Saturday, September 13, 2008

Go home Ike, Tina ain't here!

Friday, September 12th at sunrise...

3pm - The wind started picking up. Caitlin thought that it would be a good idea to get an action shot...4pm- The outer band of the storm comes rolling in...
Sunset...8pm - We tried to put the kids to bed early planning on having them awake most of the night. Didn't work out.

9pm - Caitlin sent me to make pina coladas (with 7 Up) but we were out of the frozen mix. The nightmare begins.

10pm - We unplugged everything in the house including the washer and dryer and went to bed. I purposely left the dishwasher going with the hope that it would explode. Worse dishwasher ever.

Saturday, Sept 13th

3am - The power goes out. Caitlin turned on her phone to see where the storm was...


The most recent radar image was already almost an hour old. According to the above picture, the eye was just coming ashore in Galveston. We are located in the strip of blue at 9 o'clock. There's a freeway that makes a loop around Houston (see it?). We live just a few exits off the north-west corner of the loop.

The storm was pretty bad. The wind was really hitting us hard from the north with heavy heavy rain. Della's room is on that side of the house so Caitlin and I went in to see how bad it was. We were surprised that the neighbor's hurricane party was still going strong (beer+powerful flashlights=hurricane party).

Caitlin had been making ice all day so we went down stairs and filled a cooler with perishables. The north-facing wall downstairs is mostly glass, so we were pretty nervous the entire time and tried to make it quick. It really sounded as if the windows were going to blow out.

We went back to our bedroom and I commented to Caitlin, "Yeah sure, this is a pretty bad storm but it's not as bad as I imagined it was going to be"

4am - Things got worse then I imagined it would be. We later learned that the winds in our area reached the high 80 mph with gusts exceeding 110 mph. The gusts would shake the entire house. Now we were even more worried that the windows would blow out. We gathered up the kids and put them in our room which is located on the other side of the house. When I went in to get Archer I had this conversation:
Me: (whispering)"Archer, are you awake?"
Archer: "Yes Daddy. Daddy, did you and Mommy turn on the bathtub right now?"
Me: "No we didn't"
Archer: "Daddy, is that loud noise coming from outside?"
Me: "Yes it is. The big storm is here now and Mommy and I want you to come in our bed."
Archer: "Daddy, this is not a normal day."
How right he was.

4am-6am - We did our best to sleep. We had both the kids in our bed and it was very hot because the power was off taking the A/C with it. The wind and rain were very loud. Flashes of white light that faded to blue would come through the blinds with no sound of thunder. We couldn't tell if there was no thunder or if the thunder could just not be heard over the wind. Gusts of wind would rock the house and I could hear the framing pulling and creaking. There were a couple of longer gusts and at the end of one I said to Caitlin that if the winds sustained that speed we'll have to go into the laundry room. It was pretty scary.

6am - We check satellite image again...
It looked like the worst of the storm was passing us. The winds, while still strong, seemed to be (slightly) slowing down. Tired of laying in bed with kids we got up and went down stairs to listen to radio reports. There was some water in the kitchen, I can't say it was flooded, but it was quite a puddle. The only theory that we could come up with was that the wind was blowing so hard (80 mph with 110 mph gusts) that it forced the rainwater underneath the weather stripping.

Archer and I opened the front door to have a look. There was a house sign from the neighboring development next to our door. The front mat was also folded over. I reached down to unfold it and a mouse jumped out. Sorry little mouse, we wrecked your hiding spot.

We had no water pressure, this means that no water is coming out of the faucet and we can't flush the toilet. That wasn't a big deal until we all had to use the bathroom. Radio reports said that either a pump was down or there was a break in the main line. We were told not to drink the water without boiling it.

7am-9am - When Caitlin turned on her phone there was a message from the alarm company saying the alarm had been set off at work. I knew that it was probably just the storm but not wanting to risk being looted, I decided to venture out and have a look. The amount of damage was incredible. The roads were nearly covered in debris. Pieces of fence, shingles, I even saw a aluminum awning that was in someone's back yard laying in the middle of our park. There were also trees down everywhere. Some of the trees were so big I had to cross the median just to get by. There were also a few broken power lines that were dangling down over the road. I was surprised at just how many people were out driving, and in very small cars no less. The office turned out to be fine. Just a little flooding that won't hurt anything.

10am - Archer was getting antsy so we bundled him up and let him run around in the storm. I was a little nervous to let him do it. I kept thinking that a strong gust could carry him away. There wasn't any lighting so I let him go for a few minutes...
4pm - We woke up from our nap to the sound of the toilets filling with water again. The water was back on! By the time we got downstairs, the power had been restored as well. Yes! I had promised Archer that if he had a good nap, he could go back outside to play. He was disappointed that the heavy wind and rain were now gone, but playing in the mud more than made up for it...

They say that this was a 50 if not a 100-year storm. Regardless, as Caitlin put it, we're not doing this again. If there's another hurricane, we're taking a vacation.

Here is Archer making a "yarn wig" when the power was out...

It started to get very hot a stuffy in the house with no A/C. So whenever there was a lull in the wind, we would crack open the windows. Here is Della enjoying some fresh air...

Very humid= very curly...

About an hour ago I looked up and this guy was crawling above the back door almost to the ceiling. As Caitlin said "I don't even want to know how that got there."

9 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm glad you guys are all ok!

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

Amen - I'm glad you made it through all right.

Bluebell said...

We've been praying for you guys. Glad no one got hurt!

Kati said...

I love the play by play. I am sitting here just misting up thinking of you there. I know you are happier, but I dearly miss you. I am so glad you are all ok. Love kati

Ana said...

We are so glad that everything turned out ok. I agree with Caitlin...take a vacation during the next hurricane!!! Ride the lightening (from Rocky)!!

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Wow! Thanks for the detailed report. I've been thinking about you (and many other friends) all week.

Amy said...

Oh man! I do love the play by play. I also like how at 3 am you were -Oh it's not bad- by 4 am you were- this is worse then ever. Very funny. How scary. I am so glad that you guys are ok and made it through the rain.... => a little barry for you...

Amy said...

PS:
Could Della be any more beautiful?

Zach and Kelly said...

wow! I cant believe that craziness! Good thing you guys survived... so did the dishwasher explode!?