We had a busy day today! Of course overnight Hurricane Ike roared through our neighborhood. The wind was impressive, and I am so glad that we got those big limbs trimmed off our tree! Although there was steady rain, we never really got a deluge.
Early in the morning (around 7 or so) the water was backing up in the street. I went out with camera, cell phone, and raincoat, and walked around. Cleared out the leaves and branches from one of street drains that was clogged. The little bayou was running fast, but the good news was that it was running downstream as it should. Which told me that our big bayou wasn't yet impacted by the big storm surge that pushed up into Galveston Bay, the San Jacinto River, and anywhere else that it could. By around 10 our street was clear of flood waters and they never got more than a couple inches up into our yard. I've definitely seen much worse from a violent thunderstorm.
Tree branches were down all over the place, but no trees fell. Our street was easy to drive on. I picked up lots of limbs and piled them in the front yard. Hopefully the heavy trash folks will come by soon and pick them up.
By noon, after listening to the radio and the neighbors, it became obvious that power was going to be out for a LONG time, perhaps weeks. And the water pressure was down to a mere trickle. So we decided to pack up and head down to South Padre Island. We are so fortunate to have another place to get, all set up and ready. A little ironic that it was only a few weeks ago that Hurricane Dolly was making her mark there.
We left around 2 and arrived by 7:45pm which was GREAT time. The road was completely clear and dry. Closer to Houston the gas stations were all closed but once we got to Victoria there were many open and serving. We bought gas at the Victoria McDonald's truckstop for $3.59 which isn't a bad price! (They usually offer a fair gas price.) Almost the entire way down US59 and then US77 we saw houses and businesses boarded up. A reminder of how the forecasted track of Ike moved from south of Corpus Christi all the way up to Galveston.
We arrived on the island just in time for the sunset and hurried down to the beach. There obviously was a huge surge, much larger than the one that Gustav sent a couple weeks ago. No trash cans on the beach so the city must have taken them away. The water was oh, so warm. The pink sunset and rising moon made for a good ending to a long day.
Except of course my day was not done. All of my company's locations in Houston had damage from the storm, so I have spent the evening writing up incident reports, talking to adjusters, and getting things lined up for Monday morning inspections. Tomorrow I'll be working again most likely. Maybe, depending on the response, I may have to drive to Corpus to see any damage reported at our three locations there.
We are relieved to have power and water, and a safe place to sleep tonight.