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Our Hurricane Ike Story

By Kay on Fri, Sep 26, 2008

General, Memoirs

Karis 'helping' cleanup after Hurricane Ike

Karis 'helping' clean up after Hurricane Ike

I’ve been away from posting for the past few weeks due to a beautiful little storm named Ike.  And by ‘beautiful‘ and ‘little‘, I mean destructive and HUGE.  One might even say ‘Texas-sized’…

During the past few weeks, we’ve been without power (much shorter than most, though!), without water, without internet, and without dairy.  Any one of those things is a daunting challenge in and of itself.  Add all of them together and you’ve got the makings of a really interesting story.  🙂

My husband wrote our story of Hurricane Ike beautifully, so I’ll post it here.  But, being a mom and a woman, I had to add one thing to the following story.  After you read Shawn’s post, click here to read my addendum…

We spent all day Friday preparing the house (and yard) for Ike. I took the reflector from my satellite dish down, since it had the biggest potential to be torn off in high winds. We setup a shelter in my garage office, since it is the most secure part of our house. Had an air mattress, the kiddos’ sleeping bags, battery-powered lantern and other goodies in there.

We spent most of the evening hours in the cul-de-sac, visiting with neighbors who rarely spoke with us otherwise. That was probably the most enjoyable part of the experience.

The kiddos crashed early, and the sound of the portable A/C drowned out the noise outside, which was probably a good thing for them.

I got up pretty much every hour throughout the storm to look out the front and back windows, and to shoot some video. Finally around 4am, the storm reached its peak at our house, and the wind was pretty fierce. We lost power around that time.

I was able to access the nearest WeatherBug via my iPhone, which was really handy for monitoring wind. Our sustained winds were around 50mph, with gusts as high as 89mph.

At one point, I heard a strange sound, and since the wind was not too bad (in between gusts), I put on a rain jacket and ventured outside to take a look around. The back yard was littered with branches, but otherwise okay. When I went to the front, however, I discovered that my neighbor’s small live oak tree had been blown over on top of my car!

There was no way I could move the tree by myself, and I figured that if I left my car where it was, the winds would eventually scratch it to hell. I decided to grab my keys and back it out; even if it got scratched in the process, it was bound to be better than what the wind would do. I backed it out and decided to wait until morning to see what damage, if any, had been done to the car.

The next morning, the wind was still gusting and obviously, it was raining. We were able to manually light the natural gas stove to boil water and fix hot oatmeal and coffee. As the weather continued to lighten, I made another tour of the outside of the house.

We’re surrounded by two-story houses, and that probably ended up being a good thing for us. Our neighbors had lost numerous shingles, and there were tons of branches of various sizes strewn across the yard. I found one of my gutters in my side yard, but otherwise, our house had no damage whatsoever.

Best of all, my car had no scratches at all! My front right bumper had been popped out, but I can easily fix that. A tree fell on my car, and it was virtually undamaged. How about that???

We spent most of Saturday listening to the battery-powered radio and trying to keep the kiddos entertained. We limited our trips to the refrigerator, but had plenty of food and water to keep fed for days, if needed. In the evening, we fired up the charcoal grill and enjoyed pork chops and sausage.

The kiddos were a bit scared of the dark, but we enjoyed a candle-lit dinner and moved our “camp” to the living room for the night.

Sunday, we spent most of the day cleaning up the debris from our yard and visiting with our neighbors.

Suddenly, in the late afternoon, we heard hoots from all around the neighborhood as the power came back on. I am not kidding when I tell you this, but the sun actually began to shine at the exact same moment!

But perhaps the best line — and a comment on our culture — came from one of our neighbors who called out, “See you all next year!” as he and his wife returned to their house.

We all rushed back into our houses, and cranked on the A/C, happy to be returning to normal. We turned on the TV for our first look at the pictures and were shocked at the extent of the damage in Galveston.

However, the power went down repeatedly, and after only about three hours, it finally went down again for good. Fortunately, the Houston area received a cool front, which was a welcome relief from the hot, humid and sticky air.

That night, we set up camp in our master bedroom, with the kiddos in sleeping bags all around us. With windows open, we slept fairly well for the first time in three nights.

The next day following breakfast, we went to the park to enjoy the cool air and let the kiddos burn off some of their cabin fever. The weather was so beautiful, it was easy to forget that we had all just come through a hurricane!

When we returned to our house after a couple of hours, we were delighted to discover that our power had been restored — this time for good.

All total, we were without power for nearly 60 hours. We went through the milk and other perishables. But we had plenty of water and could have continued to cook on the natural gas stove for a few more days, if needed.

Today, I’m back at work, since apparently, our bills aren’t going to give us an extension due to the hurricane.  :)  But it is nice to be returning to normal, and our attention is turned toward the hundreds of thousands of other Houstonians who will not have power or basic supplies for some time to come.

Time to be our best selves!

Written by Kay Hesketh - Visit Website

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Sara Says:

    Your addendum button isn’t working. and i really need to read it…..

  2. Karen Says:

    our bills aren’t going to give us an extension due to the hurricane—my favorite part—funny, bills don’t stop when electricity does…at least you don’t get charged for unused electricity…eh?

    Reading your story and Carol’s too made me think what you thought but reverse…are they in Russia???? What’s up with no water, no lights, no a/c…sounds like our life so far!! We can’t blame it on IKE though…just Russia!! Our hot water is out again…day two. Lights went out the other night for 15 minutes…that was the 4-5 time in 3 weeks! YIKES!!! At least we aren’t in Houston where it’s hot when this happens!

    Love ya,
    Thanks for the stories…love them.

  3. Kay Says:

    Yeah. We’re thankful that our electric bill will be lower this month. We’re still trying to recover from our August bill that was so HIGH. That is one of the extra expenses of having a husband working from home. He likes it colder during the day than I used to keep it when he worked outside the home. Oh well. I’ll take the trade offs ANY day of the week!!!

  4. Kay Says:

    Sara~
    Link is working now. Impatient, are we??? Couldn’t wait an extra couple of hours?? HAD to have it NOW?? At least I feel really wanted… 🙂

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