Sat, 13 September 2008
Well, I went to sleep last night around 11pm and thought I might not even wake up when Ike came through. Boy, was I wrong! I woke up around 5am with no power and the sound of cyclonic winds hitting my apartment. I've never been through a tornado but the winds were so strong and so loud that I quickly got all of my stuff like flashlights, radio, and batteries into the bathroom. I called my brother and mother and learned that this had been going on since around 2am, so it was nothing new to them. So when I figured out I wasn't going to die right at that moment I felt a little relief. But not much. I laid down on the floor away from the window (which I had barricaded with boxes of books) and tried to get some rest. But it's kinda hard when you're listening to a radio which is declaring that your city hasn't even seen the worst of the storm yet.
It was pretty harrowing to sit in the dark and hear just all kinds of weird and unsettling noises like trees splitting, windows shattering, and then you hear the weird ghost sound of something rolling back and forth on top of your roof. And this wasn't a flat roof either. It was sloped and something kept rolling back and forth, back and forth. Who the hell knows what it was. I don't really say "I'm scared" but early this morning I have to admit I was. The last hurricane that hit Houston full blast occurred back in 1983 and I was here for it, but I was a kid and I didn't remember much about it. The really scary thing is that Ike was only a Category 2 storm. I can't even comprehend the damage it would have done if it was a Category 5.
With the sunrise, you could really get a sense of the devastation of the storm. My apartment was fine (I had a little water drip from the ceiling), except no power and no running water. But some of the other apartments in my complex suffered a lot of damage. Chimneys had fallen over, entire walls had been ripped off, windows had been shattered. The worst damage was to the roofs. The parking lots and walkways are covered with shingles that blew off during the night. I think the last estimate was something like 3 or 4 million people had no power in the Houston area. Cities closer to the coast suffered even more severe damage.
Now I'm at my mom's place. She's the only one among my friends and family that has power and running water. And I've talked to many people in different areas of the city. My workplace has been closed since Friday and is also going to be shut down on Monday. Who knows when I'll get power and water back. But you know what? I count myself lucky. Because a lot of people have lost houses, cars, valuables, and sometimes even their lives. What is my minor inconvenience compared to that?
I did manage to read a little manga today on my patio. It kinda helped my get my mind off things. So hopefully, I'll be posting a review later on tonight. Text only, mind you. I didn't bring my microphone.