Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike

I want to update you all to let you know where I have been. I am sorry if this ends up being long, I just need to get it all out.

Ah, where do I start? I am sure most of you have seen or heard about the wrath of Hurricane Ike that struck Galveston early Saturday morning. I live (or lived) on Galveston Island and when we got word of the mandatory evacuation we did not want to take any chances seeing as we have 2 small children. We left town Thursday morning and have been staying at a hotel in Mississippi. Luckily my whole family is together and we are safe.

Ike made landfall early Saturday morning and completely destroyed much of the island. The damage is indescribable and in short, many homes, businesses, and vehicles were completely destroyed by wind, fire, and flooding. Some areas only had a couple feet of flooding while some parts were up to the rooftops in water. The entire city, and even most of Houston are completely without power, gas, and water. The 40% or so that decided not to heed evacuation warnings and ride out the storm are being forced to leave by bus starting today. The entire island is being shut off and no one is allowed on except for emergency personnel and search and rescue.

Search and rescue is continuing and they have "plucked" at least 2000 people from their homes stranded on rooftops or trapped in their houses. Fires burned out of control as crews were not able to get to the burning buildings due to the dangersous conditions.

We have been told by the mayor that no one will be able to return for at least a month. The media is reporting very few deaths and have reported the death toll at 9. The media is being very deceptive to the actual number of casualties there were. Of course this is second-hand information, but a fireman in Galveston was rumoured to have stated that he has "never seen so many dead bodies before."

I cannot stop crying and my heart goes out to those families out there that still cannot locate their loved ones. I have several friends I still cannot get ahold of and all communications is completely down. What is really sad is that they are not doing anything for animal rescue besides farm animals. "If" they have time, the police will go into your home, and check on your pets. If they are ok they will do nothing, no feeding no watering. If they are not doing so good they are releasing them to the streets. Oh God my heart aches for these poor animals. I just cannot believe that they will do nothing. My mom has 4 cats and my sister has 4 as well. They were all left behind in the evacuation with only 1 weeks supply of food and water. I am so worried about them and they are stuck in the houses with no air conditioning and diminishing food and water. Please pray for our pets and their safety. Please pray that they are rescued soon. Please pray that no more bodies are found and that the families of "missing" loved ones are reunited and that they are safe.

This is something I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams. I am in complete and utter shock and my entire body feels numb. When people ask where we are from and we tell them Galveston, TX, they hang their heads and apologize. This is when it really hits me. It just feels so surreal, like I am going to wake up at any moment. I have never felt so helpless before in my life and yet I have to keep it together for my kids. Where do we go? What do we do? We have no place to live! Could this be real? When we check out of the hotel in the morning, where are we headed? What will we do when we get there? Oh God... Please tell me this is not real.

Thank you for listening and please pray for all those affected by Hurricane Ike.

23 comments:

Honey.B said...

I just finished emailing you as I recieved this via email, but just wanted to say again that our prayers are with you from here in New Zealand.
Love and encouraging hugs

xoxoxox

Jody said...

I feel so helpless myself after reading your blog. Oh how I wish I could be there personally to offer you help. I am so far away up in Canada. My prayers are with you and your family. I will be praying for you every day and also for everyone who has been devastated by this storm.

I remember many many years ago when our city was completely flooded out. I was just a little girl. So many people from all over the world prayed for us and sent supplies. There is always hope, and our city was completely restored and a diversion was built to keep any water from the rivers away from the city. This diversion has kept our city dry for the past 50 years.

Try to keep your spirits up, many people will be praying for you.

nikki said...

I had no idea how terrible this has turned out, Casey (we don't watch the news, and it hasn't really made the papers here in Aus)I am so sorry and can't imagine what you are going through. You have our thoughts and prayers.. i especially hope you can touch base with all your friends and that they are okay. Glad your family is together.

Julie P. (babyofmine) said...

I'm glad you and your family are safe. I am so sorry about your town.
I knew you were in Texas, but when I think of Texas, I usually forget about the coast. Very narrow-minded of me.
Praying for you here.

TragedyScrapinAnne said...

Congrats on being RAKed by Keepsaker-Creators.com
You've been blogged, come check it out.

Happy Scrapin' Day, Kat

Goog said...

Casey, I had NO IDEA that there was so much destruction in Galveston. I can't even begin to imagine the horror of losing your home, your belongings. Nothing anyone says at this point will help, but if there is ANYTHING that we can do to help PLEASE let us know. If your family needs things that we can supply, don't hesitate to ask for them. Until a weeks ago I lived in south Florida and we were hit by 3 hurricanes (Jeanne, Frances, and Wilma) in 2 years. I've seen the horror these things inflict on a town, and on the people. Don't lose heart. The MOST important thing (your family) is safe.

Ariana (Goog)

Crystal said...

I am so sorry Casey. I have been watching the news reports and cannot believe the loss and destruction. You, your family, and everyone effected by this tragedy, are all in my prayers. Take care of your family.

