How are all your homes down there?
It's hard to tell what it's like from the MS media....
You know, the people most affected by the storm probably don't have internet access right now ... :)Your best bet is to ask if any AT readers have talked to people they know in Houston. Just my opinion.
I have friends in Houston (I'm in Dallas) and they have no power and no water. Galveston, et al are equally affected. Some home are toast after the 15 ft. storm surge, and Downtown Houston is littered with detritus. That's all I know.They're saying we'll (in Dallas) have sustained winds of 35mph with gusts around the 50mph mark. 5-6 inches of rain tonight before it heads up north.Fingers crossed for everyone in Ike's path.
My brother lives near the Medical Center area and reports that it was not the Armaggedon promised by the cable news media.He says they are playing Scrabble by candlelight while they wait for the power to come back on.My sister lives in Missouri City and says the winds last night were "scary". Her biggest problem is the heat...she's 8 months pregnant and quite miserable.
When will people learn to evacuate when told to?? I heard that most of the population of Galveston wouldn't leave even though they were warned that death was "certain and imminent"...1.2 million people! We're getting drenched all the way up in Chicago by castoff rain from Ike but I don't know if flooding will be a concern yet or not. They say this is going to be the worst natural disaster in history...even worse than Katrina...and these people didn't leave?? It makes me angry that people deliberately put themselves in harms way like that....too bad we can't just go duct tape them and carry them away to a safer place over our collective shoulder.
I just read that Ike was downgraded to a tropical storm..looks like the worst has passed....
Family in NW Houston(spring branch) reported fences down, and roofs in the neighborhood damaged, large trees twisted, and stripped of leaves. Electricity down, and not to be restored until at least monday. No flooding, but they don't have a particular problem with that in the specific area, flooding otherwise seems to be extensive as usual for the low lying area.
We're in a suburb west of Houston, Katy. The only damage is one side fence is completely down. But that's cuz the slum lord owner next door has never replaced it, so now he's finally gonna have to cuz their fence is down on all 3 sides. The sides we've replaced are fine.The bad weather didn't come in til after midnight so I mostly slept through it. The power went out about 3 am and came back on around noon. Luckily, it didn't get too hot since it was dark most of the time; but it really didn't cool down outside much and it's still really humid. No wind or rain right now.I think Galveston got it the worst- no water, no power, flooding, lots of stuff completely destroyed. There was a house on fire on the news, but because there was no water pressure in the city, firemen had to take the hoses down to a reservoir to get water to try and put the fire out. And it was obviously still really windy there.
amiencc: In answer to your question about not evacuating there are many reasons. I'll list a few general ones. Firstly, for the past couple of storms, mass evacuations have been called for leading to gas running out along highways leaving people stranded in their cars with no where to go. After doing that a few times and having the storms miss, people grow weary.If you have lived your whole life in an area affected by hurricanes, you get "used" to the threat, and start refusing to spend 6 months of every year listening to weather reports worrying about leaving your home and life every time you are told to.Often evacuations are announced far before they actually know where a storm is headed. The predicted paths are always larger than they end up actually being. It's a gamble really, whether to stay or go, but so is leaving your house every morning.It is easy to blame people for staying, I don't see a cause for pointing fingers really.
amiencc,I never heard anything about it being nearly as bad as you say you heard. And actually, a lot of people did evacuate, but I think some just didn't think it was gonna be that bad, or have dealt with it before. When you live on an island, that's part of life.
I know that most of the news media crews are staying at the San Luis Hotel in Galveston.I'm curious about many hotel employees had to work through the storm, as opposed to evacuating and/or being with their own families. Do they get hazard pay for that? Did they even get a choice?I was stunned to see a photo online of the night manager at the Flagship Hotel who was apparently staying at the property throughout the storm. (The Flagship is the hotel that is actually built out into the water). If the hotel was evacuated of guests, why would an employee stay there??
AP footage from Galvestonhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhEaTi8anUE
Family and friends in Downtown and North Houston tell me power could be out for as long as four weeks. Hope that turns out not to be the case. Lots of tree limbs down, but no damage to the homes of family and friends.
Kathryn, I was really surprised people stayed at the Flagship Hotel too, that just seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen. But the bridge that goes over the water to get to the hotel collapsed during the storm and some of the side of the building was torn off. Still, I was kinda surprised it was still standing.
