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?
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.
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