It's Gonna Work Out Fine, right? September 15, 2008 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Costal Texas MeFites, how are you?

I searched, and haven't found any MetaFilter updates since Sunday. Roll call: how is everyone? zerobyproxy? beowulf573? delmoi, how is your relocated friend?
posted by sadiehawkinstein to MetaFilter-Related at 1:30 PM (31 comments total)

WolfDaddy is alive and posting pictures.
posted by ColdChef at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2008

Count me in as curious too. I've heard surprisingly little information coming out of Texas after the storm, especially considering the amount of people I know there. The mainstream news, shockingly, has little to report after their Saturday "OMG! Storm Aftermath!" coverage, similar to the "coverage" that Gustav received.

Sounds and looks like it was a rain/wind event for most of Houston, and I imagine a lot are without power, hence the lack of updates. My in-laws in Houston are not expecting to have power back for another 2-3 days. Not sure about the others I know in the area, but I imagine they will have similar estimates.

WolfDaddy looks like he's doing well. It's amazing to see intact trees peeled from the ground.
posted by rand at 2:14 PM on September 15, 2008

We left Houston after the storm and came to Austin, land of AC and water pressure.

Houston: very little electricity, even less internet access or cable. Phones are working more reliably every day and the water pressure is almost back to normal. The Chronicle has some nice features, including a "Power's On" blog for those of us waiting to see when we can return home.

My hometowns, Beaumont and Bolivar, are gobsmacked.

We are hearing that Bolivar has a very high number of mortalities and all media is being kept away from two major sites: a place called The Big Store and Crenshaw Elementary. Bolivar residents were not in a mandatory evacuation situation until after the storm surge already hit, so those who were waiting to be told to leave could not get out. (There are only two ways off the island: a ferry and highway 87 - 87 was underwater and the ferry had stopped running.) I've been following Bolivar rumors on Twitter and Digital Journal.
posted by pomegranate at 2:55 PM on September 15, 2008

You guys should look at this thread, zerobyproxy was posting some live updates from the Texas emergency operations center.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:27 PM on September 15, 2008

I live in Austin (welcome, evacuees! Come to the meetup at Dog and Duck this Thursday at 7:00!).

It's interesting to note that, although we're less than 200 miles inland, we got no weather to speak of out of Ike. 5 minutes of rain and some stiff breezes.

A friend's mother came up from her home in Houston. She could be here for quite a while, as city officials are saying it might take a solid month to return power to all homes. My friend is not entirely psyched at the prospect of keeping her mother entertained for a month. Another friend's mother is staying put in Houston, despite the lack of power, because she's worried about looters.

Amber Alert signboards along the expressway last night were displaying DO NOT DRIVE TO HOUSTON OR BEAUMONT.
posted by adamrice at 5:35 PM on September 15, 2008

Native Beaumonter here, though living in the Northeast now. Today I was looking at pics of Crystal Beach, where we used to spend a couple weeks every summer when my grandfather bartered for a beach cabin. It looks pretty much....gone. I'm so sorry to see another violent hurricane hitting the Gulf South. Best wishes to you all.
posted by Miko at 5:56 PM on September 15, 2008

I know of three families who returned to Houston/Clear Lake yesterday/today after hearing the news that their power was turned back on. I've also heard of others in Houston getting their power back. Hopefully that is a good sign.
posted by collocation at 6:42 PM on September 15, 2008

Hey Texas, my thoughts are with you. If anyone needs anything please let me know, I might not have it, but I bet I can find it.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:12 PM on September 15, 2008

Aww, the Dog and Duck is still there?

Many happy evenings.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:13 PM on September 15, 2008

Stunning video of Crystal Beach/Bolivar Peninsula.
posted by pomegranate at 7:14 PM on September 15, 2008

I'm two blocks over from pomegranate. The opposite side of the street has power; our side is still out (and there's still a tree on the lines at the end of the block). Water pressure is fine (and thank goodness for gas hot water heaters); I'm currently living off a generator.

