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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

IKE - the storm from hell

IKE - the storm from hell Two weeks, two &!#$% weeks without electricity. Never in my life did I think that living in the 4th largest city in the USA will feel like living in a third world country. The night of the storm was scary. At 10:00pm we lost power. Transformers were blowing all around us in crazy green and blue colors. It was like an eerie fireworks display. The next morning, we came out to assess the damage. My car had a new hood ornament in the shape of the tree that used to be on the side of the house. The street was blocked by trees and brunches. The neighbors came out. We all tried to figure out we needed to be done next. It was Saturday, so we assumed that we will probably be without electricity for a day or two. We were prepared for that. Everyone put their hands together and we started to clear our street. Three hours later, our entire neighborhood was clean. Piles of trees were nearly packed in front of our houses; the streets were free of any major derbies, other than the electrical polls that landed in the middle of the street. We set up a barbecue block party that evening. We were hopeful. The weather was nice and cool. That was what we call in “techie” the demo version, Microsoft style. By Tuesday, we still had not electricity, no grocery stores, no gas stations and no one at work. The ice trucks did not come on time – as was promised by FEMA, but in true Texan spirit, our Mayor and County Judge contacted a local grocery store chain, and they brought in the ice. They brought us MRI’s that needed to be microwaved?!?! We had one old fashion phone; you know that one that does not need electricity to work. Our cell phones did not work either not even for texting. We were disconnected from the world. The local TV stations, along with several local radio stations broadcasted as if they were radio stations. The anchors at the TV station kept reminding their reporters that no one can see anything, and they have to describe everything. The National news apparently stopped reporting about our situation after about four days. On the fourth day, they started bringing generators to town. And here we were, with one computer on, no internet, no email, no fax, just one phone line, and no cable. I had to explain to our customers that we have to do computer work to candle light. On the other hand, we truly enjoyed the spirit of the community around us. Everyone was helping, and sharing. Even at the darkest moments that is always something good that helps bring the light on.

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