Friday, September 19, 2008

Surviving Ike

We are a Gulf Coast people. My mom is from Houston and my dad is from Mobile, Alabama. We have family all along the coast in between those two places. We have a healthy respect for storms. If you live along this stretch of America, storms big and small come with the territory.

We also have a kind of worst-case-scenario mentality in this household. We always have lots of batteries, flashlights, a generator, full cabinets, full fridge, things chargeable fully charged. We just kind of live planning for something bad to happen.

The storm that came Friday night, the one they called Ike, tested all of that. It was big and it was full on here.

It seemed to take a long time getting here. Friday was a loooong day. Finally night came and the winds picked up a little. Still no rain. More waiting.

Our lights went out at 10:37 p.m. It wasn't really bad then. I don't know why they went out so early. That ended the nonstop news coverage for us. That was both a blessing and curse. Really, the constant prattling on about what was to be was getting a little old. On the other hand, we didn't really know what we were in for.

Finally, the real storm hit. I lost track of time, so I don't really know what happened when, but the winds started to blow and the rain finally came.

The last big hurricane I was in was Alicia. This one felt about the same. Except this time I was in a 2-story house. You know, big buildings move a lot during high winds. My bed is up against the east wall of the house. When I first felt it, I thought the dogs where up against the bed. My husband came in and asked if I could feel the house moving. Oh! It wasn't the dogs. I was acutely aware of it after that. It moved a lot.

We heard the occasionally snap of a tree or pop of a transformer. We ventured out onto the porch occasionally to check things out. The rain was blowing sideways, so we got soaked every time we went out there. We slept off and on.

I can say that I was never afraid. We have a ridiculously large master bedroom. Big enough to hold our queen sized bed, a twin bed, and a camping cot. All four of us slept in that room. While not afraid, I did want to be there with my sleeping children most of the night. It just felt better in there.

My daughter fell asleep just after 10 at night. She missed the power going out. She woke up early the next morning when we were doing something in the room. She sat up and drowsily announced, "I wish I could sleep in this storm." HONEY! You practically missed it! The little angel had slept through the worst of it.

We spent the rest of the morning gawking at the downed trees and watching the remaining ones sway. By midday all was over but the drizzle and cleanup.

Ah, the clean up. It still continues. More later.


tipper said...

The swaying house sounds scary!! Your little girl sounds like mine! Haha. Glad you all made it though fine.

MS said...

Greetings from Bellville. Glad to know that you all are okay. There was very little action here...only got a couple of inches of rain and some wind, and never lost electricity. We've had worse thunderstorms! I really feel badly for the folks in Houston and farther east and south, who bore the brunt of it. Sounds like you guys are the model of preparedness--so like LG! ;-) Take care, and good luck with the cleanup phase!


Julie said...

I'm glad y'all are OK, Marilyn. I still haven't seen the path this storm took, but I hear it went east. I guess that saved you guys some trouble.

Michelle Potter said...

I slept through the storm, too. ;) When I went to bed it seemed "kinda windy" out, and when I woke up it was a light rain. Of course, I slept until almost noon.

Our power went out even before yours did -- at 7pm Friday night! We started calling friends and family to let them know we'd be turning off the cell in case of an emergency, so not to worry, and people kept saying, "Your power is out ALREADY?" Mark says our power goes out if there's a 60% chance of rain or better.