I have been asked by a few people how my family has fared during Hurricane Ike. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful and concerned everyone gets when something potentially disastrous is coming to town nor how wonderful everyone gets afterwards when they start to pick up the pieces. I would like you to know that my family has done just fine with this hurricane outside of losing a little power - both in Houston and Louisiana.
For those of you who know my family well, you will be happy to know that the bbq was up and going and Hurricane Ike was celebrated with a nice bbq brisket and probably some other meat too. For those of you who do not know my family, let us reminisce back to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita....
As you may remember, Hurricane Katrina sent masses from New Orleans to other states and cities in case something drastic was to happen. Indeed the amount of destruction wound up being large as the levees that hold out the storm failed in parts of the city and the pump system that pumped water out stalled as well - a huge problem since this beloved city lies below sea level. About 2000 people would lose their lives and others would lose their homes, their pets, other property, and many are still missing probably presumed dead. Most of my family from New Orleans left for this and went to nearby cities, or over to Houston where I lived. One of these being my grandmother.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and the destruction mentioned happened. Without much time to recover, and no one being allowed back in New Orleans, a new Hurricane built up and started coming towards Houston. Houston at this time was housing many of the refugees from Hurricane Katrina. It would turn out that Hurricane Rita would not hit Houston directly, but that was not known at the time. For the record, while Rita did very little damage to Houston, it did cause damage along the Texas/Louisiana border.
Now, that is background... here is my family hours before Hurricane Rita is supposed to hit Houston or near it.... We had our swimsuits on - all of us, including my grandmother! - were out in the pool swimming and playing with the dog. We had the bbq going and the radio playing. (Who's thinking this isn't so smart? - We agree! We actually made that comment. However, it had not even started raining yet.)
I am very grateful that my family lives where it does in Houston. We are on the Northwest side of the city and because of that, have much less to fear from these Hurricanes. It does not mean we are impenetrable from them, just less likely to have the floods and have the damage to the same extent. When 1 million people were asked to leave Houston, I knew that my family would be part of the 3 million asked to stay. Knowing this though does not quite quell the worry until the storm has passed. I am also grateful that Hurricane Ike was not as bad as had been predicted.