Hoping that power gets restored before I run out of gas in the next 2-3 days; otherwise I hope that the gas station supply "crisis" gets resolved before I have to go wait more than an hour in line to fill cans.

I'm really grateful for the cold front that is currently upon us.
posted by mrbill at 7:16 PM on September 15, 2008

I've chatted via Facebook with MeFite chrisamiller a few times throughout Ike and he's been dutifully updating via Twitter and posting some pretty incredible photos... He might be along soon enough to tell you about it himself.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 7:33 PM on September 15, 2008

Any news from Orange? We have a friend who evacuated from Seabrook to Orange, but it doesn't sound like Orange is in much better shape.
posted by lukemeister at 7:53 PM on September 15, 2008

Here are some pics of Orange, complete with bonus pic of our moronic governor.

My guess is your friend is doing okay, but is uncomfortable, just like most other Southeast Texans.
posted by pomegranate at 8:30 PM on September 15, 2008

I feel incredibly grateful to live in Dallas right now; we had bad weather Saturday, but no big deal. My cousins who own a home in Port Arthur (and a boat) lost everything there; lucky for them, they had another home up here in Ft. Worth.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:51 PM on September 15, 2008

Thanks, pomegranate! I'm glad to see Hurricane Ike slows down prep football in the Orange Leader. That's the Texas I remember!
posted by lukemeister at 9:19 PM on September 15, 2008

That shabby building next to the Dog and Duck? It was my first non-dorm home in Austin. Second floor, second set of windows from the right, if you're looking at the southwest corner of the building. That was me. That was almost 20 years ago. Jesus.

I hated the Dog and Duck then. (Drums and bagpipes on alternate Fridays.) I love it now. (Two thousand miles away. Cheese fries, Guinness, Heaven.)

Best to all y'all who weathered the weather.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:44 PM on September 15, 2008

The latest Big Picture on the Boston Globe site is 28 photos related to Hurricane Ike.
posted by lukemeister at 6:55 AM on September 16, 2008

Houston? Yep, still here. Okay, Atascocita really (northeast). I've got power after less than 24 hours of outage. Had the kid mow the lawn today. Except for the huge piles of limb debris lining the road, it'd be almost difficult to know we had a hurricane come through (the eye, even).

It's enough to make one feel guilty for what those further south are going through (and I've seen enough flood to have some idea what they're seeing and smelling and living). Well, almost. Then I crank the A/C again, and enjoy.

Hosting lots of folks without power, and sharing blocks of ice from the freezer, sending self and kids out on work parties to clean up. Not yet close to having to endure gas lines. Do I make it up to purgatory yet? Cell phone and blackberry pretty much useless at home, but good signal at work.

Cool front is very welcome (60s or high 50s at night, which is very unseasonal).
posted by LoraxGuy at 6:24 PM on September 16, 2008're a good person....
posted by HuronBob at 6:40 PM on September 16, 2008

I'm up in the Woodlands and we just got power back this afternoon after only 4 days. We had some downed trees, some fences blown away, and tons of debris all over the place, but made through it okay. The eye passed directly over us.

Entergy was telling us that it would be 2 to 4 weeks at the earliest that we'd get power back, and yet here we are. Grocery stores are running on emergency lights & selling non perishables. I've been to 2 and both had plenty of water and food. Thinking back to Rita, there was nothing on the shelves, even as far north as College Station. Glad it's not panic mode this time. Miraculously it's been cool enough that AC isn't necessary and sleeping with the windows open at night is quite nice.

For people not in this area, can you tell me whether coverage of Ike has reached you at all? I understand that no one cares about hurricanes as much as people on the gulf coast do, but I would have thought a few of our out of town friends would have checked in on us via text message at least. My mom suggested that maybe it just wasn't on the media's radar. In the days leading up to Ike, there was very little to be found on CNN, etc, about it despite Houston being the 4th largest city in the US. Have the media dropped us? Or do my friends suck?
posted by jschu at 7:56 PM on September 16, 2008

hey jschu - i think the answer is that your friends kind of suck, but not totally.

