Sunday, September 21, 2008

My First Hurricane

Okay, it wasn’t really my first, but it was my first experience of a direct hit. I have lived in Houston for over 11 years and am pretty surprised I didn’t experience one sooner.

I am one of the very lucky ones who survived the experience without any damage to my place or car. I lost power around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday with the water following suit shortly after that, but considering that was a pretty minor inconvenience. I did not get either back until sometime on Tuesday. I took off for a friend’s house in Humble on Monday because I was in dire need of a shower. Doing the basic wipe down was not cutting it!

I started the week before Ike with six gallons of bottled water, an emergency stash of cash and working flashlights and lanterns. On Tuesday I went to the store and bought a bunch of canned goods. Wednesday’s preparations consisted of buying some extra propane, some AA batteries and filling up my car’s gas tank. I was thankful for the last one, because when I went to work on Thursday the lines at the gas stations were very long.

Thursday I had to go get my tire fixed (because the night before I noticed a huge bolt very close to the sidewall of my tire), so I made my way over to Sam’s Club. Talk about a zoo!! The lines were extremely long; I would say at least 20 people deep. My tire had to be replaced, but because I had such minimal tread wear all I had to pay for was the installation. So lucky. The next lucky thing – they let me buy batteries (for the radio) and TP at their counter so I didn’t have to wait in the regular line. Even more lucky!!

I was now set.

Friday consisted of the final touches. I cleaned house, put some breakables away, went for a final run around the golf course, made sure all my dishes and clothes were clean, then filled up the bath and wash tubs with water.

I then sat down on the couch and watched the news coverage until the power went out.

That is when the fun began. The wind started howling, the windows shook when a major gust came through, the metal carports on top of my apartment complex started creaking and groaning, the sky would light up, etc. Needless to say – I did not get a good night’s sleep.

The next morning, I put on an old pair of tennis shoes and went walking around the area. And the next day I took a drive around the Heights and Memorial drive. Here are some of the pics I took:

On Monday, I found out a friend of mine had power so I hightailed it to her house with the contents of my fridge and freezer (which were not bad yet) along with my big, powerful blender and a bottle of rum! You see, I had a huge bag of frozen strawberries in the freezer, and what could I make with those – strawberry daiquiris, strawberry pina coloda’s and strawberry mojitos (the last recipe was not that great, but everyone else was okay with them so they did not go to waste!).

The next day I found out I had power, so after we all headed out for dinner I went home. It was so nice to be home in my own bed with the electricity and water back.


bunnygirl said...

I'm glad you did okay. We got power back on Wednesday afternoon but never had any trouble with our water. We were able to use the university for a lot of our electric and refrigeration needs, although I had prepped sufficiently to get us through most of that with no trouble even if the university hadn't had power. We were very lucky and I just hope I get my internet restored this week.

Viv said...

Glad you stayed safe from the storm. This has been an experience no doubt. I take faith and pride knowing the city is working so hard to return to "normalcy" so soon.