Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I (Don't) "Like Ike"

Those of you who know me or have scanned my "profile" know that I live in the Houston, Texas area (about 25 miles north of downtown and about 75 miles from the coast). We've had quite a week-plus here due to the hurricane, and I can say quite decidedly "I don't like Ike."

I was actually in Wisconsin for a science conference from 8-12 September. When I left on that Monday, the tracking was for the hurricane to be well to our west, but as the week went on, the forecasts became more precise and more threatening for our area.

By Thursday, it was quite clear we'd be impacted at home but due to booked flights and closed airports it became impossible for me to get back home to Houston before Ike hit and - regrettably - my wife and two boys (both teenagers) had to get through the storm alone.

I say "regrettably" for two reasons: 1) I'd obviously rather have been with my family and 2) I have no sense of what they went through. Having lived in the Midwest my entire life - a good part of it in "Tornado Alley" - I've seen my share of bad weather...but my family, friends, and co-workers tell me that it is much different to sit through hours and hours of sustained winds, rain, and noise, and I beleive them.

Fortunately, our own home survived, but some of our neighbors were dealt some significant damage (I've included a photo taken by a co-worker of a home not more thana couple blocks from me). We were without power for 8-9 days but did manage to drive back up to Oklahoma City and stay with my parents until responsibilities at home and work required us to come back.

Many folks are still without power. We were obviously very blessed and fortunate.

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