from what i've seen, media hasn't dropped you, but the storm is definitely relegated to just part of the regular newscast. part of the problem (i think) is that not only has media coverage reached lots of folks, but the storm itself did, too: ike kept on pounding people as it made it's way north. at least ohio, indiana, illinois, pennsylvania, and kentucky had flooding (some massive) and widespread power outages. i know the outlying areas of new orleans & the louisiana coast flooded again, and people who got minimal damage from gustav had ike come along and shake loose what gustav had started.

i don't know where your friends are, but it could very well be the 'pants on fire' syndrome: my pant leg is on fire, your pant leg is on fire, i feel sorry for you but i'm going to put out my pant leg first.

for those of us with pant legs intact, (and probably especially those of us who've lived though something similar), we're still very interested in knowing what's going on & knowing what we can do to help. i'm sure i don't just speak for myself when i say i hope that y'all keep posting updates here.
posted by msconduct at 5:37 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Near-Central Houston here -- got power back on Sunday, just got phone/internet back this morning. HELLO, INTERNET! There are trees down everywhere. It's scary trying to go places, there are no traffic lights on and people are driving like dumbasses (hello, Houston,) and it's so dark at night, so many people don't have power. You can see a lot more stars than usual and I can't remember the last time the air was this clean and fresh. But I understand it's all coming back, little by little. I saw an airplane this morning, haven't seen one of those since last week. We went to a grocery store on Monday that had fresh produce and meat, it was miraculous to see it. It's strange getting caught up on non-local news, I had no idea about the AIG thing or David Foster Wallace.
posted by runtina at 9:13 AM on September 17, 2008

I'm in Houston (inside the loop) and things aren't too bad here. We just got power back this afternoon, after 4 days, 10 hours without. Lots of downed trees and mild structural damage in this area, but we were spared the worst of it.

Still lots of people without power, and gas is hard to find, mainly because many gas stations don't have power. It's getting better though, and many people were back to work today.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2008

Still no power back on my side of the street in 77063, but I'm borrowing from my across-the-street neighbor via a very heavy-duty extension cord temporarily. Thank god for the cold front. It's bearable as long as I sit around in my underwear.

I do have to apologize to pomegranate for answering the door in my underwear and a t-shirt on Sunday or Monday when she came over to check on us.
posted by mrbill at 9:17 PM on September 17, 2008

Sadly, the national media has moved on. They're good at "OMG! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!" and not so good at "WE'RE ALIVE BUT TERRIBLY INCONVENIENCED!"

I seriously can't believe that neither of the major presidential candidates are down there in Texas. I guess Obama has written it off, and McCain is taking it for granted.

Seriously, if there's anything I can do over here, give me a shout. You're not completely forgotten.
posted by ColdChef at 7:03 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I just saw this thread. We're fine here in western Pearland near Beltway 8 and 288. I've only had a few minutes to look at Metafilter each day since we got power back Tuesday evening. You can look at my profile to find out where I'm posting updates and impressions.
posted by Robert Angelo at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2008

Power finally came back on today in 77063 (Tanglewilde; Gessner/Westheimer) around 1:15pm, after crews worked for the past two days in this area. The hard-working linemen from NY and Quebec and tree crews from CT have been working 16-hour shifts to get us back up and running; we simply can't thank them enough.
posted by mrbill at 12:07 PM on September 20, 2008

I have a relative and friends in Chambers County doing whatever SAR people do at this stage - they are talking to residents who stayed (none of whom are reporting any new missing people), dealing with many many dead cows, sending photos, and seeming to be surrounded by AP and people from the local TV and papers so I don't know why there is no actual news.

At one point there was a rough number of around 50 - and there have been some rescues (whole families and their pets!) but it may be as many as 30 or more gone.

Don't think anyone on Crystal Beach expects power any time soon, and some of the communities in that area are just no more. They are gone. Those people have been relocated for now, but I can't imagine that they know what their future will will be.

Even for the people who are there, in what's left of their homes with bottled water and MREs - what? Their kids can't go to school, they can't work... some of them will rebuild, I guess, and some will move away, but it's still very hard for them and will be for months.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:09 PM on September 20, 2008

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