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I don't like Ike.

Well, I survived Hurricane Ike relatively unscathed!  I'm located north of Houston, so while we still got some hurricane force winds, the storm had been downgraded to a Cat 1 by the time it reached me.  Lots of debris, fallen limbs, etc. in the backyard, but that's pretty much it.  My parents had similar damage, as well as two small trees down near their driveway, but nothing major.  And a tree fell on one of my co-workers cars, totaling it.  There are a few pictures I took during and after the storm below the cut.  Most are from around my neighborhood, my parents' place, and around town.
I have a few friends and family members living in Houston who rode out the storm (Houstonians were told not to evacuate).  They were all in agreement that it was one of the most frightening experiences of their lives.  One of my friends took some pictures of downtown Houston after the storm passed...if he ever gets around to sending me the pics, I will post a few here.

One of two fallen Bradford Pears in my parents' yard:

Fallen limbs and other debris in my backyard (and that's not even a third of the stuff I had to clean up).

A fallen fence:

Neighbors helping neighbors.  Three men help put a tarp on a damaged roof:

A damaged street light:

A tree blocks access to my friend's driveway:

I giant Oak tree in a neighbor's backyard.  Check out the roots:

...And here's the top part of the tree.  It fell across a fence and into a pasture:

A pine tree being held up by some power lines:

Another pine tree entirely blocking this road:

This metal building had been gutted for remodeling and two sides were destroyed by the wind:

The remanants of a metal roof that was ripped off a local business by high winds:


I've also compiled a list of websites with good photo galleries of the Gulf Coast if anyone is interested.  The photos of Galveston, especially the Crystal Beach area, are by far the scariest.  It was really kind of emotional for me to look at all the destruction because I've spent so much time in Galveston.  I've spent at least one weekend a year there (sometimes more) since I was born.  In fact, I was just there the weekend before Ike hit...I spent three days on the island and the weather was beautiful.  Guess I won't be going back for a while.  Words can't possibly describe how sad I feel for all the people who lost their homes in the storm.
Houston Chronicle (there are multiple galleries, so this link goes directly to the homepage)
The Chronicle also has some good user-submitted photos here.
Austin American-Statesman 
Yahoo! News (comprised of photos from AP, Reuters and AFP)
Galveston County Daily News WARNING: they've been having problems with their site (not exactly a surprise, considering what it's like down there right now) so it might take a while to load.
CNN -- I was not terribly impressed with their photo galleries, but they do have a lot of video.
The Weather Channel (user-submitted photos)
Finally, if anyone is interesting in learning more about The Great Storm of 1900 that completely destroyed Galveston and killed over 6,000 people (it's the deadliest natural disaster in US history), Wikipedia has some pretty detailed information as well as links to several other good sites.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
Yikes! I'm so glad to hear you're okay, and property too, for the most part.

Something I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to---how long did the storm last, going over you?

I know that when we get tornadoes up here (or even straight-line winds), it's downright frightening--but it usually doesn't last all that long. It comes in, wreaks havoc, and leaves, usually in the space of less than an hour (the twister (or threat thereof) itself is generally less than 5 or 10 minutes or so). But with all the weather that Ike brought to us here in Michigan....three plus days of rain. Nothing overly stormy, just bucket after bucket after bucket.

So I got to thinking....I can take tornado threats, but if it was at tornado-level freakiness, and if it *lasted* for hours or more....yeah, that would freak the heck out of me, too.
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
Well, the wind pretty much lasted all day Saturday. We got some light gusts and a little rain Friday night, and the lights flickered a few times, but the wind started getting really strong early Saturday morning and the power went out for good about 7:30 a.m. The wind continued throughout the day, becoming strongest around noon (wind gusts over 80 mph). It finally calmed down enough for me to go outside and take pictures about 6:30 p.m. So that's about 11 or 12 hours of constant stormy weather.

I've never actually experienced a tornado before (not the we don't get them around here, because we totally do, I've just been lucky enough not to have experienced one) so I don't know how it compares to a hurricane. I think they're both pretty scary, but tornadoes are just so much more sudden (and often unexpected).
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Wow. Glad to hear you're ok. My mom and 2 of my sisters have gone to the Mississippi coast every spring for the last 3 years to help with Katrina clean-up/rebuilding. I've seen their pictures and it breaks my heart every time. Even three years later, there are still destroyed houses and rubble everywhere. The whole Galveston area is in my prayers.
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
Thanks, Kaprin. That's really great that your mom and sisters help out every year! We have a couple thousand Galveston-area evacuees staying here in shelters. Most of them don't have homes to go back to now. It's all really sad.
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for the pictures Pines. It's amazing to think about all that damage and it was only cat. 1.
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
You're welcome. Yeah, I went through Rita three years ago and it was nothing compared to this.
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
Glad to hear you're okay. That storm was scary.

My appreciation for the shear force of hurricanes increased since Katrina. My mom's friend (a doctor) was stuck in New Orleans during Katrina and it took about a week for him to be evacuated. His stories and pictures were scary.

I went to NOLA about a year later for a convention and it wasn't the same town.
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
Thanks, Gatsby! I haven't been to New Orleans since Katrina, but I have a friend who when to Tulane University. She went back to visit shortly after they started letting people back into the city. She called me in tears when she saw all the devastation.
Sep. 17th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
Glad to hear your made it relatively unscathed. Bradford pears come down all the time in hurricanes--we lose them a lot around here. (Apparently, they're particularly weak when it comes to wind.)

Thanks for the photos and the links...I'll definitely be checking more of them out soon.
Sep. 17th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Hi Amy! *friends back*

These are the fourth and fifth Braford Pears my mom has lost in the last two years. She started out with six lining one side of her driveway...now there's just one left. Three were lost due to wind damage/bad weather and the other two got some sort of weird sickness that caused them to die. I told her, "Mom, it could have been worse. That giant oak in your backyard could have fallen on the house."
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )