Hurricane Ike was the most devastating storm to hit Galveston in 108 years. The hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900 was the largest natural disaster in the history of the U.S. It could have been as bad this time, also, if it wasn't for the seawall that was built after the 1900 storm. I thought I would write down a little about our experience so far.
Last Thursday, we heard that Ike turned toward us and was huge. We wanted to start evacuating and the kids' schools had cancelled all classes for the next day, but both Richard and I were told to be into work the next day as usual. On Friday, I went in and was sent home a half-hour later. Richard's meetings were cancelled. We started getting ready to head out. We packed four days worth of clothes and our toiletries. We packed the most expensive foods from the freezer to bring with us. I moved my guitar, Lila's dollhouse, our boxes of childhood things and pictures, our clarinets, and some other things off the floor and away from windows. We also took water, extra flashlights, cash, our computer, and our file box of important papers.
It took us eight hours to drive to San Antonio, which would usually be a four-hour drive on a good day. We felt like we were coming home, and were so glad to see our friends. The Loveridges took us in and said we can stay as long as we need to. They have a beautiful, large house, and made us feel comfortable. They have four kids who are tons of fun and John and Lila are in heaven, being with them. We were surprised when we found out what a hit Galveston took. We are anxious to see our apartment and to try to save what we can, but so far, we can't get on the island. The officials tried opening it up to residents during the daytime to "look and leave" today, but it was too chaotic, so they changed their minds and we don't know when our next chance will be. I think the fridge will be a toxic mess (I wish we had cleaned it out more) and I also remembered some family albums that were near the floor that I hadn't moved. I also forgot to grab our 72-hour kit. I hope all our furniture won't be totally ruined. The more we hear, it sounds like we probably got flooded with a few feet of water, and it will be a couple weeks to a month before the island is "inhabitable". The WIC office I work for is closed indefinitely and Rich's residency doesn't know when to expect the hospital to be up and going again. For now, they set him up with a month-long hospital rotation here in SA, which may start in a week or so.
It's dizzying, all these unexpected twists and turns we've had. It's been about a year since our life has been thrown up in the air. I guess we're STILL waiting for it to come back down. On the other hand, I am really enjoying the moments and the adventure it all is. I feel I can do this because I know my family and I are anchored in the gospel and supported by awesome family and friends. I know that God has blessed us and has great things in store for us.