Final Thoughts on Ike

I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment on Sling Words or who emailed me. I appreciate your {{{huhgs}}}, prayers, and good thoughts.

In an attempt to get back to normal, I'm posting these final thoughts on Ike. Tomorrow, I'll return to my normal editorial calendar here at Sling Words. If I feel the need to say more about Ike, I'll post them on my other blog Joan Slings Words. There's always a link over on the right side of this blog if you haven't subscribed to the feed there yet or haven't bookmarked it.

Life Put Into Perspective

I am so very fortunate in that my home is undamaged. I suffered no flooding. The power has been restored, and as I write this Monday, Sept. 15, around 5pm, our power has returned and been on uninterrupted for a 24 hour period. Our landline phone is a bit wonky as are cell phones, but the DSL for my Internet is working fine. I've been able to make and receive calls.

Sure, my back fence is laying on the ground. Not a tree in my yard is undamaged. There was no meat of any kind and no bread at the store, but I got a jug of milk and a dozen eggs. I even found a gas station this afternoon and was able to gas up our 4-wheel drive vehicle. Everything that is out of the norm for me is just a minor inconvenience. There is no way I'm going to complain about any of that or the price of gasoline or the slow traffic or anything. I feel inordinately lucky and blessed.

Here in the Houston-Galveston area and all the way over east to Port Arthur and Orange, others are faced with these shortage problems: power, water, gasoline, dependable phone service, a clean place to rest and regroup, and food. This entire area is faced with massive destruction and debris and loss of homes and businesses.

Governments Working

The photograph above of a local Chevron station with a pump island flattened to the concrete illustrates some of the problems with obtaining gasoline. Some stations may have gas, but, without electricity, it can't be pumped. Stations without gasoline can't get their tanks filled unless the power comes back on. Gasoline and the other shortages must be addressed immediately.

Local, state, and federal governments are responding as quickly and as efficiently as they can. The people in need are at their rope's end so tempers are short. There will be emotional meltdowns but hopefully not many. If everyone on both sides of the distribution line can be a little more patient and a little more compassionate, all will benefit.

The latter set of problems - loss of homes and businesses - will impact peoples' lives for a long time to come. There just aren't any easy answers or quick fixes for this situation.

If you'd like to see some of the photos from my local newspaper, visit Houston Chronicle.

Changed Landscape

It's hard to believe that lovely Crystal Beach, a setting I used in one of my books, on the Bolivar Peninsula, a ferry ride away from Galveston, is simply not there any more. Bolivar Peninsula is now 3 islands. Galveston looks to be a muddy coastal plain beyond the seawall.

Learn From Ike

If you are in an area that is in harm's way or an area that may flood, learn from this storm. Make plans for the next. Consider purchasing flood insurance if there's any likelihood your home or business may be damaged by rising water. Make a plan to secure your important papers and photographs some place that won't flood. Give if you can - money or goods according to what is needed and what you can give.

Takeaway Truth

The only good that ever comes from something bad is the knowledge you gain from the experience that enables you to survive and to make changes to ensure your future.

1 comment:

  1. *sigh*

    I know that area. I'm sad to hear so little survived. But, in a way, I'm thankful that Ike hit where it did. There are so many places and cities that couldn't have survived that storm at all. If New Orleans had taken another hit I think we'd have to write the city off completely.

    And the people who handled Ike did well. Most evacuated. Those who didn't or couldn't made preparations. For all the trouble that Ike caused it could have been worse.