My family and I survived Hurricane Ike just fine. Although not an intense hurricane (it came ashore as a category 2), the enormity of the storm was something to behold. In The Woodlands, which is about 30 miles north of downtown Houston, we were buffeted by hurricane and tropical storm winds and torrential rain for over 12 hours. Such a lengthy period of high winds and heavy rain is extremely unusual for even a strong hurricane.
The damage in The Woodlands is not as bad as most of the rest of the Houston area — mostly just downed trees, some of which damaged houses. However, as many of you outside of the Houston area have seen on television (virtually no one in the Houston area has power, so no television here), the devastation around the Houston area — particularly those areas close to the coast — is devastating. My sense is that at least a quarter million people in the metro area do not have a livable home to return to.
Almost every area of Houston has no power. Cell phone networks are overloaded, so cell phone access via either telephone or computer is spotty, at best. No one has a clue of when power will be restored, but the initial estimates are not particularly encouraging.
Inasmuch as I have quite a few arrangements to make over the next several days for my family members and clients, blogging will probably be light or non-existent until some sense of normalcy returns. I very much appreciate everyone who has emailed and phoned to check in on me today. Please understand if it takes awhile for me to get back to you.
Houstonians reacted remarkably in the face of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. Now, it is time for a re-run of that effort. For all of you around country and the world who check in from time to time on this little corner of the blogosphere, any help and prayer that you can provide will be much appreciated.