Friday, September 12, 2008

This blog evacuated by Hurricane Ike---our status

Hi friends

So many of you have contacted me to send me offers of assistance, good wishes, thoughts, and so forth.

Thank you.

We have evacuated to an area just west and south of Houston, where we will get hit by Hurricane Ike but are safe from the storm surge. They have said to anticipate power outages of about 18 days, so I thought I'd put in this update while I can.

Our town had a mandatory evacuation on noon Thursday. We left at noon on the dot, which is good because the police literally began a neighborhood check. Our dedicated little police force.

It took about twice as long as usual to get here, which frankly we were extremely grateful about. When we evacuated for Rita, we never made it past Columbus, slept in our car for three days, got no assistance from locals or local authorities, and saw horrors that made us think next time drowning in a storm surge was preferable.

However, this time, the authorities swore they had learned their lesson.

We put our faith in that and I'm glad we did. I think they have. First, the media implored people who were not in evacuation zones to stay put, and I think they must have done because the evacuation was smoother than anyone could ever recall. Second, they triaged the evacuation in a way that worked very well. Third, I heard reports that they did random stops and checked that evacuees were truly from mandatory evacuation zone.

In short, we were able to reach our safe evacuation destination with relatively little trouble.

As we left our home, I knew we would return to it damaged. I accepted it. We storm-proofed as best we could: boarded up windows, moved as much as we could upstairs, and packed essential items into the car.

And here we are. Obsessively checking all reports about the storm and our area.

At this point, by 1 p.m. today, with Ike still offshore and scheduled to hit our area at about 5 a.m. tomorrow, the advance surge has already flooded a good part of our town, making many key roads impassable. I received a report with photos that the local bayous and lakes have already breached the levees and banks, flooding the local parks we play in frequently, and moving up the street we drive down every day. Our favorite special treat destination, the Kemah Boardwalk, was flooding before noon today.

Based on the speed (slow) and fact that Ike will hit at high tide in the morning, storm surge predictions leave us little hope for a good outcome for our home. My husband and I have already begn second-guessing certain decisions in a truncated way:

Him, "I should have done it, should have just taken those drawers upstairs. Putting them up on the coutners just wasn't..."

Me, "I know, it was the optimism, it's okay, we still don't know..."

or

Me, "I should have moved the china and crystal upstairs, should have made the time, even before the evacuation..."

Him, "We didn't have time, they called it so late, the storm changed track late, nothing to do..."

Me, "My cookbooks, all my recipes, I bet they are all ruined.."

Him, "There are more cookbooks..."

We did the best we can. It looks likely we will suffer flood damage. But there's no way to know.

Our area will be devastated, that much is sure.

But we will be okay and once we get our feet under us, this thing behind us, we will start relief to help our community.

We really appreciate your care and good wishes. I'll keep updating as I can.

Julie and Family

40 comments:

tacomamama said...

Thinking of you and everyone else facing this thing today.

You did what you could and you did the best thing, because you are safe.

Kyla said...

Oh Julie, this is all so terrible. I'm glad you guys are safe, but I wish there was hope for a better outcome for the house. We live farther in so we're not sure what to expect for our area, but we don't have to worry about the storm surge at least.

Sober Briquette said...

julie, glad to know that you are safe, and optimistically hoping that you will have much to be grateful for upon your return.
De

thailandchani said...

I was just thinking about you a few hours ago while watching the news coverage. Wishing you a good outcome.


~*

Mad said...

Julie,
All of this has left me in tears. If I can help in any way let me know.

Melissa said...

Glad to see you made it out. My dad was actually thinking of STAYING!?!?! But I finally convinced him to leave and he'll be here soon.

Keep us posted and we'll keep you guys in our prayers.

Magpie said...

I'm so glad you were able to get out, get safe, and let us know. Power outages of 18 days!?! Staggering.

And when you know what you need, you'll let us know. I have more cookbooks than any one household needs.

Big hug to you and yours.

slouching mom said...

I have been thinking about you nonstop. And am close to tears.

I will be hoping for the best.

we_be_toys said...

I'm so relieved you guys are out of the worst flooding areas, but wow - 18 days???? That's ugly.

You, by the way, should have been a news correspondant - you covered all the questions!

