Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The aftermath

It's kind of hard to know exactly where to begin, or what all to say, so I'll just start.

Power ...

Almost all of Houston and surrounding areas were without power immediately preceding, during, and certainly following Ike, who struck as a Cat 1 "only". That's a huge blessing because he was so immense! In addition to that, he turned more east at the last minute and the REALLY devasting storm surges that had been feared did not occur. The destruction is bad enough as it is.

99% of us were without power from sometime Friday onward. 60% of Houston is still without power. Many hospitals, businesses, and homes have power only because they have generators.

My power was restored last night around 9:00, but I could not get onto the Internet. It's only been within the last half hour or so that I could. Everything seems to be working fine now except for my monitor. DSL will probably try to get "on" later to see if he can fix the problem remotely and avoid a trip over here.

His business has to be conducted via the Internet, and they were without it for four and a half days. Service was restored to them yesterday, and he really cannot afford the time to come over. I can live without the monitor until he has time. I'm having to use my bifocals to read what I'm writing. Ridiculous, huh?

[Had to take a little break. DSL came on, but still no monitor -- so, he'll be coming over tomorrow sometime to take a looksee. OK. Back to the bifocal ranch.]

It was interesting trying to get out of my garage. Double-wide, oversized doors, and a real beast to try and lift manually ... felt like I was a prisoner in my own house. Long story short, lots of help from DSL and neighborhood kids!

Damage ...

The areas of destruction are so wide that it's almost impossible to list them all.

Galveston, of course, has been extremely hard hit. The mayor politely asked the news media to leave the other day. (Don't know if any did or not.) Something like 15,000 of the vultures have been perched in various hotel rooms down there, trying to interview every paid or volunteer recovery and rescue worker in sight.

In one of her noon news conferences, the terribly weary mayor was taken to task for not allowing reporters to talk to recovery workers. That actually happened. I heard it. She said (and I paraphrase), "There's nothing here for you right now. Please leave. I'm asking you to leave."

[Johnny's arm has been severed in a farming accident. He's rushed to the hospital, where vultures are wanting to know which arm, can it be saved, how many stitches, how is his family holding up and where are they so that we can inundate them with a gazillion intrusive questions because "the public has a 'right to know'."]

Bodies are washing up on the shoreline as I write this, bodies of people who decided to stay and ride out the storm. I really don't want to see replay after replay after replay of that recovery.

I don't know how many of you read my Golden Triangle post of earlier this month -- at least I think it was earlier this month! -- but that part of Texas has sustained great and, in some cases, irreparable damage.

Me? I'm OK. Really! Certainly compared to everyone else!! I 'suffered' only the minor inconvenience of being without electricity, water (at times), and light (candlepower only goes so far). DSL brought me a battery-powered radio. (I used to have one! Wonder where it went?)

Had to throw out a bunch of foodstuffs. Gave me the opportunity to clean out the refrigerator and freezer. (Shouldn't have needed an excuse, but I did!)

I am not known as a woman who puts housekeeping at the top of her list. In fact, it's probably so far down the list that it cannot be found, I kid you not. So there you have it. The truth about Goldenrod, although -- if you've been following my posts for any period of time -- you already know that.

(Think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my idea of a perfect world includes a house that cleans itself.)

Irritating things ...

News media ... calling this a "worst case scenario" (This is bad, very bad, but by no means a 'worst case'.) ... continually trying to interfere with relief workers' attempts with their insatiable appetite for exclusive interviews ... clogging up important news conferences with their attempts to place 'blame' on perceived slights.

JQ Public's occasional outburst at a POD ... when there are hundreds more vehicles patiently waiting in line, "Is this all the ice, water, MRE's I get?" (POD=Point of Distribution ... 50/60 some sites throughout the area)

Good things ...

News media ... Local radio and television stations carrying round-the-clock coverage (and continuing, actually, as I write this post!) ... really, absolute life-savers!! As one local radio station put it, "A lot of people just want to talk to somebody."

Hundreds of relief trucks carrying workers ... quite literally, from all parts of the United States and Canada, many of them offering to sleep in their cabs if no accommodations were immediately at hand. (Haven't heard of any coming here from Mexico, or I'd be giving them credit.) Convoy after convoy of them. Thank you, wonderful friends!

I'm sure I have left a bunch of info out that some of you might like to know. If you will leave a comment with your question/s, I will try and address it/them.

I have been trying to 'edit' this post as I go, and have had to rewrite bunches of it as I have inadvertently hit one little teeny tiny key after another, deleting what might possibly have been the 'world's greatest utterances'!

I hope that you will take that last sentence for how it's meant. I'm trying to see these teeny tiny little keys through my bifocals. Every now and then I accidentally hit one that deletes half of what I just said in the last two paragraphs and then have to try and reconstruct where my 'mind' was when I wrote it.

I'm pretty sure that I have been by no means successful. I apologize in advance for errors which have been left undetected.

It has taken me over three hours (!!!) to complete this post, and I'm going to try and publish it before I accidentally hit another teeny tiny little key and delete the whole thing.


Tammy said...

I'm soooooo glad that you are safe and well. I called my mom in Utah and read her your post. She's so happy to hear you have power and are safe.

Tammy said...

Sorry! That was from Emily.

steven said...

hey goldenrod, i'm glad that you're safe!!

Goldenrod said...

So, your mom's in Utah, huh, Emily? What's she doing there??

Good to hear from you, Steven. I knew you'd be following my posts. Thanx for your good wishes.

And, Jacky? (She hasn't been leaving any comments, but has been following my posts, so I know she'll get this response. Jacky's one of my oldest and dearest friends. Boy, the stories I could tell there, but probably won't ... fairly scandalous, actually!) I'm glad you liked my comments about the news media ... one of those 'mixed blessings'.

You're welcome to leave a comment anytime, I hope you know. Just don't use my real name, OK?

Craig Peihopa said...

wonderful post, wonderful that you're safe and well