to keep running and required daily trips to get gas and waiting in those long lines but well worth it. We were able to run a few fans, our frig., watch DVD's, charge our phones and plug stuff in if necessary. The generator made a world of difference but it was still a rough and long week. I was definitely not cut out to be a pioneer woman.

Just like almost everyone else in this city we were eating from the grill almost everyday last week. We ate so much BBQ this week I don't think I want to see any for months but I'm DYING for Mexican food. We also had plenty of company. Everyone was in the same boat but it made it better to suffer together.

As odd as it sounds, we sort of had a routine this week. It usually required a trip to the gas station and a ride around town to keep from losing our sanity. The first few nights there were curfews and the main roads were so dark it was eerie. I had to break the curfew a few times to drive my nephew back to his apartment.

It was a good sign when the tree cutting trucks swarmed the neighborhood yesterday. I watched them cut the tree that was hugging our power lines from my bedroom window. By the way, it's not even our tree and everything he cut fell into our yard. Oh, and the tree cutter's do not take the limbs with them. Apparently that's our job, but I'm not complaining. Thanks to these guys Center Point was able to get to the power lines and I'm happy to report that we got power last night and slept with a/c for the first time since last Friday night. It was also nice to shower with a light on, rather than by a lantern or candle light.

The kids got out of school on the Wednesday before the storm and will not return until next Thursday, that is as long as power has been restored to all schools. Basically, we're on a two week break, if you can call it that. We're all going stir crazy. Everyone I know is feeling it. We've hung out, had some fun and made the best of it but we're all ready for life to to get back to normal soon.

A few shots of our area.

In spite of it all, I would do it again. I never wanted to evacuate. I was afraid of getting stranded out of the city and not being able to get back in to check on my family and our house. I don't regret staying here. We live fairly close to the bay but weren't under mandatory evacuation. I'm impressed with how well my house withstood the winds and thankful our friends and family are safe.

Thanks for the well wishes and Lauren for updating the blog. I've been so lost without the internet and might not ever catch up on my daily blog reading.
Teedee, how is your mom and her place? All of your family okay?


Darla said...

Glad y'all made it through with minimal damage!

Ronni said...

Hang in there...

Lauren Lebedzinski said...

post a new blog!!!

Ronni said...

^^^what she said!