Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ike II

When the worst part of the storm was over, I was dying to go outside and survey the damage. However, I couldn't open my front door because the wind was still gusting and blowing rain right into my apartment each time I tried to open the door.
So, we sat in the sticky humidity with cool, wet wash cloths over our faces.
It was over for us but Houston was still getting hit and the only reason I knew things were bad in Galveston was that reporters had ridden out the storm on the island and they reported things like The Balinese Room was gone and I actually heard them on the radio, being evacuated to lower floors at the San Luis Hotel.

After some time passed and I could open my front door without flooding my living room, I ventured outside to see what it looked like outside.
The first thing I saw was a City worker in a front-end loader clearing fallen branches and debris from the street. The worst of the storm had been over less than an hour and they were already out clearing things out. Amazing.
We were lucky at the apartments, there were tons of branches down and one tree was uprooted in the back but it fell away from the building.

My mother began to obsess about her house. Did it survive?

I told her to wait a while; wait until we know the streets are safe to drive. But she couldn't wait. She was almost in tears wondering.

I walked outside to check down the roads, maybe they were clear enough to drive. That's when I saw my apartment manager pull into the parking lot.
I asked her where she came from. She had been staying at her son's house which is near my mother's neighborhood and she declared the streets clear so I ran upstairs and told my mother to pack her shit and stop blubbering. I was taking her home.

This was our chance to see our town for the first time after Ike came through and it was pretty shocking.
Signs, fences, trees and stoplights littered the sides of the roads.
There didn't seem to be a fence standing in town and the stoplight poles were bent backwards in some places.

Her house was standing. She lost part of her rain gutters and a tree that my dad had planted years ago. Her house totally stood up to that big storm and we knew how lucky we were.

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