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Hurricane Ike 
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 and radar.

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.

Sandwich dinner, candles, and my battery operated TV Glow bracelets to light up areas of the house Playing Double-9's

 

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 still. 

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 prayer. 

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 point. 

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. 

Hurricane Alicia: A child's story

Before the storm Journal

After the storm Journal

Main Hurricane Ike Page

 

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