September 12, 2008
The following is based on notes I
wrote down during the storm.
The wind continued to increase both in strength and
sound. At 7pm we settled down at the dinner table to play some dominoes. I
remembered I had a battery operated tv. My sister, Carrie, and I went upstairs
and quickly found it. We turned it on and were able to get the latest reports
At 9pm the first of the hurricane force winds
were in Houston. The television station was talking about people being rescued
from Galveston. It was those people who didn't' want to leave. Officials were
going house to house to make sure everyone was out of Galveston, who was already
seeing a large storm surge come in. Also the news was talking about Houston fire
and police being called in. There was a huge fire on Galveston island and there
was no one who could take care of it. That time was too dangerous for
firefighters to be out. They were not to do runs/calls until winds were back
below 55mph. Clear Lake was still reported to have power. A guy on tv was saying
he left his home in Clear Lake to take refuge in another small town and thought
it was funny that he now didn't' have power where he was.
At 9:03 we heard a large boom. It sounded
like it was on the North-side of the house, right where our boat and cars were.
We had moved the astro van to in front of my window to offer some protection and
to have an option should something destroy our other cars. Sometime after 9pm,
Andrew called to check on us. I'm glad he did too, just hearing his voice made
me feel better somehow.
We stopped playing dominoes as the roar of the wind
was quite disturbing. We moved into the den where there was more space and we
couldn't hear the wind as much. We heard a large limb hit the roof of the house
and sat still. With all the roaring, we couldn't hear what part of the roof it
was. Little did we know the worst was yet to come.
dinner, candles, and my battery operated TV
bracelets to light up areas of the house
At some point around 10pm, we heard part of
the metal on the top part of the chimney blowing in the wind. We kept expecting
it to come off. A few times I actually imagined it flying off in the wind toward
another house, but it continued to make noise to let me know it was there
Carrie and I kept hearing sounds as we sat and
watched a movie on moms battery operated portable DVD player (say
that five times fast!). The roaring of the wind became a constant and the
phrase 'devil at my doorstep' came to mind. I'd have to write a poem and use
that phrase. We heard an odd sound, both Carrie and I paused the movie and went
to the front door to look through the glass doors (which were recessed into the
house and protected from wind and debris). We saw that a tree had come down at
the house across the road. At one the sound of the hurricane was almost
unbearable, a horrendous sound that struck fear in our hearts. I think before
that point, but certainly then all three of us were in constant silent
I made the suggestion of putting the cats in the
bathroom so if the house was damaged we wouldn't have to try and find them. They
weren't happy about it of course but they were safer than all of us at that
At 2:50am the sound of something hitting the
window came to our ears. What could we do, but sit and hope all was well? At 3am
Channel 2 reported a town home collapsing at Beechnut close to 59. At this
point the strongest winds were on us. The storm was moving at an incredibly slow
rate and we kept getting bashed by the winds in the wall of the eye of the
storm. This storm was strange in that the most severe winds were on the west
side. It was early in the morning that we started to finally see rain too.
3:05am the news is saying Houston will be
clear of hurricane force winds at 7am. The back edge of the storm was almost in
Galveston at this time. Hobby Airport was reporting a speed of 83mph winds. The
storm's eye finally drew in to form a solid clean eye of the storm. It was a Category
2 at 110 mph winds. A category 3 storm starts at 111mph so it was right on the
edge of a category 3. We kept praying for that eye to come over land so that the
storm would lose strength.
3:07am the eye was reported as being over
Dickenson and we would receive hurricane force winds for several more hours. My
mind went back to Hurricane Alicia, it wasn't anything like this sound. At 3:08
they said the back eye was directly over Galveston. The news continued to give a
run down on what was happening. They reported a House collapsing in Crystal
Beach while the eye of the storm was making its way across.
4am Carrie and I decide to try and figure out
something about what's already damaged. We started at the front of the house
looking out the winds. We saw some large limbs down in the front yard and one
massive one off to the left, which turned out to be a tree down, not a limb. We
see the tree next to the window twisting in the wind and move quickly away. Then
we went to moms room and saw that two trees were down, they fell away from the
house. Other than that we couldn't see anything.
The winds continue to rape the land outside in the
darkness. And the sounds continued to rip our strength from our hearts. Thoughts
of if we would be ok crossed my mind. Would Andrew be safe? I remembered
something about him hearing the metal of their garage making noise. Was my
brother, sister 'n' law and niece ok? Were my friends ok? Would the house be
damaged so bad we couldn't live here? Would the cars be damaged? My three month
old Rav4, would it be ok?
At 5:30 the winds finally calmed down, but
the tree outside is creaking badly. With every big gust of wind we fear that the
tree will hit the house. Our tired minds could not wait anymore and succumbed to
a one hour nap around 6am.
7am I woke up and see mornings first subtle
blues shining through the front door. The wind was not roaring anymore and a
gentle rain was falling. At 7:10 I peek out the window and see bushes of limbs
everywhere. I woke Carrie up when I thought I saw a tree that fell on the cars!
We opened up the garage door and find that a tree
fell just a few feet from both mom and my cars. I walked to the front of the
house and we checked. Lots of damage, but no trees on the house. Everything
looked like World War III. The house next door to us on the West lost a large
part of his roof and his porch collapsed. Trees were down everywhere so I
couldn't even see down the road to our other neighbors. A flood of relief and
tired minds swept over us and we realized how truly blessed we were.
Alicia: A child's story
Before the storm Journal
the storm Journal
Hurricane Ike Page