Made it to AR late Fri. nite without much of a hitch — no 28-hour drives to get to an evacuation point that’s only 7 hours away. Just exhausted. Spent Fri. nite watching the storm hit Houston and bury Galveston via televised broadcasts on The Weather Channel, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Geraldo Rivera graced Galveston with his reporting dramatics while hanging onto a palm tree as the storm entered Galveston, and Anderson Cooper must have felt compelled to show us that high water didn’t intimidate him as he continued to broadcast for several hours in his hip-waders from a highway in Bridge City covered in hip-deep water.
All the places Eric and I visited during our honeymoon/wedding in Galveston are severely damaged or no longer exist, I’m quite sad to report. Ike turned slightly to the north, despite coming into Galveston, and the severe storm surge (15-20 ft) hit Beaumont, Pt. Arthur, and Orange. Lucky us..;)
Discovered on Sat. that about 50% of Orange was underwater, including the areas all around our neighborhood. Our neighboring city, Bridge City, where most of Eric’s co-workers live, had 95% of the city under 5-8 ft. of water. Orange and BC have no levies or seawalls, so both cities took the brunt of the surge.
Late Sat. a friend called and said that other than a missing screen, our house appeared to be undamaged and unflooded, despite the fact that our neighbors experienced flooding just a few blocks away. We’re quite thankful for that fact. Given the state of the rest of the city, it’s downright miraculous..:)
The family of one friend who evacuated with us lives in Bridge City, and they’re all now homeless. Another couple who evacuated with us, Lori and James, discovered that their house was completely underwater, and James’ brother sent them pics of their fridge and mattresses floating in their house. James’ dad stayed in their house because he didn’t want to evacuate. When the water started coming into the house, he fell asleep on their washer and dryer. The washer and dryer started floating as more and more water entered the home, and he ended up stuffing pillows into trash bags and floated out of their house for several miles before being picked up by a rescue boat. We were all quite relieved to discover that he was ok, as no one could reach him until later on Sat. Those are just some of the incredible stories we’ve heard about how people have survived the storm surge.
The hotel we chose isn’t the best, to say the least (vastly different from the description on their site). And, unfortunately, Ike followed us to Arkansas and sent tornadoes behind us. They struck all around Little Rock on Saturday, and we lost power early Sun. morning. Kinda sad to evacuate 400 miles from a storm and still experience loss of power and services. Sigh.
By Sunday afternoon full power was restored, along with AC, Internet access, phone access, and our room fridge and microwave, finally. Unfortunately, that did not take care of the large animal (possum, raccoon, or very large squirrel) that was trapped in the ceiling of our bathroom, vigorously digging into the insulation and wiring and metal fan casing, knocking debris into our bathtub. We were finally able to get a much-improved room late Sun. nite and moved all of our stuff from the old room to the new. So far, so good..;) At least we don’t have what appears to be blood spatter marks on our mattresses, as found in Lori and James’s room. Believe it or not, we’re staying in the most affluent section of Little Rock, but must be in the dumpiest hotel. It appears deceptively upper-crust from the outside..:)
We’ve learned that restoration of power and services will take at least a month, as much of Orange isn’t even accessible at this point and won’t be until the water recedes. For the moment I’ll be staying here in Little Rock. The good news is that power in Houston is being restored much more quickly than anticipated, so I might be able to relocate there in the next week or so, which would be great, as Houston is only 2 hours from Orange, rather than 7.
Plans are at the moment to set up my office tomorrow (Monday) in our new room, and hopefully be able to hit the ground running on Tuesday. Well, maybe not running — how about a slow stride?? <g>
Future plans include moving the hell out of SE Texas. I’m done with hurricanes..LOL
That’s all for now folks. I think I’m headed to bed..;)
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