Monthly Archives: September 2008

Hurricane Ike…Recovery Mode

Hurricane Ike…Recovery Mode

Just a warning…this will be long…

Well…Hurricane Ike came…and went.  And in his path left mostly destruction.  Our house fared just fine.  No down trees, no tree limbs to clean up, the shutters and lights on the house that we were worried about didn’t even come off.  We may have a leaning fence thanks to Ike, but not a big deal at all.  We’ll get with the neighbors and fix it when it falls down.  We lost power during the storm, but fortunately we were one of the areas receiving the least amount of damage and our power was restored about 8 hours after the storm passed.  We have had a house full since the morning after the storm.  Jeff, Alison, and Ben moved in with us for a few days, along with the dogs, Molly & Carmen.  Their good friends also moved in for a few days with their dog and 5 month old son.  None of them have electricity yet and it could be several more days until they do.  School for me has been canceled through Wednesday, at least, and possibly through Friday.  Matt is also off work until probably Wednesday.

Unfortunately, I cannot speak the same good news for my family.  Everybody in Beaumont rode the storm out in the old Beaumont Christian High School building.  My cousin owns the building and has it tied into a generator.  They fared pretty well there in the building.  For the most part, most of the houses in my family are OK.  Some had some roof damage, lost chimneys, fences blown apart and away, but nothing MAJOR.  Nana and Papa’s house…the Big House out in Winnie is a totally different story.  Going into the storm, we were all pretty concerned about the big house because it sits just inside Chambers County, which was expected to see the brunt of the storm surge.  They did…  A couple of the guys in the family were able to get out Saturday morning after the storm had passed and began making their way around Beaumont and Winnie to check on everybody’s houses.  When they got to Winnie, it was a very devastating sight.  The reports we are getting is that the town is completely devastated.  Major damage sustained at the grocery store and that shopping center, Sonic and the Dairy Queen are reportedly either “gone” or “severly damaged”.  When they finally got to Nana’s house, they couldn’t even get down the drive way.  The huge oak trees that line the driveway had fallen and were blocking the drive.  The house had anywhere from a foot to two feet of water inside the house, soggy walls, a portion of the roof blown off, and water literally pouring down the walls upstairs.  Other than the roof issue, the outside of the house is said to have fared pretty well.  A couple of crews were out at the house today clearing the driveway and then patching the roof.  I know a couple of people were going out there to start sweeping the water out of the house.

Futhermore, the devastation at the beach has been really difficult to deal with.  Bolivar Peninsula and the towns down there were the hardest hit areas.  Most houses are completely gone.  The 2 or 3 rows of cabins closest to the water are gone.  We have some pretty significant fears that the beach cabins our family had are gone.  The church at the beach that Nana and Papa go to is probably gone and most of the people that go to church with them have probably lost their houses.  The beach road, Hwy. 87, looks like a sandbar with a yellow stripe down the middle.  The storm surge and the wind were just incredible.  The big store (grocery store) was about half way under water.  Its really a difficult thing to look at.  If I can look at a picture long enough, I can get my bearings and usually see familiar sights that are in shambles.

As soon as the roads are passable and we are able to get to Beaumont/Winnie we will be going to help clean up the big house.  I think the preliminary plan is to just pack up everything that can be saved and put it in storage.  No one knows anything about school right now for the kids or for Nana.  We aren’t sure where they will stay while the house is being repaired.  It will basically have to be gutted and rebuilt.  We have a long few months ahead of us, but we are fortunate.  The whole house and evertything in it could have been lost, like so many at the beach are dealing with.

Most of the area is not expected to have electricity for several weeks to possibly a month.  Please keep everyone severely impacted by Hurricane Ike in your prayers…they will need them as recovery continues.

Ike Update Part 2

Ike Update Part 2

Just another quick update, our power is back on and actually came on not long after our last post. We must be in the 1% of the area that has power, we are extremely suprised. It was actually out less than 8 hours. Internet is still out, satelite works, and  the phones are still sketchy. We wish everyone else in the Houston, Galveston, and Beaumont areas the best.

Quick Ike Update

Quick Ike Update

We weathered the storm here at the house just fine. After the power blinked on and off for several hours it finally went off around 5am this morning. We didn’t end up with any damage, but much of our family has some significant storm damage. We’ll be helping as soon as we can. If you can’t reach us, try texting, cell phone service has been pretty sketchy today.

