Friday, September 19, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Before, During, & After (Part III)

Sunday Morning, 9/14 thru Friday, 9/19

Power came on late Saturday. Thankfully so, because the hurricane breeze was completely gone and a humid, stagnant air was settling over the neighborhood. Only those in the Gulf Coast states know what true humidity is, and it is nearly impossible to sleep without A/C. You pretty much just lay there all night and sweat.

There were some problems in the city getting FEMA supplies to the PODs (Points of Distribution). Our own governor, Rick Perry, said something like he hoped Texas would be treated as well by FEMA as those who were in the aftermath of Katrina (paraphrasing). What?!? You must be joking. There was significant political BS going on as FEMA pointed fingers at the state and local officials pointed fingers at both for the failures. In the meantime, miles and miles of cars were queueing up at the PODs and gas stations. Houston's mayor, Bill White, was quite peeved when assistance started off on the wrong foot. Local officials had to go sort out the FEMA logistics for delivering water, ice, and food so things could run smoothly. Apparently, they did not have a federal person who could handle it. Pitiful. Later, we learned that the first day of ice wasn't even provided by FEMA, but rather as a donation by the local HEB grocery store! Needless to say, there are many governmental handoffs, responsibilities, and issues that still need resolution BEFORE the next hurricane strikes.

I think this is where I'll end my Hurricane Ike journal. School has been out for a week due to power outages that are still quite noticeable. I have tons of sympathy for those who have been without power at their homes for 7 days now. But grocery stores and service stations are now opening up again. Galveston and other coastal areas can be rebuilt. The loss of life was not nearly as bad as it could have been. We will survive.

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