Monday, October 06, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Wow! I can't believe it's been more than a month since I've posted here. Promise to do a little better but before I get to what's been going on since the start of school, I thought I'd post my hurricane update. Most people who read this blog will have already read about this in e-mail but I wanted to post it here also so I have a record of it.

Well, two weeks to the day after hurricane Ike hit Glaveston/Houston and points north, I can finally report that we are back on our feet and fully functional. It’s been a long two weeks. The storm itself was something that I don’t ever want to experience again. The kids and I will leave town next time if at all possible.

We lost power on Friday, Sept 12th about midnight and it did not come on again until this past Thursday, Sept. 25th…12 ½ days later! I don’t think anyone dreamed the power would be out that long but with 2 million people without power and the amount of damage there was I guess that’s just how long it takes. Since the power came back on Thursday I’ve been doing nothing but cleaning and doing laundry! You would not believe the amount of laundry after two weeks of not doing any. Luckily I had done every stitch of laundry the day before the storm so we had enough things to last us but it was starting to get pretty gross around here.

We were very lucky and didn’t sustain any damage to our house except for a small tree that got uprooted in the backyard. Three houses on our street had trees go through the roof and one house had a tree go through their fence. Here are a few pictures of some of the damage on our street.

Those first few days after the storm we lived with flashlights. We did have our gas cooktop that worked so we could cook and we had running water so we could wash dishes, etc. and shower. Two families on our street had generators and they let us put a few things in their fridge that they were keeping running but for the most part we salvaged what food we could to ice chests and ate the pricier cuts of meat people had in their freezers. I had gotten about 5 bags of ice the day before the storm but by the day after it was starting to melt and we needed to find more ice. Searching for ice became my main job in those first few days. This is southeast Houston and even though we had a cold front come through after the storm, temps were still in the mid 80s so ice did not last long. By Monday after the storm there was one grocery store up and running. I had to wait in line for about an hour to get into the store and they were rationing out ice to 5 bags per family. That was the story for the next few days… more stores opened up but they were mostly using generators for power and couldn’t keep things cold. When they got a delivery of ice it was gone almost immediately. I’d have to go to 5 or 6 different places to find one that had ice and then often they would only let you buy 2, 3 or maybe 5 bags if you were lucky. Whoever in the neighborhood went out for ice tried to get some for everyone or would call and tell us where they found ice. This went on for about a week for us. Our neighbor directly next door got a generator delivered from his company on about Tues or Wed and they let us run an extension cord from it. We could turn on a lamp (that was heaven!!) and power a fan but we couldn’t hook up a refrigerator.

After a week of no power Jim went out and bought a generator. I was never so happy for a purchase in my whole life! With the generator we were able to hook up a refrigerator and stop living out of coolers. We also hooked up a couple of lamps and another fan. I could actually run the vacuum once in a while and blow dry my hair!! Now instead of foraging for ice I had to make daily runs to the gas station for gas. It took about 8-10 gallons a day to keep the generator running. By this time, getting gas was not a problem but in the beginning people had to wait in lines for 2 or 3 hours to fill up cans for their generators. There were only a couple of gas stations that were open and had gas. Next time I’ll have to stock up on a few days’ worth of gas before a storm hits. Also on my hurricane preparedness list for next time is a window air conditioning unit and an HD antenna for the tv.

The kids have fared very well…two weeks off of school (not sure yet how they’re going to make that up), playing with their friends all day everyday and staying up late. They really didn’t complain about not having tv, computers or video games. It’s going to be hard to get back to our routine when school starts back up on Monday.

Once again, like after our fire, we were reminded how lucky we are to have friends and neighbors that care for and look out for each other. With no family near by to lean on, this is extremely important for us and we’re so grateful. Now, back to our regularly scheduled lives…


Kaity Mackenzie said...

Hmm... this sounds strangely familiar. Like maybe I read an email saying the same thing? I dunno... maybe it's just some weird deja vu thing. ;) I am glad to hear that you guys are back and running. How does Jackson feel about having to be back at school? Jordan? Jensen? How have you and Uncle Jim been? Ugh! It's been too long!

Heather said...

hmm... I came over here to harrass you for no posting.... only to find a copy and paste.... come on, you can do it!

Brandy said...

insanity, indeed. it would have been a real relief to head with me to sad

Kaity Mackenzie said...

I've gots a new blog!

Kaity Mackenzie said...

I like the new header! Now you just need to update!