Hurricane Ike…

Hurricane Ike…

I would like to start this post about Hurricane Ike with some props to myself…when Ike was named a hurricane many days ago and was still churning out in the Atlantic…I totally called it to be Houston’s hurricane.  Matt and I were sitting at Jason’s Deli…I think it was the night after the first day of school if I remember correctly…and we started talking about how busy the tropics had become…our conversation turned to Ike and what we thought the storm would do…and that’s when it happened.  I called it right there at Jason’s Deli…just as Ike was forming…it was going to be Houston’s turn at a major hurricane…and I was right!

Many people think I’m crazy and I get lots of strange looks, but I truly love hurricanes.  I watch and track these amazing storms from the time the disturbance moves off the coast of Africa until it makes its entrance into the Carribbean and Gulf of Mexico.  I think the reason I love hurricanes so much is because they are such an amazing force of nature that humans really still don’t know alot about.  I love that nature is still about to stump the “professionals”…I’ll be honest…it makes me laugh.

Anyways…back to Hurricane Ike…things have begun deteriorating outside rather quickly.  Its been pretty breezy/windy all day long.  Just in the last several hours the wind has really picked up outside and the trees around here are really starting to bend and flop around in the wind.  We can see lighting off in the distance down toward the south and the rain is slowly making its way to us.  Thankfully because our neighborhood is still so new (only a couple of years) we don’t have many trees around here and those that we do have aren’t very big.  A few things we are worried about just on our house and in our yard is one of our trees in the front yard…its a pine tree, but its been looking pretty rough over the last couple weeks and really been flopping around in the wind.  I’ll be honest…I wouldn’t upset if the tree goes down tonight.  One of the lights on the front of our house probably won’t make it through the wind and I’m kinda worried about our shutters on the upstairs front windows.  Other than that…our house will fare pretty well.  Hopefully the satellite dish doesn’t fly off the roof… :/.

We are expecting winds in the neighborhood of 100 mph for a good portion of the night…starting around midnight and lasting until the morning.  We still have electricity for now…but we aren’t sure how long we should expect to have it…most of the cities suburbs around us have lost power, so…we’ll see.  Thankfully, the storm should be passing over us and off to the north by Saturday evening.

The images we’ve been seeing coming out of Galveston all day are breath taking.  The waves were literally crashing over the 16 foot seawall.  The west end of the island that isn’t protected by a seawall was already under water…significant amounts of water by early this morning.  The Strand in Galveston already had a foot of water in it by 8:00 AM this morning and most of the experts are expecting almost total destruction of the island.  Across the bay on the Bolivar side things don’t look good at all.  From what I’ve heard the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway have already met…and for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about…trust me…its a lot of land thats in between the two bodies of water.

I’m really very concerned about my grandparents house in Winnie…its located in Chambers County just a few miles from the Galveston County line and they are expecting most of Chambers County to be under water due to the storm surge.  The poor little church at the beach…I think its not going to be left when Gulf finally recedes.  All of this is just really, really sad.  Its sad to think that Galveston might not ever look the same or that Crystal Beach and Bolivar will not be the same place that I remember.

We are headed out tomorrow as soon as its safe to see what gets all torn up around Houston and I’ll certainly have pictures and updates.

More Pictures…

More Pictures…

Here are some pictures of the house.  We are really loving the house and we really enjoy being homeowners.

view from the sidewalk in front of the house…

standing in the front door…

our beautiful green kitchen and brand new refrigerator

our living room…please excuse the clutter…

looking from the back porch door to the entry way…and no…that room is not bright yellow ;)

the dining room

the master bath

master bedroom

That’s the downstairs of the house…minus the garage & laundry room…oh & the study.  The upstairs is still pretty bare…only one of the bedrooms is “set up” and the other one won’t be set up until I buy a mattress for the that bed.  I also don’t have any pictures of our oh-so-awesome backyard (its huge!)…but since Hurricane Ike is coming onshore…I think I’ll take pictures of the backyard another time.

Pictures…

Pictures…

Well…Hurricane Ike is still about 70 miles off the coast of Galveston at this point…and I’m bored out of my mind. I’ll talk more about the hurricane a little bit later though.

Here are some pictures to show what we’ve been up to in the last several weeks.

Cortney and me at their reception…everything was so beautiful!

Matt and me at the reception…

the siblings…

the girls…

our whole family with the beautiful bride

our table at the reception…so gorgeous!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the wedding ceremony itself because flash photography was not allowed in the chapel at SMU where the wedding was held…but I can assure that it was beautiful.  It was so sweet and personal…definitely Cortney and Brandon.  It made me want to get married all over again!  Congratulations Cortney & Brandon!