My parents live 25 min east of Houston but closer to the bay. Lucky for them, they live in a new subdivision that was built after Rita with lots of improvements made by the developer and no mature trees to fall over. Overall, lots of trees down and a lot of the older homes lost shingles, siding, etc. Of course, no power. I also have friends who had to stay on Galveston Island for work (they work at the medical center). They said it was pretty scary, but they've certainly been through worse. They all agree that the media is sensationalizing it.As for not evacuating...you know, you really can't evacuate every time. It gets incredibly expensive when you factor in gas, food, hotel and lost work, and once you're out, it's really hard to get back in. Plus, most newer buildings are built to withstand the high winds. In many cases, it's sufficient to just get to higher ground. After having lived my entire life on the Gulf Coast (save the last year), you sort of have an intuition about these things.
Family near Katy lost trees, parts of fences and power. One had a little flooding in front of house and not bad. BIL who stayed with house outside Galveston near Kima had a tree go down - thankfully in the driveway. He knew it was going to fall so pulled his car out so as not to be blocked in. Minor wind damage and overall not so bad. They are just waiting for power to be restored now. I got a texted when I woke (in Seattle) so have been checking the news channels for them.Amiencc: Really? You wonder why people don't evacuate. Exactly because the media said it was going to be worse than Katrina. Hurricane's have a mind of their own and you get weary of the boy crying wolf. One of the joys of living on the Gulf Coast.
well, here in mississippi, it's just cloudy. and a little rainy. we thought gustav would be bad.... but it wasnt. not here anyways.
I just moved to Chicago from Houston a month ago and I am glad I left when I did because my old office was in Chase Tower which now doesn't have any windows on the east side.. supposedly up to the 35th floor out of 75! I do however wish I was down there to be with my family who are luckily okay on a little further than 5 miles west of the Galleria. They boarded up their windows and luckily bought a generator on Thursday so they have some power. It's going to be a very long clean up process! I can just imagine being without AC right now and all of the mosquitos that will hatch in a few days... it's going to be miserable!
family in NW houston (spring/klein), downtown, montrose and conroe all say power is out and theres a lot of basic clean up to do (downed branches, etc everywhere). im just glad everyone is safe. lets hope power comes back soon!
f.glass, here here! I've lived through a bunch of nor'easters in MA, never evacuated (although it's hard to evacuate in SNOW) and lo-and-behold never DIED! There were plenty of times when we couldn't leave the house for a couple days because we were literally snowed in. But we were prepared. And I'm pretty certain that the people who didn't evacuate are also very prepared.The media is doing a very poor job reporting this storm. By stating that there "may be" "certain death," is just ridiculous. Not only is that contradictory, it's also just plain wrong.
Sparkle darling...you know nothing of which you speak.I was up until 4:30 this morning watching the coverage since I have a family of first responders in Houston. CNN, KPRC, and KHOU all did a phenominal job of reporting. My only unfulfilled wish is that Geraldo be finally washed out to sea.Having lived through 3 major hurricane as well as a couple of nor'easters you can't compare the two.If they had not evacuated as many areas as they did the loss of life would have been much greater.When authorities to you to leave...you leave. Period.
@ hdtex!Right there with you, regarding Geraldo -- what a tool!
My sister and nephews are in Houston with now power and very little water. Her community was told not to evacuate because of its elevation. She is now seeing flooding on her"safe" street. I'm trying to fly her out, any guesses as to when you guys think flights will resume out of George Bush International?
Our friends in the Heights (Houston) are ok, but without power. Obviously, the cooler temperatures are making it better than it would otherwise be. They said the storm was loud, but not necessarily scary where they were. They said that limbs and branches are down all over their neighborhood, but saw only one uprooted tree.
quit beating up on amiencc. she/he's just being a super-concerned neighbor. nothing wrong with that!
I just hope that people in the middle of this storm are OK, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Those harping about the media causing panic need to get their facts straight, first. It was the National Weather Service itself which predicted "certain death" for those remaining on Galveston Island, and based on their read of Ike and the path projected by most models, that was an accurate assessment.As it turned out, Galveston got very lucky. Ike went from tracking west northwest to more of a north northwest just shortly before striking the island. This shifted the wind field slightly, and started blowing a lot of water east of Galveston, toward the more sparsely-occupied coast between Houston and New Orleans. (It probably pushed some water parallel to the shore as well - they were reporting huge storm tides in Louisiana, hundreds of miles away from Ike.)As a result, the storm surge in Galveston was only about 15 feet, as opposed to 20-25 feet. If Ike had stayed on its original predicted track, Galveston would have been washed off the map, and anybody in a structure not taller than 3 floors would probably have been drowned.Hurricanes are unpredictable, and I've never understood why more people don't flee their approach (although after the bungled Rita evacuation I could see why those on high ground might feel they could do better staying put). If a maniac with a loaded machine gun waltzed into the room you'd have sense enough to run, so why not run from a hurricane, especially given all the advance notice? Folks on Galveston Island were in just such a situation, and while it looks like most of the ones who stayed got lucky this time, they may not be so lucky the next time around.
