So the storm stopped for us by noon on Saturday, September 13. We spent the first part of the afternoon sleeping because we were tired! I slept through the alarm on my cell phone, but were grateful that friends Jeff and Christi had walked over (from about a mile away) to say hi and take pictures. So we visited with them and then set outside to begin helping neighbors cut down the trees that blocked us in on two of three sides. (Love chain saws and strapping young men!) Our theory is that for the lights to come on and everything to stay safe and normal, trucks have to be able to get down the streets!
Saturday evening was an early night (we are now on farmers hours – we go with the light). I woke up about 4am Sunday morning hearing the rain and worrying about the leaky window. I went to check on it, and pretty much realized when its not raining at a 90 degree angle it is okay.
Sunday, September 14 it rained most of the morning causing secondary flooding issues (the street is full again) and all the yard debris is soaked. We heard from Emily and Jared around noon that they had power so we set out for their place, cooler of Little Venice, etc. in tow, and in tact!!!!
Although the rain was really the last thing we needed Sunday, it was a blessing in disguise because it ushered in a “cold front” that is/will drop evening temps to the 60s and hold day time temps to 70-82 for the whole week. How awesome is that when you don’t have power? Its almost like you don’t need it!! (Really overnight we haven’t needed it.)
So Sunday was, indeed, a day of rest.
Sunday night into Monday we awoke to the smell of fire at 4am. Nothing was burning in our house, so we set outside checking neighbors by flashlight. There we encountered other neighbors doing the same. I called our constable to report in, so they could also be looking, and was told that the Houston Fire Department was on scene a few blocks away. Despite all the crap being reported on the radio (and I imagine one TV) I am really impressed by our little communities spunk and neighborliness.
Monday was so beautiful that we worked outside from 8-11:30 and 3:30-6 (decided to rest through the heat of the day, even though it was only 80ish). We managed to get the whole yard cleaned up, with Jared and Emily’s help in the afternoon. Our three foot “city right of way” grass is covered the length of the property with tree stuff and 19 bags of debris (glad I had stocked up a couple months back on the huge Lowes paper yard waste bags – love ‘em cause they too are bio degradable!). And, for me, I will not miss the annual fall right of passage of raking the falling leaves – as I have had that this September in Houston 🙂
Also cleaned out the fridge on Monday (Tuesday is trash day and 3-1-1 says they are coming 🙂 Our fridge looked like the college student fridge – condiments (mostly partially used), beer (like 12-15), four bottles of white wine, miscellaneous cheese, and a couple bottle of juice. All in all, no major losses there. The freezer was the same story, as Jared and Emily have all the important stuff, and what got chucked were a couple bagged veggies from 6 months ago and a pint of sherbert!
So today is Tuesday. Monday night, I am happy to report, passed uneventfully. And today, we came to Chris’s office so he could get some work done. They have power and internet (although I can’t get online from my computer).
There you have it. We feel really blessed. We are fine, our family and friends are fine, our house is fine. We’ll have a small insurance claim for the fence, floor, window, and tree issues, but in the relative scheme of things these are insignificant. We know there are those in our community who are really suffering, and we hope to be able to help them in whatever ways we can in the coming days and weeks.
Oh, and I’d like to give a shout out to a few people/organizations…
1/ They City of Houston people (the Mayor and Judge Ed Emmit) have done a great job evacuating those who needed to evacuate and telling those of us who did not need to, what to prepare for. And if you did as you were told (and if you had the means to do what you were told) and your home is still intact, then I’m guessing you are in a similar boat to us this week.
2/ Our area constable (Precinct 5) have been very visible and responsive. It’s nice to see them out and about and helping.
3/ Our chain saw wielding neighbors, and our drain cleaning neighbors. Maplewood looks great all things considered and that is due in large part to teamwork. It is nice to see everyone working together, especially all the young entrepreneurs out doing the equivalent of shoveling two feet of snow for $20.
Finally, I feel like I really need to say this too…
It has saddened me to hear all the kvetching on the radio, encouraged in many ways by the folks broadcasting who “understand their frustration.” There are millions of people in this metropolitan area. We have suffered a huge natural disaster across a wide expanse of territory. Lots of infrastructure was damaged, which took years to build so it may take days or weeks to repair. And it was compounded by another storm adding to flood woes less than 24 hours later.
People need to have some patience and some perspective. Most of us are still far better off than half of the people living on this planet in the aftermath of Ike. So let’s help the people who really need helping – the old/infirmed/shut-in, the families with small babies, people who are sick, and the folks who are too poor to have a safety net of any kind. And the rest of us who are having to take cold showers and live without ice for a few days – shut up already!
Sorry. I just needed to say that. Note, this doesn’t apply to the people of Galveston or the other flooded low-lying areas. Those folks are in a heap load of trouble.