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.