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RE: Ike


Yike! It's good to know you and yours are okay, though. I hope cleanup
goes fast, and maybe you can find a good photo restorer for your
pictures.

Cyndi


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On
Behalf Of TeichFauna@aol.com
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 1:26 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Ike

Hi all.....thanks for the many birthday wishes and concerns.  I
appreciate
it very much!!! Needless to say, this was a memorable birthday, not  one
that I
would want to repeat though, not any time soon....if ever.

Wow, how much we take the everyday things in life for granted.  Boy
does it
feel good to have electricity back after 9 days!!!  We are lucky,  there
are
still over a million in the Houston area without it, and we were also
lucky to
have a bit of a break in the heat right after the storm....having to
live
without A/C, ice, etc.
We were fortunate to have running water, and gas stove instead of elect.
so
we were able to light the stove with a match to cook much of the food
before
it  spoiled.  I sure learned a lot about what to do prior to a storm
that
nobody usually tells you about....such as empty as much of your freezer
and
refrigerator as possible the days before a storm is to hit.......even if
it
doesn't come your way, at least you have a clean frig. LOL   But we
were always
told that a full freezer keeps the food longer....HA, not for 9
days....despite
daily visits to the FEMA trailers almost 20 miles away for ice,
etc.....of
course much of it was melted by the time we got home....but every bit
helped.
Apparently FEMA didn't think the surrounding Counties other than
Galveston
and Harris needed supplies....but that is another issue.  Luckily  as
power was
restored to many businesses closer to us, we were able to get a  little
ice
through their generosity.

They said that Ike was only a Cat. 2, however the storm was as large  as
most
Cat 4 storms, and thus had the storm surge of a Cat 4  or 5.  This
became
apparent on Friday morning, 20 hours before  landfall, when Galveston
and the
coastal areas were already experiencing  significant flooding due to the
tides
being much higher than usual.  By  noon, 12+ hours before landfall, the
experts
were saying that the flooding  was worse than they had seen with
Edouard, Rita
or even Alicia.   The  city of Houston, although not directly on the
coast,
was bracing for the worst  by then, because all the storm drains from
our
streets (Houston and  surrounding counties) flow to the many Bayous,
which in turn
flow into the  Gulf.  The Bayous were already rising prior to the actual
storm
surge  getting there.

The winds picked up friday afternoon, by friday evening we had already
lost
power.  We were right on the edge of the eye, so our winds never did let
up
at all, except changing directions.  The back half of the storm had much

higher winds, in excess of 100 mph, which did the most damage to trees,
houses,
the downtown Houston area, etc.  The storm surge was much greater than
anyone
could have anticipated.  All in all, many paid too much attention to
the
"Catagory 2 rating" and didn't anticipate Cat 4 or 5 strength winds and
surge.
Far too many didn't evacuate thinking that they had riden out many  Cat
3
storms, so a Cat 2 would not be so bad.

On a personal note....we did suffer a bit of damage with the storm. We
didn't flood, although the water did come into the house a bit, but not
bad  enough
that we were not able to keep a handle on it.  However, our  neighbors
huge
tree just blew apart and most of it landed on our yard and  roof.  Of
course at
night we didn't realize much, since it was at the other  end of the
house.
There was so much noise, we didn't realize what really  was happening,
and with
the pouring rain and everything pitch dark, was hard to  see what was
crashing where.  The next morning we looked out the window to  see a lot
of debris
all over our yard, all the fences down, and the back yard  flooded.  Did
see a
spot on the cieling in the living room  dripping...put a bucket under
it.  It
was still pouring continuously  and tropical storm force winds that
day...but
we went out several  times to try to locate the box turtles that we were
unable
to find the days  before the storm to bring in. Did locate all but two,

unfortunately.  DH saw a huge branch on the roof, that had pulled down
the gutter
to my office....through the rain and debris, and at an odd angle  it
didn't
look like too much damage to the roof other than several shingles
damaged, and
some shingles gone.  Came inside to find that the cieling had  fallen in
the
living room, and then heard another crash, the cieling to the  office
came
down.  We then saw that the plywood sheathing had areas where  it had
caved in
from the large limbs hitting the roof. You could see clear  out to the
sky.

Anyway, needless to say, we spent the next 4 days putting up and
securing
tarps on the roof, moving tons of wet things, a lot of books that  I
didn't want
to part with...so I put paper towels between each page to absorb  the
water.
(Had learned that from a flood we had 20 years  ago.) Unfortunately I
did
find damage to several old family  pictures.....that probably hurt the
worst.
DH moved furniture  and cut out the wet carpet and removed it.  Needless
to
say, our  house literally looks like Ike marched through it.  We have
boxes,
books, papers, etc. stacked on every chair, table, and any other surface
one can
imagine.  It's like a maze getting through the house.   Definitely a
good
thing that we dont' have to "show" anything  at any plant shows for the
next
months, because if I thought my  plants weren't perfect before....you
should see
them now.   (smile)   No, it's not that bad....despite how terrible
disastrous
the  yard initially looked, after removing an awful lot of debris, a lot
more
survived than didn't and hopefully will bounce back nicely.  The  shrubs
and
trees are very lopsided, and many needed serious pruning to cut  out the

damaged limbs, but hopefully in a year or so it'll all be back in
shape.  However,
despite all this, we were very fortunate......we  still have a house, we

still have our lives, our "kids" are fine (although  shaken
up)......there are so
many that sustained far more damage, some not even  having a house to go
home
to.  And countless people still unaccounted  for.
Like many others, I still can't sleep through the night, waking up  with

every noise.......but that too will pass.

Anyway, thanks again, and please keep the folks here that are less
fortunate, and those in other states in your thoughts and prayers.

Noreen
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast




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