First, I don't think anyone was beating up on amiencc, just explaining the situation.sunspot42, like someone said before, hurricanes/warnings just become so commonplace, you get used to it and don't always take it seriously. They also mentioned the money and gas issues (places all around town were out of gas yesterday) which are very valid. The local news made a big deal about the previous 2 hurricanes this season (granted, not as much as this one) and they were NOTHING. And there's probably a bigger chance of being killed on the road while evacuating than there is if you stay put.And I'm not so sure about Galveston being washed off the map, it was only a cat2.There was talk on the news about possible contamination to the water, so they're testing it tonight. That's the bad part; no stores were open today and even if they were, I doubt there's a water bottle left, and not everyone can boil water if they have electric stoves and the power is out. And the weather is a little cooler cuz there's no sun and some breeze, but it's very very humid.
And I'm not so sure about Galveston being washed off the map, it was only a cat2.Judging a hurricane by the category is misleading. The category is determined by the maximum sustained wind speed. Wind isn't what usually kills people in a hurricane - it's the flooding, typically caused by the storm surge. Ike may have "only" been a Cat 2, but it was on the very high end of the category and, more importantly, Ike was enormous. Its wind speeds weren't off the charts, but its tremendous size allowed it to move an immense volume of water. Had that surge hit Galveston head-on it could easily have generated a 20-25 foot surge and scraped the island clean.
Just FYI, everyone -- most of Houston was not evacuated. We were told to stay put so that people in the lower areas closer to the coast could leave. I decided to leave early with my children (the roads were empty then). My husband stayed in town. He has no electricity still, but our house is okay.My hometown is completely under water. It's where Anderson Cooper was reporting from earlier this evening. My sister's house was completely blown away. I'm staying in a 3-bedroom house in Austin with 12(!) of my relatives, and they're all pretty edgy right now./thanks for letting me vent.
Best wishes to all affected by the storm!Jake
I grew up in Houston, and my parents still live there. Not once have we ever evacuated when there was a hurricane. I rode out my first at barely a month and half old. Slept right through it too.The KEY to riding out a hurricane is preparation. There is no reason to evacuate unless you are in a low lying area that floods commonly. My parents filled up one bath tub with water (just incase water stopped flowing), pulled out the free standing water filtration system and made sure to purchase canned foods at the first sign that this storm could turn their way. They also threw out all of the stuff that would spoil from the fridge on Friday. There is no hurt in staying put. Just be smart about it.So far the parents have been lucky. They only have half a tree down in the front yard and a small leak in the roof. As soon as this second storm clears out of Houston today and roads to the highways are clear, they will hop in the car and head up here to Austin.Power is predicted out for 2 weeks in most parts of Houston.The best thing people can do is donate money (or time if you are in Texas) to the non-profits that are assisting in the sheltering. I work for the state entity that is coordinating all of the evacuations, shelters,etc. and they are predicting well over 100,000 in San Antonio shelters alone. And the fact that many Houstonians are predicted to be without power for 2 weeks, means that the shelters will have to be in operation for at least that amount of time.http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/weather/entries/2008/09/11/ike_volunteer_i.htmlThanks everyone.
my mom is in conroe, just north of houston.a tree fell through the kitchen of my mom's home and water has leaked in enough to cause part of the roof to collapse.... so basically, a new kitchen and dining room are needed.she is also, like others, without power. some more trees fell from our neighbor's yard across our driveway, but no flooding.
The people who stayed in Galveston got really, really lucky at the last minute. Like sunspot42 and others have said, Ike swerved just before hitting land, changing the direction they predicted the storm to go and cutting the storm surge that was to hit Galveston in half.As it was, my uncle-in-law stayed at his home in Galveston, and last we heard, he was stranded on the top of a bunk bed with water halfway up the windows. What if the storm surge had been what they thought it was going to be?It was ridiculous of anyone to stay on that island.
