Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ike and the 6-Pack

First of all I want to thank everyone for your care and concern before and after the unfortunate landfall of Hurricane Ike. Your kind thoughts and prayers were appreciated more than I can even try to convey.

We evacuated to Uvalde on Thursday before the storm. The water was already on our fishing dock when the storm was still 200 miles out, so saw we had a problem brewing.

We decided to take only the one car. We were concerned about the traffic and gas shortage that the Rita evacuation had caused. We loaded the 6-pack into carriers and headed out. Rafe sang with Jimmy Buffet most of the 7 hour drive, so we were not without entertainment.

We got settled and like everyone else watched the giant storm slowly make it's way to across the Gulf Coast. Rafe and Rhett were happy to be at Gramma's house. RicoDammitt who is always up for an adventure, made his own fun.
Rafe relaxes after the long trip

Saywer and Charlie waited for nightfall to check everything out.
Kate hid in the closet.

After Ike came through, we started getting reports on local message boards and such that our neighborhood got hit pretty hard. We found out we were to be allowed to return on Tuesday, but not knowing what we would find hesitated driving back with 6 cats. One of my co-workers generously offered to house them in an empty bedroom she has so with the 6 pack loaded up we headed back.

The drive back was much shorter, but the lines for gas were long. We were (sort of) glad we only brought the one car. Rafe sang with Laura Fygi for awhile, then took a long nap.

Once we got back to Houston, we dropped off the cats. The room they were assigned to was completely empty. This seemed like the perfect solution. About 10 minutes after we left my friend called to say they had opened the closet and popped her exercise ball. Only MY cats can cause damage in 10 minutes in an empty room....lol.
At least that closet gave Kate had a place to hide, and she did!

The Gulf freeway was closed, but we found we could get entry with ID by traveling down hwy 6. The closer we got to home, the worse it looked. Snapped power poles, trashed vehicles and torn up roofs littered the landscape. We had to wait in line at the check point and the anticipation almost did me in. Coming up to our turn, we start seeing the real carnage. There were boats, jet skis, refrigerators, trees, decks, stairs, and God knows what all strewn throughout the neighborhood. It looked like a war zone. There was even a house floating in the canal.

Finally we got to our house and it was still standing!!!!

We walked around the back first. The debris is unreal.

On the corner...2 boats AND a jet ski!

My neighbors get boats, I get mail boxes...not fair!

The fence is bent, but still standing. The dock and bulkhead are intact. The screens are blown out of the porch but the structure and even the stairs are also intact.

The truck and AC unit took a lot of water, but are not blown away.
We are blessed.

Then we go inside.. YUCK.
The water line is just over 3 feet, much less than some our neighbors have reported but 3 feet is enough to trash the entire first floor.
The water line

Fridge dumped, beer opener/magnet OK!!

Bathroom trashed, but cat poop floats.
The litter is dry!

Upstairs is exactly how we left it. We are blessed, but can not stay here. There is no electric or sewer. The stench is unreal. The police are only allowing look and leave by 6pm for now.

John's employer offered us a vacant apartment he owns. We are blessed yet again. This place is only a few miles from the house. The power is on. We loaded up the 6 pack and brought them over. 5 cats had a good time exploring. Kate hid in the closet.

The next day we got far enough in the house that we can bring home the cats, but had to keep them in the office until we can cover the stairwell. I can't let them down where we are spraying Clorox and such. Surprisingly they seemed satisfied hanging out in there. Rico took his usual place on my desk and seemed confused as to why we were not working. The others sat in the window or snoozed in cat beds except Kate, who hid in the closet.

Yesterday we got a welcome delivery...Port-O-Potties!

We also got the stairwell covered so the cats can now move around again.
No place like Paw's lap!

NoRhett is determined to defeat that tarp so he can see what is down there. What is that they say about curiosity?
They seem happier and Kate has moved from the office closet to under the bed.
Now THAT's progress!

More later.....PJ:)

The Carnival of Cats is up and running over at Chey's Place


Hootin' Anni said...

Poor, poor Kate!!! You have some cool nicknames for your 6 pack all right...now you'll have to call Kate, ClosetKate. Poor thing.

I'm just still so happy to know that your home was still standing when you finally reached it! I know...I KNOW just how the anxieties started building up the closer you got to home.

I was so pleased to hear you on the phone too, it was like a 'miracle' that you sounded so upbeat! Hang in there...it'll get tough before it gets better....just glad you're home!!!!!

