Hurricaine Ike

So Ike finally came through, leaving a path of devastation from Galveston through Houston and up into more northern parts of Tx and LA. At my wife and sister-in-law’s request my in-laws, who live about 30mi east of Huntsville on the shores of Lake Livingston, Evacuated their home. No, the weather expected in that area was nothing like what was expected in Galveston or even Houston but significant wind and rain was still expected. Looking at the maps the eye of the storm passed between Huntsville and their house. Having now seen the damage in the neighborhood where they live we are all glad they finally heeded their daughters’ warnings. Yesterday, after the majority of the storm had passed we all decided to drive out to see the house.

To begin, we had to make 4 stops on the way turning a 3 hr trip into about 4.5 hrs. Our shopping list included 4 rolls of roofing felt, roofing nails, and (very specifically) a 4prong 30amp 220V plug for a generator, and ice lots of ice. On the way we found everything but the plug which apparently everyone wanted…the two home depots we stopped at were both out but expecting them in sometime soon. We began to see the effects of the Hurricane in Caldwell, where half of the city was without power; that was all that was noticeable until we got to Carlos on the other side of College Station. Carlos was also powerless. The only traffic light in the city was out. The Damage was minimal until just before Huntsville. A few downed trees, some of them having torn down a few power lines. Huntsville was eerily dark with the Prison being the only building with electricity. Huntsville had some building damage but not much that we could see. Between there and the house was where the majority of the damage was. Huge 100ft pines were snapped in half 5 in a row in some places, some large trees uprooted and landed on houses. Then we pulled into the neighborhood. Completely different feeling.

Immediately we notice trees down and Branches everywhere the news board had disappeared leaving the roof on the ground. We turn right to deliver the roofing supplies, and now we have to dodge trees lying in the road. The house we stopped at was missing the half of the roof facing the lake. They had a few leaks into the house but not much interior damage. It is here that I began to take some pictures, this is their side yard. It has the least amount of debris.

The slow drive from there to our house was littered with trees and branches scattered across the roads. Trees have fallen on houses. Trees with Huge trunks have snapped like twigs. The roofs of some houses have lost most of their shingles. Others have lost their roof or at least part of the roof.

We stopped at the house across the street to drop off the ice and hear a little about the storm. The sustained winds were as high as 85mph, with gusts of up to 130mph. The waves when they hit the bulkhead washed debris about 50ft away and splashed the houses some over 100ft away. Well, splashed isn’t quite the right word, Drenched is more appropriate, the water from the waves came in through windows. The rain came sideways and the wind pushing any crack open to allow the rain the really get in and find shelter from the storm. We then walked across to the yards closest to the lake. I haven’t seen damage like this in a long time. Every dock on the water had severe damage , IF they were still there, that is. Here are a few pictures of some of the docks, I got most of them but some of them there was nothing left to take a picture of, and pictures of water are boring.

This one you can see the upper deck is mostly intact but the lower deck in nonexistent.

This dock looks like it is mostly intact however the entire front half is missing. The section this side of the stairs used to have a roof and flooring, with a 6ft steel table for cleaning fish, plumbing, etc.

Because of the angle this one is hard to see, but this was 2 sections of dock. The closest part had a roof over that bench that you can see, that continued over to the roof that is left standing about 20-30ft.

This one lost a lot of decking. That greenish material to the left used to hold a jetski. Wonder where it went.

The greatest damage here was to the bulkhead (the wall that holds the lake out of the yard).The picture below is where the bulkhead used to be, and the 10-15ft subsequent loss of yard.

Oh here is the jetski. 40 ft away and halfway up the yard. Oh yeah and its destroyed.

And the worst damage to the docks. Wait, its not the worst damage, it’s the worst visible damage because the other dock Is completely gone. There is no wood sticking out of water at all. We only know where it was because of the steps left on the shore.

This is my in-law’s dock. This WAS my in-law’s dock. The dock was at least 100ft long if not more, you can see how much is left now.

The majority of the docks ended up as debris that floated up into the yards.

Steve & Linda (my in-laws) actually got very lucky, a little water damage to the BRAND NEW hardwood floors. They will have to be replaced, and probably the windows as well. Also to be replaced are the Curtains, some drywall, and possibly the TV and the couch because both were right in front of the window. Some of the other neighbors weren’t so lucky, a few houses down, trees had fallen on houses and power lines. Boats were destroyed as well, one was in the dock’s lift but just wasn’t lifted high enough. Below are just a few of the many pictures it took to get the whole boat.

The seats for this pontoon were on the ramp 3 houses down from where the boat belongs.

The pontoons were found across the ramp from the seats.

The Fuel tank was found 4 boatramps down from the pontoons and seats. (also part of Steve's dock).

Then the BRAND NEW ski boat (purchased May ’08) parked at the end of the street (out of the lake) ended up a victim of tree on boat violence.

So That is about it for the major stuff. Here is the link to the photobucket album. Now remember this is one neighborhood about 1.5-2 hours north of Houston. So I cant possibly imagine all the damage closer to the coast. Please remember to keep the residents of the affected coastal areas in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the brave rescuers who at climbing through the water and debris to help others.

Peace

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