Sunday, September 28, 2008

Life After Ike

The night of Hurricane Ike was a difficult one, the days after it were no picnic either. Lights went off at 12:20 a.m. Saturday September 13, and did not come back on at my house until Wed. the 18th at 5p.m. Luckily we had a cool front come in during that time, or I'm not sure how we would have gotten by.

The day after the storm my family and I took an assessment of how we were. We had food and drinks, but our ice in the coolers was melting faster than we had expected. With no power or stores open it was amazing how important something as simple as frozen water had become.

Luckily we have an ice house in a neighboring town, and they were open selling off ice that had been made before the loss of lights. So that solved that issue, but another was becoming aware of the importance of keeping gas in the vehicles. Luckily there were stations that still had gas in their tanks and had generators. Yet still it was a 2 hour wait in line, and the first time we actually waited only to have the gas run out.

With Ike being such a wide reaching storm, commumications were down for a wide area. I had a battery powered handheld TV, something that I now realize will be useless when the switch to digital is final, and there were no TV stations on. Additionally there was only one operational radio station in the area. Which had some good to know news, we were lucky to not lose water services, but also a lot of repetitive items as well. Oh and as previously said, with no power cell phone service was non existent for days as even the cell towers had no power.

Add in curfews and it was so odd how a pattern emerged of basically going to bed when it got dark and getting up when the sun did. I must admit to feeling like I was visiting a past time or something the way things just were so different than normal life.

One thing I learned was how important things that seem like crap can be. My mom had brought these little battery power lanterns that didn't even give out enough light to see your hand by. Yet proved quite handy for lighting a pathway way in the dark of nightto the bathroom.

Even when power was restored, cleanup continued. I have a bundle package with Time Warner that gives me cable, phone and RR internet at a great price. Yet while power was restored on Wed., the TW services didn't return until the following Monday.

In some ways that taught me to find new ways to spend time, in other ways it just drove me mad in boredom and a feeling of disconnect from the world.

All in all its an experience I'll always remember, and am thankful it wasn't worse for me. People in Galveston and even just 30 miles to the south of me in a town called Bridge City had far worse with some towns having 98% of houses destroyed.

Hopefully I won't have to ever go through it again, and if neccessary I'll even evacuate to insure that I and my family won't have to.

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