The grilling going on tonight, to use up the freezer supplies sounds like a grand idea - I'll be thinking of you guys - be safe!!

jen said...

sister, i'm thinking about you, and will continue all day.

painted maypole said...

oh, Julie. I know those fears. I hope that most (I mean, I hope that ALL, but lets be at least a little realistic here...) of them prove to be nothing. I hope that your home takes minimal damage, and that your sure footing is quickly restored.

and, as you said, you know that you have what is most valuable to you with you. Times like this bring that all into perspective.

Praying for your peace...

Annie said...

Definitely praying here in Florida for you guys - I can't begin to imagine the stress of all this.

Take care!

catnip said...

Sending my best wishes for you, your family, and your home.

wheelsonthebus said...

Waiting to hear from you with an address. We have an unused Target gift card I will send as soon as you send an address. Plus, I know that I can get some good donations from the boys' school.

nonlineargirl said...

I am glad you are safe. As hard as it is to lose things, you have what really matters. IF the cookbooks get ruined, I'll send you my favorite recipes.

cinnamon gurl said...

I'll be thinking of you all weekend, and hoping for the best.

Spacemom said...

Be safe....

Charles Kuffner said...

Julie, I'm just so glad you and your family made it out. If there's anything I can do for you afterwards, please please let me know.

Charles

thordora said...

Be safe. I can whip you up a one of a kind cookbook for after if needs be. Stuff is, after all, stuff. But it still hurts.

Fingers crossed that this is easier than it looks.

Christine said...

i'm so sorry that your home will possibly suffer damage. take care, julie.

xoxo

WrapAroundSam said...

You've done the sensible thing. When I read about some who decided to stay I have to wonder why? The sun will rise tomorrow and you'll be able to see it. God bless....

crazymumma said...

Oh Julie.

My thoughts are with you.

anniegirl1138 said...

Glad you could check as I have been thinking about you and yours today.

Don't sweat the stuff (easier said than done I know) and don't hesitate to let us know here if there are things we can help replace.

Canada is a good ways off but I hear the mail still goes as far south as Texas.

Take care. Be safe.

Aliki2006 said...

I'm thinking of you Julie--hope everyone is safe and sound--check in when you can.

SciFi Dad said...

I will have a good thought for your china and your cookbooks, since it seems you're not worrying about your safety, Julie. ;)

In all seriousness, I hope that it passes your house with minimal damage. Take care, and I am glad that you and your family are somewhere safe.

dawn224 said...

the blogosphere has your back - and I can share my grandma's recipes with you...

hoping good things for your return home.

annenahm said...

Thinking good thoughts for you.

Blogversary said...

I shed a tear for you. I know you are a strong woman. My thoughts are w/ you now and during recovery.

OmegaMom said...

Thank you for posting; I was worried about you. Here's to staying safe.

Suki said...

Oh my god. Best wishes with you.

Jozet at Halushki said...

I've been thinking about you, and especially that horrendous evacuation from last time. I'm glad things went more smoothly, and I hope the girls aren't too freaked.

Let us know how you are doing and if you need anything.

Much love.

Mayberry said...

I am so glad you got out safely. Keep us posted as you can.

And I have a whole little girl's wardrobe for P2, anything you need just say it.

flutter said...

thinking of you. Please don't hesitate to ask for anything, Julie

the dragonfly said...

Thinking of you...stay safe! Every night the Little Mister and I pray for the safety of "our friends around the world"...and many of those friends are from blogging. :)

Robin said...

Here via Why Mommy and thinking good, safe thoughts for you and everyone in the path of the storm.

I hope the damage is less than you expect, and much less than you were prepared for.

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

Thinking of you and hoping for the best possible outcome given the circumstances. You've made me really think about my "stuff" and what I should be protecting. Stay safe.

kirida said...

Be safe.

Rebecca said...

Oh my... I'm glad you're safe.

Most "stuff" can be replaced, which I know you know. It doesn't make the prospect of having to do so any better though.

jeanie said...

(((((((Julie)))))))

I can only imagine. Anything that I can do for you (from way over here) I am up for.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I feel your pain. Facing the damage from hurricanes can be so devastating. We were lucky with Gustav.

Maybe you will be with Ike.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If you need anything......say the word! :)