LVMommy22 said...

oh casey, my heart aches for you! i don't know what to say. i wish there was something that would give you some peace, but i can't imagine what. i hope you were able to take some things with you that had great sentimental value ... i know you probably have most of your photos with you on your computer. i will be praying for you and yours - including the cats. please let us all know if there is ANYTHING we can do to help you ...
xoxoxo
:) M

mattie said...

Casey,

My gut aches for you! I'm in Dallas and thankfully the worst winds stayed to the east. I went to TAMUG for two years...never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine Galveston would look the way it does now. Many prayers for you,the family and the kits!

~Mattie

Sharon-shutterbug said...

Oh Casey, I'm so very sorry! I've watched news reports off and on over the past few days, but just as during Katrina, it seems they never cover the stuff we really want to know about. My heart breaks for you. I wish I could do something to help, but Michigan is kind of far from Mississippi. However, if there IS anything I can do, please let me know - I could get together some clothes, toys, books, whatever and send them to you once you have an address, at the very least. And of course, you have our prayers as well.
Keep in touch when possible!
Sharon
sorzy (at) wideopenwest (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear what you and your family is going thru. I had no idea how bad it is and I could not possibly have the words to make it all go away. PLease know that you and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Tanya

Teri said...

Casey, Your post brought me to tears. I live just outside of Corpus Christi. I want you to know we are praying for you. And we have been lifting up all those affected by Ike at our church, and will continue to do so. Remember, with God, all things are possible, and even our darkest times can be used for His glory! I know that for I am a 15 year cancer survivor. So those are not just words for me, I too have lived them, and now you will be able to trust in Him to bring you through this! His, Teri My favorite scripture is found in Psalms 31:14,15 "But I trust in You, O,Lord I say You are my God. My times are in your hands." I am thankful that for those of us who put or faith and trust in the Lord have this hope to hold on to, that our "TIMES" are in HIS hands. Even when the times are hard.

KrisG said...

My heart goes out to you. I survived a major flood (I lost my house and 2 pets) in 1985 and know that it can be completely devastating. Please know that even though our government can be "slow" at times, aid is and will be there... even though sometimes you have to look HARD for it. It is sad about the animals... heart-wrenching in fact. I'd be there in a minute to snatch up the poor things if I thought I could. And unfortunately the media only reports what the "big boss" says they can... grrrrr! I'm so glad you and your family are okay and TOGETHER!!! Just letting you know that you and all of your friends/family are in my prayers.

Nannaquared said...

My heart just goes out to you and your family. We have finally spoken with all our friends/family in Houston and Jasper. They too are finding alternate places to stay as they have no electricity, but fortunately as you are, they are all safe with no injuries.
Yes, please keep us updated on your blog or via email as to what we can send to help you.
Lots of hugs from Plano, Texas.

Robin said...

Casey,God led me straight to your website. Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry about tomorrow. He knows what you need and he WILL provide. I know it has got to be hard to be strong in your situation, so I am praying for you to have faith in your maker. For you are loved!

heartspun said...

I cannot imagine what you must be feeling now. My heart aches for you and your family. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this, but you are in my prayers daily.

(((((((((((cyberhugs))))))))))
Marianne

Gloria Val Verde said...

Hey Casey,

I am sooooooo sorry to hear all of this...it is so unbelievable to see so much destruction just 15 minutes from my house..we live in League City and were spared the devastation you have experienced. Please let me know if me or my family can help in any way....HUGS!!!!

Lil said...

The devistation in your area is unbelievable. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I also feel for the poor animals left behind. I can not imagine what you are going through.
May there be many good days ahead ...

Kim W said...

Casey, if Steve of P. Memories is your husband, he did a wonderful photo shoot of my family at Beachtown in July. The day Ike hit I almost emailed to see if I could still purchase the photo CD. On Monday the 15th, the package of the portraits arrived and I just cried. I was born in Galveston and my entire extended family (other than parents) is from S.TX. Thank God you and your family are alive and safe. We hope to bring a group of people down during spring break for a mission trip to help in recovery. Take care, keep the faith and God bless.
Kim W from Arkansas

Sara Elizabeth Bonds said...

My family was affected by this. I thank God I left Galveston in 2005 when Rita hit. I can't stop crying either. It's too real. I have one friend who stayed behind and I can't get ahold of him. What a sad sad mess.

Kat

LVMommy22 said...

casey, did you get to go back to galveston? how are things going with your family? please let us know ... i think about you every day and keep checking for an update.
:) M

Anonymous said...

I am so glad your family is safe.. but I check in daily for an update. So concerned about how you all are doing Casey!

DiAnna from Canada

Ladye said...

Casey,

Since I live only a few miles (in ALvin) from Galveston I know how much damage was done by IKE. Nothing like it is fron those of you that lived in Galveston or on Bolivar, but still the most damage I have ever seen from a hurricane in our area. If only we could roll back the clock, I know many of us would have done things a little different.
My heart goes out to everyone down there. As a photographer I can hardly wait to get onto the island to take pictures to go with my many before photos to show to my family and friends.
Helpless is about the only way to express the feelings I get when I see all the destruction. As one that was without power I really feel for those still without if.