On the odd chance, I called my mom at her 77062 home phone this morning. She had returned.
Her circumstances had changed since my last call to her on Saturday morning, when she did not have power. When she left her motel this Sunday morning it had food and air conditioning. Her home does not. I asked her why she left the motel. She said “You know after three days its time to come home.”
Some of the shingles and some of the front panels to her house have been torn off. Many of the houses in her neighborhood are in worse shape.
My brother doesn’t have air conditioning or power either.
When my sister opened her garage door her two cats were both sitting in camper chairs, just waiting for a moment like this.
My sister’s house was fine except for the backyard (see picture). The big old tree in her backyard was all but uprooted. Right on Ike! There are trees and tree branches all over the place back there. In the front trees are uprooted, split in half and the sidewalk concrete once surrounding them is all crumbled and scattered.
She said there are lines of people with carts waiting outside grocery stores to buy ice. So many people do not have power so they are buying ice. She has never seen lines coming out of a grocery store like that. Ike played around with one of the pumps at the local gas station so it is unusuable. There are incredible lines at the gas pumps.
One of Ike’s specialties is tree pruning and he left behind a huge mess of branches, leaves and tree trunks with roots behind.
My sister has power. She also has two cats and a dog and wild racoons coming in and out of the cat door of her home. My mom would rather stay at her home and hunker down in the no power zone than jive on the wild side with my sister’s crew. Oh well, give her a day, she’ll come around.
My mom said the ride back home was through amazing devastation with houses all torn up and trees uprooted. That apartment complex where the mayor and councilman had encouraged three busloads of people to evacuate? It is nothing but a heap of toothpicks.
My mom corrected me about Hurricane Rita. She claims the City of Houston and State of Texas did not make evacuation mandatory for her area back then. They just said they advised evacuation. She said that this time for Ike they said you have to get out. Well both were mandatory evacuations; maybe they were just communicated differently.
Of note, my nephew’s grandparents lost their home in Bolivar and they’ll not be going back. They’ll relocate to Austin. Bolivar and Crystal Island are mostly gone.
Yes sir, my brother has lived to tell his grandchildren that he was in the eye of Ike.
And in a way my mom finally got a vacation.