My brother just called to let me know that he and his family are "evacutating" to his mother-in-law's house now outside of San Antonio -- apparently the heat and humidity from the lack of air conditioning has become intolerable.
mamacita-That is terrible to hear! At least your family is safe. I can't imagine the heartache your sister is going through!!! I will keep her in my toughts.Julia
Hope everyone is ok and safe from Ike and its aftermath.Growing up on a barrier island in South Carolina, I had my fair share of hurricanes and tropical storm threats and actually a couple that made landfall. Hugo in 1989 was the worst (a very physically large and strong cat4), and afterwards, it took many years for the area to truly bounce back. During that time, there were several storms that threatened to hit, we were told to evacuate, and nothing came of them. The local news stations would make a huge deal out of every storm from the minute it started swirling off the coast of Africa (this was back in the 1990s, not sure if it has gotten better or more accurate now). It became a boy-who-cried-wolf scenario from the residents perspective and we grew weary of the evacuations. It does become an intuitive thing, whether to stay or go and it does relate back to whether you can monetarily afford to flee.
a lot of the people who didn't leave galveston didn't do so because of the mess that was rita. if you experienced sitting in traffic in the houston heat for 32 hours, or stuck with no gas on the freeway, you'd think twice about leaving too. however, i think people will heed the warning now since houston got their plans better organized and the evacuation went so much better this time.we're on the southwest side of harris in alief and the winds were crazy. the damage around here was pretty minimal compared to everyone else. just down trees, loose shingles, and tons of down fences. our power was out for 24hrs and we're just now getting a little bit of water back and can finally flush our toilets.it was crazy to see the water come up over the seawall before the storm and so sad to see how crushed crystal beach, bolivar peninsula, and the west end were after.
I wonder if the people who don't evaculate ever think about the danger they are putting the first responders in when they need to be saved. My husband is in the National Guard and has been called up for two weeks to deal with the search and rescue. We are always willing to help and the town I leave in near DFW was ready for evacuees but they did not materialize.During the worst of the storm in Galveston there were hundreds of calls to 911 from people who stayed behind. They were told that rescue crews would not be sent out. How silly to put yourself in that much danger.I do pray for those who lost so much and we are glad to help in any way.
I have to comment on this as well. We live in Austin but all our family is in Houston. I know people say everyone should have evacuated but with the evacuation nightmare Rita caused....and then no damage, its a no wonder not many people evacuated.When Rita hit in 2005 it took Houstonians 24 hours to get 60 miles. There was not a hotel in Texas that had vacancy, and people were running out of gas while they were sitting on the highways getting out. IT WAS LITERALLY A NIGHTMARE!Our families from Houston are here in AUstin with us now but they have all been told to not go back to Houston. That complete anarchy is about to start since the power is still not on and residents of Houston are furious. I AM SURE THE POWER COMPANY IS DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO GET POWER BACK ON! Anyway, Houston got pretty high winds and we;ve been told downtown Houston is pretty destroyed. Houston has mandated a 9pm curfew on everyone since the roadways are so blocked with debris. Flooding has occured in some parts of Houston but I think the worst damage was from the high winds.As far as Galveston goes....the entire island is underwater and as the mayor said in a press conference today. "dont come home to Galveston, the island is uninhabitable."
Well its 7:58pm on Sunday night and things have not been as bad as expected. I live smack dab in the middle of Houston in West University near Rice University. When we went to bed on Friday night at 11pm we still had power and the wind was whipping around. No rain. At 2am the power went off. By 2:30 we had evacuated to the master bedroom closet - lots of howling and banging from limbs but we never felt in danger for our lives. My child, two dogs and a nutty friend armed with pillows, blankets, a battery operated fan, flashlights, valium and Corona and bottle opener. My husband stayed in bed snoring throughout the storm.Up at 7:30am stiff from the floor. Back fence down. We were so lucky. Fences and limbs down but very little rain. No damage to the roof or structure.By 1pm on Saturday we were swimming with friends and eating popsicles while everything melted. And by 4pm Saturday we had power. Unfortunately power was back out by 4am Sunday.We had water and flushing toilets throughout this time thank goodness.I worked our company call tree today and logged in the status of 38 people on my project team. No injuries among the 38 families who live in various locations in this 75 square mile city. Most were without electricity. Some without water. Most with limbs down and/or trees down on their property. A couple with trees on their houses. Friend just left who has lovely place and yacht in Kemah. Water came within 2 ft of entering her home but did not. Several friends and neighbors still do not know the status of their Galveston beach homes - does not look good.We have cooked, grilled, boiled water on a bbq grill to make coffee when we had to, invited everyone we know to shower and sleep over in our a/c while we had it. This brings out the best in your fellow man and to a person everyone is relieved that we got by with what we did. It could have been so much worse. In the non-evacuate zones there was no flooding thank God. Neighbors are out helping neighbors.I am sitting here watching the local media begging basically for every interviewee to complain (residents/officials/etc.) It is sickening to watch. Personally I think our local govt and the US govt has been great. While we were waiting for the hurricane to mae ground I watched Centerpoint Energy trucks lining up on our street in preparation for going out to repair.Wishing everyone well!!
