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Hurricane Ike two weeks and two days later


Today I am enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee in my living room while reading my email. Yesterday I cleared out brush in my yard and mowed the lawn at the shop. We enjoyed a meal of rice and crawfish tail stir fried with fresh celery and onion. Our bed was made with nicely laundered and dried sheets. And later this morning, we will go to visit one of my husband’s brothers in northern East Texas. I have a few days off, a welcome respite from the pace of the past two weeks. Life for me is sort of normal.

 

I still have the insurance adjustor to deal with as do my two sons. I still have to find someone to repair the roof—a daunting task with a historic district house and a tile roof. The streets are lined with piles of tree limbs and vegetation and privacy fences are propped up. Blue roofs have appeared again; some of them covering the Rita damage. Crews are still out with bucket trucks repairing and replacing phone lines and street lights. There are still a few traffic signals that are non-functional requiring a four way stop.

 

It doesn’t seem as bad this time—although small towns near me are totally devastated. Perhaps it is because the roof damage is on the back of the house—I cannot see it when I drive into my driveway. Perhaps it is because I’ve done it before and know what to expect. Or perhaps it is because my losses seem miniscule in comparison to others.

 

My dear husband suggested I do a series of pieces based on Hurricane Ike. I’ve put together a list and hopefully can begin working this next week—in between more cleanup and regular life. I won’t disclose here my list of images but I thought I might include a listing of impressions.

 

·        the incredible business-like attitude of the local media and weather forecasters at the Television stations during the days preceding Ike.

·        Horizontal rain and wind so strong I could not open my front door.

·        Generators for the St. E hospital were on two 18 wheelers and used a tanker truck as their fuel tank.

·        The overall good humor of the hospital staff as they worked 14 to 18 hour shifts; sleeping in makeshift dormitories; showering in cold water while trying to convince them-selves it was warm.

·        The unrealistic requests for medical services.( a MRI for three year old shoulder pain in  a hospital that had no CAT scan—it got wet and had to be dried out!)

·        Truck loads of transformers.

·        Rows of porta-potties and washer-driers for the power workers.

·        The good humor of the power workers who patiently put the electrical system back together.

·        The tap water was salty—not gator-ade salty but gargle with salt water- salty

·        A lone snowy egret standing on the sidewalk of Seventh Street looking totally confused and lost.

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