So much for our quiet, uneventful summer! Yep, Ike certainly made sure that we would not be bored.
As our town, Seabrook, is waterfront and most definitely in a flood plain we were in a mandatory evacuation zone. However, after hearing everyone's horror stories about being stuck on the interstate for hours whilst trying to evacuate for Rita we decided we were not going to put us or the furkids through that. Besides, I've lived nearly all my life in Florida and the Carolinas so I have been through many a hurricane. I told Richard that unless it was Wrath-Of-God Category 5 I would be staying put. As he had never been through one before, he deferred to my judgement. Poor guy.
As I'm sure everyone knows, Ike was a strong category 2, just under a 3 but he certainly managed to do his fair share of damage. We lost power fairly early Friday evening so we listened to the radio to hear updates as Ike landed. About 2am the eyewall came over us. We also heard that familiar "freight train" sound as a tornado passed over our house and toppled the chimney on our neighbor's house and then downed a tree.
We were very lucky about flooding. We live on Taylor Lake which had an 8 foot storm surge. The water came up our lawn and crested about 2 feet from our door. We are very thankful that we all came out unscathed. Our house is a bit battered but that can all be sorted out by roofers, carpenters and plumbers. The most important thing is that we are alive and well.
After the waters subsided we took a walk through our neighborhood to see the local damage for ourselves. We talked to one neighbor who showed us a tree in his front yard with a nail sticking out of it - turns out the nail was blown into the tree during the high winds! Just a few inches to either side and it would've ended up in his living room window! Scary.
We also saw several buildings with heavy roof damage. This is a local shop that lost it's entire roof.
We spent a week without power but it's impossible to complain really when you realize that some people lost everything. So now the cleanup and rebuilding begins.
I've seen this before. It's a slow, painful process. Months from now we will still see homes not rebuilt and ugly scars on the landscape. But I know the people will bounce back and in time this will be a memory. People are resilient.