I'm new to the FL Gulf Coast (a few years here, haven't had to evacuate yet) but it's odd to me that so many don't leave when in the direct path.Even newbies know to have bottled water and canned goods, and a five-day cooler with ice in it.I'd ride a smaller storm out in my brick house but on a wooden house or a mobile home on an island? No way. The reason people are asked to leave is so emergency staff won't have to rescue them... or worse... identify them later.I realize people are worried about looting but your life is worth more than your plasma.My thoughts are with everyone dealing with the aftermath of Ike.
We live in northeast Houston. The power went out at 1am on Saturday and it's not back yet. Our water pressure went down for a while but it's normal now. We had no damages at all. Some neighbors had fences knocked over and tree limbs in the yards. We know of people with trees falling on their houses and saw many uprooted trees. All the streets are lined with debris, tree limbs and such but they look much worse than it really was.I'm glad the storm hit at night because we slept through most of it. Ironically we woke up when there was no noise. We think that's when the eye of the hurricane passed by.We decided to come to my parent's house across town in Missouri City where there is power. We hope we can have the power up and running in our home soon.All in all we can't complain. I just feel terrible for the people in Galveston and surrounding areas. What a terrible mess.
I live in Katy, Texas " a suburb west of Houston" . My husband also slept through the storm . I found the wind to be intense , even though Katy was on the " easy " side of the storm .We never lost power , though some parts of our subdivision did . We did have some flooding on our street this morning because of rain ,and debris from the storm, but not up to the sidewalks .We also lost a fence and a tree .I feel very, very fortunate and cannot imagine living in Houston without AC , or ice , or flushing toilets .But , even that discomfort pales in comparison to people in Galveston who have lost their homes and jobs and way of life .I like many of you would leave if I was in a mandatory evacuation zone .I have the resources to leave . Many people did not .Many people made poor choices based on previous experiences .Why they did not leave does not matter now.Helping people get food , water , shelter , and medical care and the resources to rebuild their lives is important .If you can help , I hope you will.If you are already helping I Thank You !!!
Our very good friends live in Houston, in the Cyfair school district, they lost power and cell phone access. They are told that there will be no work or school until at least Wednesday. No word on when power will be up. They came up to Waco today to meet their parents to get a generator today and went back. No internet, like some of you have mentioned. They only have communication through texting and their home phone, no voice service on cells. They had minimal damage to their house- fence down, stuff in the yard, etc.
Does anyone know anything about the state of affairs in El Lago? The pictures look bad, but they don't show whether or not homes got flooded. I have a friend there who evacuated, and she still hasn't been able to return home. Any info would be appreciated.
Some places got hit harder than others. Mind you Houston is very vast and very LARGE. My co-worker had his roof partly ripped off and is currently sleeping on friend's sofas as he rents an apartment space. There are certain areas that are flooded and without power or water. I heard callers on talk radio asking for help as they were disabled and running out of medical supplies. My neighborhood mostly experienced minor flooding and uprooted trees and nothing more.
hey im here in houston- and we have no power in most of our homes- I am writing this at work that has back up power- most people don't have power- about 80-90 %. This is hard enough but its 80-90 degrees with no wind at all. Most people are helping their neighbors in good ol texas fashion, but the heat is really hard, esp on the elderly. Alot of our beautiful theatre district was torn up and I have heard galveston is uninhabitable. I worry about what damage they will find when people are allowed to go back to island, as there are so many beautiful houses and landmarks- I hope for the sake of everyone they are okay.Everyone is trying to get back to normal as soon as we can- the aftermath with the power seems harder than the storm itself. We do have a cerfew for now, and everyone has become aware of the penalties of price gouging- so there is some, but not a lot of that here. Alot of people are pulling together and were all doing the best we can.I live off of Bellaire street- Houstons own chinatown (yes we have a chinatown) and while there was some wind damage to other apartments- we came out fine. Our complex started clean up right away- we lost a of beautiful trees. I'm not ashamed to say i was very saddened by that. But everyone was okay, and even though there was a language barrier everyone was looking after each other. We had to sleep with the windows open, but given that the complex we are in is more of a community than other apartments, I felt okay doing this. Several of our neighbors had bbqs going on to cook what might spoil.
Just FYI most of Galveston DID evacuate. Those people are not going to risk anything after the fact that they had the deadliest natural disaster in US history (8,000 reported dead in 1900) . I am from Houston but live in San Antonio. my family just left on Sunday because my elderly grandmother can't handle the heat without A/C. Most people are safe and I have a few friends whose homes are ruined, but most are fine.
Got a tip, home tour, or other story our readers should see?