"Like A Hurricane" - Neil Young, 1977
Sorry for being quiet the last few days. I had a stressful time from Tuesday through Thursday, and I guess it took its toll on me on Friday and Saturday. I'm feeling a bit better now, but I really won't feel completely well again until I'm sure that all of my Houston-area friends are all right.
You see, Ike came visiting the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday. That's my adopted home. Although not born in Texas, I spent more than half my life in Houston. And there are a lot of people I love living in the communities around Houston.
Incredibly, John and I were able to keep a connection with what was happening in and around Houston for 36+ hours thanks to KHOU's internet coverage. I'm sure we've seen much more of the coverage than our friends have, as Houstonians lost power in the midst of Ike.
I managed to get several of my friends on the phone today. I haven't yet reached my best friend Claudia, but she has two big, strong sons to help her should she have had any problems. I'll feel better once I've spoken with her, though.
Let me show you what has happened to a terrific part of the world...
Any of you who have ever walked down Seawall Boulevard in Galveston, this is what it looks like there today. Had Ike been stronger, I'm not sure there would be much of Galveston left - the island took a direct hit in the early hours of Saturday.
And this is what has happened to many of Houston's lovely trees. So far, none of my friends had trees crash into their houses.
I hope my friends get their electrical power back soon. I went through Hurricane Alicia in Houston back in 1983, and I remember how dreadful it is to live there for a week without any air-conditioning, refrigeration, etc.
PS Interesting - I've just received an email update from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office which reads as follows:
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and Natural Disasters section (Hurricane Ike). We now advise against all but essential travel to Houston, Dallas and southern and eastern Texas and western Louisiana.
UPDATE: Monday morning 15 September - I've had an email from one of Claudia's sons, and she and all of her family are ok. No power, some minor damage to the area around their homes, but otherwise ok. That's really great news!