Hurricane Ike – Katy, Tx update 6:30 p.m. 9/12/08

September 12, 2008
30 p.m. 9/12/08

Kids and neighbors at 6:30 p.m. 9/12/08

Just at this very moment, we have lost our electric power in Katy. We are in Grand Lakes so I do not know if this is area wide or just our street. I would appreciate reports from other areas in West Houston.

At this time, the gusts have increased but there are still periods of calm. The skies are cloudy and you can now feel the effects of the first wave of outer bands of hurricane Ike. The still shots do not really show the movement of the vegetation but we are starting to realize that a storm is truly coming our way.

As you can see, there are a few kids riding bikes and parents watching closely but for the most part, all is quiet in Katy, TX. I will make another update within the next two hours as I expect our conditions to certainly deteriorate quickly. I will keep my updates short as I will be working off of limited battery power. I just heard that Mayor White is predicting that there will be over 125,000 homes damaged or destroyed and over $ 81 Billion dollars in damage. Many are feeling that the warnings being issued from the Homeland Security offices as well as the Hurricane Center are the most dire in decades so we must be very mindful that this will indeed be different from Rita and more recently, Gustav. 

30 p.m. 9/12/08

Katy home at 6:30 p.m. 9/12/08

I would love to hear how others are doing in the Great Houston and Galveston areas. Please keep us informed as to the storm affects in your area.

One last minute reminder to you all:

  • Fill bathtubs for extra water
  • Locate candles and matches or lighters
  • If you power is still on, charge all cell phones, laptops, Ipods, etc.
  • Locate all flashlights and batteries
  • Keep battery operated radio on for urgent messages
  • Place all important papers in safe place
  • Locate a safe place within your home that you can hide from any hurricane or tornadic debris
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Be safe and know the nation is praying for your safety

Hurricane Ike – Katy, TX updates 5:20 p.m. 9/12/08

September 12, 2008
20 p.m. 9/12/08

Lake view in Katy, TX taken at 5:20 p.m. 9/12/08

Yes, the wind is picking up but not as quickly as I had anticipated. In looking at the photos of the “lake” (okay, it is really a retention pond but we call them lakes in Katy) outside of my home, you can see the chop is minimal. I will most likely update more frequently as the conditions deteriorate. For now, gusty breeze and intermittent clouds are all we have at the moment.

Christi Borden, a Katy resident

20 p.m. 9/12/08

Sun still shining in Katy, TX 5:20 p.m. 9/12/08

Hurricane Ike – Katy Tx Update at 3:45 p.m. 9/12/08

September 12, 2008
40 p.m. 9/12/08

Street scene in Katy, TX at 3:40 p.m. 9/12/08

All is still fairly calm here in Katy, TX – a large suburb located about 20 miles west of Houston city center. We have experienced a few gusts that shook the trees but nothing yet that hints at the fury that Ike will most likely bring to our area.

Several of my neighbors are trying to decide who will have the Hurricane Party. Meanwhile, I have cleared out the large closet under my spiral stairway as our safe room should we need to get away from breaking glass and other dangers.
It was very interesting getting my kids involved in clearing out the luggage, out-of-season clothing and Christmas decorations to make room for our family of five (myself, hubby, two kids and pet). The boys (twin 17 year olds and scientific minded) could not quite grasp the necessity of having to go into this cramped space for safety, much less having to stock it with food, water, blankets, pillows in the event we get trapped there for a pro-longed period of time.
In retrospect, growing up in the Panhandle area of Texas, we were instructed by our schools on what to do in the event of a tornado. And again, when I moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and to New Orleans, I received further instruction on what to do in the event of a hurricane. I do not think my kids (having grown up in Dubai, UAE and Katy, TX) have been given the slightest hint at how to survive a natural disaster. This is something we parents should act on – but not today.
At this time, I feel we are as prepared as we can be. My safe room is ready and I hope that after the storm, my kids can look at me and say, “I told you so, Mom!”. Nothing would give me greater pleasure. But as a former Cub Scouts Den Leader, I am always prepared.
More photos to come as the weather changes. For now, sun is peeking in and out of clouds, light breeze with occasional gusts and a little sprinkle now and then . Otherwise, things are pretty darned calm in Katy, TX.
Christi Borden – Katy resident

Hurricane Ike – Katy, TX update at 1:40 p.m. 9/12/08

September 12, 2008
40 p.m. 9/12/08

Updated photo taken from Katy, TX at 1:40 p.m. 9/12/08

Still waiting for Ike to make his appearance in the West Houston region of coastal Texas. As you will see from the two photos, the skies are darker but all is still calm. We are receiving the occasional breeze but otherwise, business as usual in the area for this time of year.

I will keep posting comments and photos as the storm reach our area and Ike makes landfall. I anticipate we will lose power and possibly internect connectivity but will continue to keep you posted as long as I can.

40 p.m. 9/12/08

Katy street at 1:40 p.m. 9/12/08

Take care, say a prayer and be safe.

Christi Borden – Katy, TX resident

Hurricane Ike… is this the big one for Katy/West Houston?

September 12, 2008

Friday, 9/12/08 – 10:10 a.m. CST

As we decide to “hunker down” and ride out the storm, at the moment in Katy, TX, it is a sunny, beautiful day. However, businesses and schools are closed, gas tanks are full, water and food supplies are stocked and all we can do now is wait. A very eerie calm surrounds us in our neighborhood of Grand Lakes – which feels completely deserted. Today is our rare version of a “snow day” – so where are the children? Where is everyone? Have they all left town? Should we follow their lead?

30 a.m 9/12/08

Calm at 10:30 a.m 9/12/08

The Mayors of Houston and Galveston have issued mandatory evacuation orders for residences in low lying areas, but the Katy/West Houston area is about 45 – 60 miles from the point of landfall (wherever that may be) and our issues will most likely come from high wind and flying debris. We are fortunate to have a good, strong drainage system (hence the lakes of Grand Lakes) so we are ever hopeful that flooding will not be a major concern.

Debris could, in fact, be a big issue as we are a relatively new area and our trees do not have the deep root system that may be needed to keep them in the ground. Also, our homes (while built well) do not have hurricane clips and other construction features to prevent damage from catasrophic wind speeds. One day our building codes will have to be updated to include these items, but that is certainly a discussion for another day.

30 a.m. 9/12/08

Street scene in Katy, TX at 10:30 a.m. 9/12/08

Three years ago, we loaded up the kids and dog to evacuate for Rita and ended up stranded in the 9 hour parking lot, otherwise known as Interstate 10, on the way to Austin. Meanwhile, my neighbors who stayed behind had a few minutes of light sprinkles,a few mild gusts, no loss of power and enjoyed a lively block party in honor of those foolish enough to have left. The question we deal with now: Will we be so lucky with Ike?

As long as I have battery power and web connnection, I will keep you posted periodically throughout the storm. Please say a prayer for those along the coast as they will surely suffer the brute force of this monster. As for the rest of us,  a little prayer would be appreciated as well. Stay warm, safe and dry…

Christi Borden – Katy, TX resident

30 a.m. 9/12/08

No wind so far in my backyard in Katy, TX at 10:30 a.m. 9/12/08