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Re: 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.  
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: Ike
      • From: "Zemuly Sanders" <zemuly@comcast.net>
    • Re: Ike
      • From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
    • Re: Ike
      • From: Donna <gossiper@sbcglobal.net>
    • RE: Ike
      • From: "Johnson, Cyndi D Civ USAF AFMC 95 CG/SCSRT" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
    • Re: Ike
      • From: "Judy Browning" <judylee@lewiston.com>
    • Re: Ike
      • From: "Theresa G." <macycat3@sbcglobal.net>
    • Re: Ike
      • From: "Pam Evans" <gardenqueen@gmail.com>

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