After an exhausting few days, we are home. We drove in yesterday (4 hours) and watched nervously as the damage changed throughout our drive...limbs strewn about, then entire trees down, some REALLY large, then roof damage and store fronts with no glass left. Surprisingly, our apartment complex had very minimal damage. A few covered parking areas had the covers toppled over and there were trees and shrubs uprooted, and some siding strewn about. No water, no broken windows, no damage inside. HUGE sigh of relief, especially considering the fact that a few miles down the road people lost EVERYTHING. A large part of my family lives about 7 miles south of us, between us and Galveston and on the back side of Galveston Bay. Several of them have severe damage - one house has been turned the other direction and most others have water damage as storm surge filled the entire house. We drove down to check on things but were turned away as only residents were allowed to enter. The debris line was several blocks past the coast and several feet into the trees. But everyone is o.k. Things can be replaced.
It is interesting back in Houston. There is no electricity in most places, and if you have running water you are your neighbor's best friend. When Terry and I drove in yesterday, there were no working street lights and no gas to be found. Today there are lines for blocks for gas and ice. Grocery stores are beginning to re-open, but the smell from rotting food is wretched and they are only selling non-perishables.
Once we saw that the house was safe to stay in, we drove 4 hours back to Ingleside and I got up this morning and loaded Terry's truck with gas cans, ice and groceries and all the cash I could get out of the bank. and drove 4 hours back to Houston. I had to stop to fill up with fuel at each town along the way because I wasn't sure at what point I wouldn't be able to find it anymore. It ended up being about 100 miles outside of the city. The city is pretty much shut down so that people can clean up and clear away debris, find their loved ones, and for some - figure out what is worth saving. I am scheduled to return to work on Wednesday, but I am wondering if there will be electricity by then or if all the glass downtown will be cleared for pedestrians. It will be interesting to see how 4+million commuters will reach their destinations safely if there is no electricity for stop lights. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully things will have progressed by then, but for some areas I think it will be quite a while before things are returned to "business as usual".
Please include the people that were affected by Hurricane Ike in your prayers tonight. We could all use it. Thankfully, we got a nice little cold front that has brought relief from the heat. Texas with no electricity in 90+ degree heat, no running water and emotional stress is not a pleasant place to be. And I won't even mention the mosquitos. But people are pulling together and helping each other. That is what we do here.....help your neighbor.
I understand that some states in the northeast were still feeling the effects of Ike yesterday in the form of 70-80 mph winds. This guy really meant business! If you were one of those - I would like to hear about it.
Bryan was much better when I left. Casey and Traci did the saline solution/suction treatment and used Baby Vics and it seemed to be the magic combination. He slept the entire night and into the morning today. Although I didn't want to wake him as he needed rest, I had to hug and kiss him goodbye before I left. I won't see him again until AFTER his surgery and I am not very comfortable with that. We'll see if I actually make it without getting in my car and driving all night to be with him and Brandy and Casey while he is having surgery. I know will be needed much more afterwards, but we'll see if I make it.
Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts. Godspeed.
YaYa to Bryan