Will check back later to view the photos if Blogger will cooperated with you.

I have a question on the board under your comment too, when you have time and if you have battery enough for your laptop. :o)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this message! I've been thinking of you and your family every day, and praying for good news. What a relief to hear that the house is still standing, and that you and the "six pack" are already home. I'm sure the cleanup will take a long time, but things could be so much worse. Do send updates (pictures?) when you can. I'm sure we'll all be patient, since you have a lot of other things to do too!

Barbara from California

Omnibus Driver said...

So glad to hear you're safe and well! Big hugs to you and yours, okay?

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

So glad things are better than expected.Driving through the damage toward home must have been scary.

You have been blessed indeed.
We are so happy Kate is doing better!

Melli said...

PJ... I just LOVE your attitude! I look at these pictures and think I would just CRY... but I pray I would get over it quickly and have YOUR attitude! You ARE blessed! God has given you strength and a sense of humor that will GET you through this!!! (((Hugs girlfriend!))) I'm still prayin!

Marilynn said...

I have heard many people say that the farther south a person drives from Spring through Houston to Galveston, the worse the damage is. I cannot imagine what you are all going through, but I send my prayers and good vibes and kitty purrs your way.


(and Grace & Company, too)

Jan's Funny Farm said...

This is funny the way it is written. We know the reality isn't actually fun.A good job under such trying circumstances.

We are glad you are all safe and your house is not destroyed.

We don't think we've met you before. We assume the 6-pack is code for 6 cats. If so, we're a 6-pack too.

Jettie said...

gosh for awful!!! i would be sobbing!! it is unreal!!
And all with 6 cats!!! wowo!!
I was sent over from Anne!

PEA said...

I'm a friend of Anni's and I have had you in my prayers. I can't even imagine what it was like to go back to your home, not knowing if it would even still be there!! I'm glad that it was and although there's damage, at least it all can be replaced:-) Love your attitude...it will help get your through this. The kitties sound like quite the characters! lol xox

Gattina said...

I came over from Anni's. Hurricans I only know from TV because in Belgium where I live we don't have them. But it is different when you look at the pictures and read a personal report than that what the newspapers report. I admire your humour and courrage, I don't know how I would have acted in such an extreme situation and that with 6 cats ! I have five and just imagine they had to live such an event !
I sincerely hope that everything comes back to normal quickly !
One thing is proved by now ! Cat poop floats in any circumstances !

storyteller said...

I came over from Anni’s … have been praying for you (and all affected) … am relieved for you that things aren’t as bad as they might have been. I’m sure your optimistic attitude and sense of humor will serve you and others well in the recovery process.
Hugs and blessings,

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Hi PJ, I am visiting you over from Anni's site..I live on the southeast coast and can't image what you are going through after Ike..We have been blessed without a direct hit from a hurricane in years..There is always a brighter day after the storm. I have prayed and thought of you often.. may you continue to recover and get back to normal..
Hugs, Baba

Mary said...

Just dropping over from Anni's and am glad that your house was still standing after Ike went through. What devastation some people faced. Our news said some homes in your area were completely gone and I can't imagine that house floating in the canal.

Take care. I will continue to pray for you and John, as well as others in your neighborhood.


Hootin' Anni said...

Hi again P J...
I just adore these people who came from my blog link I left...they're all such super people.

Don't work too hard now, take some time to breathe,---------thinking about you daily.

siteseer said...

I can't image what you've been through. Good luck with returning to normalacy. My prayers are with you.

Flip Flop Floozie said...

Hi!! I also am over from Anni's site!! I have you on my blog so that people can pray for you. It is nice to see these pictures as it makes it more understandable. We live in Savannah, Ga and were not sure where these past hurricanes were going. I am also happy about your attitude because that is what you need to get through all of this..Sandy

Betty said...

Oh my goodness, such destruction. I'm so sorry you are having to go through all this ruin. Will keep praying for you.

Oh, Anni sent me.

Talk..to..Grams said...

Bless your heart! I too am here from Anni's. I will keep on praying for you all. I am so glad you had a house to come home to. Grams

Anonymous said...

What a mess!!

*shaking head in disbelief*

Praying for you guys!


Lynx217 said...

Sorry I haven't been out and about as much, but I'm so glad you are ok! Hopefully you'll be back to normal soon!

Lynx217 (passing by LOL)

Gandalf and Grayson said...

We came over from Chey's Place. We are glad you are safe. We love your attitude! You really know what's impawtant!