Hurricane Ike made landfall with category 2 wind speeds and a category 4 storm surge. We live nearly 100 miles inland and the winds were still howling at speeds of a category 1 with gusts up to category 2 when it arrived at our home. The damage from falling trees in our area devastated many homes. Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula, and Chambers County have been completely destroyed. The devastation down south is as bad as the hurricane of 1900. Because of modern weather technology and radio combined with television, tens of thousands were able to evacuate, thus saving lives, unlike the 1900 hurricane where no one knew it was coming.
We personally lost 5 trees, 4 behind the barn and chicken coop and our beloved 60+ year old pecan tree that shaded our front yard and house. God's hand of protection was certainly upon us when the pecan tree went down. It stood about 10 ft. away from our boy's bedroom and it fell toward the road. Our rabbit hutches were mangled and crushed by the falling trees, fortunately we are/were not raising rabbits as this time. The winds blew three roof panels off our barn and some of the siding off our house. We are so blessed that we don't have any significant damage, just a bunch of clean up. Psalm 91:9-10, "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy inhabitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
Part of our barn and chicken coop are behind all these tree tops. Aside from a temporary reduction in eggs, our chickens fared very well. Here's a photo of the damage to our rabbit hutches and dog house. Again, we are/were not raising rabbits at this time, and we didn't loose any of our animals.
Only three roof panels were lost on the barn. Fortunately, no one was standing in front of these flying panels as they were stuck into the ground as if they were spears thrown by a giant.
Missing siding from our house. Interesting that every time we decide to do a home improvement project we discover that our 65+ year old home was actually built out of what appears to be scrap and/or left over material from other building projects. The loss of siding isn't as terrible as some may think. Because of this we've discovered that the lower 3' x 3' corner of the house has rotten wood that needs to be replaced. As soon as our local hardware store gets a new materials shipment, Mr. B will repair all this, many hardware store shelves are currently bare.
I don't know what sort of news reports the rest of our nation is receiving with regard to Hurricane Ike, but if y'alls local news is anything like ours, they are most likely doing their best to report every negative story they can dig up. Therefore, I will share some of the "good news" we've been witnessing through all this.
~ Neighbors helping neighbors without having to be asked.
~ Families spending good, solid quality time together talking and playing because of the loss of computers, cell phones, video games, cable television, temporary closing of schools and businesses.
~ A cold front! Yes, our Lord sent us cool weather after this storm which is extremely unusual. The temperatures generally rise up to or over 100 degrees after a hurricane and no a/c or fans because of no electricity makes it unbearable. We've had evenings in the low 60's and daytime highs in the low 80's combined with low humidity - so refreshing, we wish it was like this all summer long!
~ Federal, state and local officials effectively working together so distribution of aid could begin less than 24 hours after the storm. Everyone living in the Gulf Coast area is consistently told to stock up with at least of 3 days water, non-perishable foods, and fuel because it generally takes a MINIMUM of 3 days to get aid to devastated areas.
~ Minimum amounts of flooding in the inland areas. The hardest hit inland areas received only 8-10 inches of rain. Yes, that's quite a bit for most folks, but it's a small amount for a storm of this size.
~ Our old church was selected as a point of distribution (POD) for ice, water and emergency meals. The positive comments from the National Guard and other volunteers from around the nation was wonderful. My source tells me that Texans received so many compliments because of their hard work, community spirit, and generosity even though they were personally experiencing losses of property and/or income.
~Our state has been blessed by thousands of aid relief workers and restoration personnel from all over the U.S. and Canada coming to help us. It has truly been a blessing to welcome all these folks. We appreciate everything they have done and are doing to help us get on the road to recovery.
John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."