Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike Blows

In more ways than one! Hurricane Ike blew through on Saturday, September 13th around 1 am and didn't stop blowing until after 6 am. Getting prepared on Thursday and Friday was fun for the kids and even a little bit for the adults. We bought all the needed supplies like water, batteries, etc. I did all the laundry and one last load of dishes in the dishwasher because I wasn't sure how long we would be without power. After all the chores were done we hung out on the driveway with all the neighbors and their kids. Cooked on the grills and just had some neighborly fun - this picture is of some handy work by 2 of the neighborhood guys at the expense of some neighbors that decided NOT to ride out the storm. The kids played golf in the front yards, rode their bikes. There wasn't much to worry about on Friday. It was kind of like a summer day with everyone home just a little extra wind and some dark cloud cover but it never rained. We were all hoping and praying for the best.

That changed come early Saturday morning. The winds woke me up at around 1 am, plus this strange blue light that kept flashing and a bzzzzzzzzzz electrical sound. I finally got up and checked to see what it was and found that it was the transformer south of us sparking and arcing. I couldn't go back to sleep so I started watching TV to drown out the sound of the crazy wind. Bo turned off the TV around 2. He was tired of listening to the 24/7 coverage, which did get to be a little much. He couldn't sleep either. We lost power around 2:15. We had a neighborhood pool betting on when we would lose poser. Bo said "never" and we all hoped that he would win but it was Leslie D that won - she had 2:30 am. The rest of the night was restless and scary. All of the neighbors started texting each other to make sure everyone was okay. It was nice to have that reassurance out there. We all said that our kids were sleeping through it, but we sure didn't. The winds finally settled down around 5:30 and I think that most of us went back to sleep and slept until around 8:30 or 9 since it was such a rough night.

Bo and Hank got up and walked the neighborhood to find that many of our neighbors, like us, had dodged a bullet. Others were not as fortunate...they had 2 and 3 trees through their houses. Everyone was okay but properties and trees were severely damaged. They cleared the drains of debris so that the streets could drain and then us girls and kids went walking the streets to check on our neighbors and to see if anyone needed anything. Most streets were impassable. Root balls of some of our oldest and largest oak trees were standing on end - taller than most men. Pine trees snapped in half. Shingles were laying everywhere. It was scary to listen to the wind but even scarier to see all the damaged it had caused.

We feel so blessed that we sustained minimal damage. The house that we are renting had some shingles blown off and debris in the yard but nothing major. Unfortunately our new house didn't fair as well but not near as bad as some. Also, it is fortunate that we are where we are in the construction process because it is mostly just roof and sheetroock damage. The new house truly dodged a bullet.

We have a 100+ foot pine tree on the west side of the house and one of the larger branches about 40 feet up snapped off and just barely missed our house, landing in the backyard just feet from the house. This picture isn't even of the whole tree. One of the smaller branches did however punch a hole in the roof over our dining room and playroom which caused some flooding in those 2 rooms. Also, the flashing around the chminey had not had been completed so it leaked around the chimney so we have sheetroock damage in the greatroom ceiling and the walls in the dining room and playroom but we hadn't installed any flooring or baseboards yet so that damage is very minimal. When the pine tree branch fell it also took out the power lines so our backyard is filled with a pine branch and the fence and power lines are down in the backyard. As of today, we are still waiting to have power restored. They are saying it could be up to 2 weeks.

The real kicker was that we were all without power so we couldn't watch the news and had no idea that it was going to storm again early Sunday morning, nothing related to Ike but a cool front moving in. We ended up getting 6 more inches of rain. We didn't think we needed to tarp the roof of the new house because we thought all the rain had moved through, but that was a mistake. We probably wouldn't have needed to replace all the sheetrock but with the new rain that moved through we will definitely need to replace the sheetrock in the ceiling of the greatroom and the walls in the dining room and playroom.

The kids and I left on Sunday and headed for power and mostly A/C. We also took one of our neighbors, Nadine, who lives alone to her daughter in North Texas. We couldn't stand the heat and being without power, plus my son got a cold and was miserable. We are staying in Granbury, TX for a few days. Both of the school districts that my kids go to and I work in are going to be closed until Monday, September 22nd. All the guys stayed home. They are cleaning up and having a little fun at the same time. They hooked up the satellite, TV and beer fridge to the generator and were going to hang out and watch Monday night football last night. I think that the guys are glad that they got all us women and children to higher ground (hahahaha!)

All in all we feel blessed that we are all okay and all the things that were ruined can be replaced. Others were not as fortunate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone!

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