Thursday, September 25, 2008
Our Ike adventure started early on Thursday morning when the alarm went off at 5 am. My husband doesn't use the standard "beep beep" alarm, but rather the radio blaring at the highest volume. Before he had a chance to turn it off, I heard the reports of school closings, so I knew then that the storm had made a turn over night.
By 7 am, we had our orders to evacuate. We were undecided if we would actually leave, but started securing the house and my office. We already had supplies from the previous week because of Gustav. By 2 pm, we were done and I finally made the call to get out of town. The thought of sitting in a house with no power for an unknown number of days made me twitch. Of course, we missed our chance to get out. The freeways were already jammed pack. We continued to watch the TranStar site throughout the afternoon and decided at 5 pm to make a break for it.
With 2 vehicles loaded, 3 kids, 1 dog, a turtle and our supply of food and water, we hit the road for the 7 hour drive to my cousin's family ranch in San Saba, TX (NW of Austin). Her in-laws graciously invited us to ride the storm out with them. I left Houston with a very heavy heart. A couple of hours earlier my daughter, Kierstyn and her dad decided to ride the storm out in their Pearland home, as did my mom and dad (who was also in a mandatory evacuation zone) in Friendswood. Something about not being together with all of my family bothered me.
At 2 am on Friday... after 4 potty stops, 1 sick dog (love finding out the hard way my sweet Ellie gets car sick) and an escort down the LONGEST dirt road I've ever driven...
I sent a text to my mom and friends to let them know we arrived safely and that "we weren't in Kansas anymore" :P
With daylight a few hours later, I quickly realized why my cousin loves to go up there any chance she can. The sights were breath taking and there were times I forgot about what was going on back at home.
We woke up to these outside our cabin every morning.
We all made the best of things. The kids did a little fishing, some water skiing..until they ran out of gas...LOL
The little guys got to ride a couple of these through out the weekend helping with plowing the hay fields and grating the dirt roads.
What boys do best! I swear my kids had a ring of dirt around their mouth for a WEEK. They played so hard.
Matthew kept telling us "this is like a vacation"
We never got rain the entire weekend. It was a little cloudy and breezy...but this next photo shows all we saw of Ike in San Saba on Saturday. I was happy to get messages from family and friends that stayed in Houston they were all fine. No one with major damage. Just suffering through the heat with no power.
Sunday, we all decided to head back to Houston. My husband had left the day before to get back to check on things and start cleaning up. We had the ranch closed up and back on the road by 2pm. Traffic was smooth sailing and we stopped every hour or so to top off our gas tanks. Good thing. By the time we hit Hempstead, the lines for gas were never ending. Very few gas stations had power AND gas.
I hit Baytown around 8 pm and my stomach was turning flips as I exited off I10. The town was dark and very eery.
By the time I pulled in my driveway...it was dark out and probably a good thing. I had seen more than I could stand.
Monday - Daylight was scary. We surveyed the back yard. Couldn't see much with this thing in the way...
I was so amazed and thankful it fell in the direction it did and NOT on our house. We lost a couple of shingles, part of our fence, but nothing major.
Tyson helped take pics for insurance purposes. :P
Then I headed to the office to see it for myself. Brandon had already given me the report...but seeing it first hand was another story.
Aside from the obvious trees and debris in the parking lot...the roof... I quickly noticed the office looked different. Then realized the huge shade tree that was in back of the office on the left was no longer there. It laid down at the roots towards the back of the property. WOW, another lucky break.
But not so much on the inside.
I was just thankful the water was contained only to the front foyer/showroom and a couple of other rooms. All of which I had moved all the contents to the back of the building before we left.
Then I headed to meet Brandon and my brother-in-law to check on their parent's home in Mont Belvieu (15 mins up the road). and the tears started rolling as I pulled up to their house.
What are they looking at you ask?
They were trying to figure out how to find the front door.
They were so very lucky. 6 trees down and 3 that were barely standing. Not one tree on the house.
And daylight between the carport and Grandma's car.
Reports are that 2 twisters went through their neighborhood after the eye passed over. The little town took a bad hit.
Peyton kept insisting "daddy broke our house (no power)...daddy broke the tree" lol AND SEE. See the ring of dirt :P
Driving around town made things seem unreal. You see things like this on TV...but not in your town. Your backyard.
Our local marina. The surge pushed the boats inland - over 500 ft from the pier.
I think this "was" a body shop
An endless sight. Uprooted or broken trees everywhere.
This use to be a 2 story hotel near I10. It was in early construction with only the framing complete, but it's ruble!
All I could think was AMEN!!!
We regained power late Tuesday. I felt horrible calling friends and family telling them we had power before them. One of our seamstresses is still without power almost 2 weeks after the storm hit. Same for my brother-in-law a few miles down the road.
It's hard to drive around town. Everyone is trying to get back to normal. The FEMA pods are gone, but the Red Cross is still here and serves hot meals from 11:00 to 6:30 everyday. Sides of the road are litered with dried out trees and limbs waiting for the city to come through to haul debris away.
Today I made my monthly trip to Office Depot for supplies and had my stomach drop to my knees. "DUE TO HURRICANE IKE, CLOSED TILL FURTHER NOTICE". Roof and water damage. Same for the other stores in that shopping strip. Baytown got hit pretty hard, but I can't imagine what residents in Galveston are feeling. So many places that my family has frequented for years...are just GONE!
Someone sent me this link with satellite photos before and after. Areas just wiped off the map.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Just wanted to send a quick shout out to my very good friend, Kelly and thank her publicly for helping with the updates on our Blog. Even more so for the phone calls to check on us and for letting me vent during our evacuation. You're angel for putting up with my whining :P.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I don't know what's worse...no power? Or no Internet? I hate being cut off to the outside world. :p
We regained Internet and phone service today after lunch. Orders on our work list from last week (Sept 15-19) were completed over the weekend and shipped out today. ON TIME!! YAY! I have the best team of seamstress'. Production of the group of orders for this week, Sept 22-26 did begin today and will be completed on time with no delay.
We have made some adjustments to our current work list. We bumped up many orders and will be concentrating on getting our work list cut down. Please visit the site to see the updated version. We have also re-opened a few rush order slots for those that were interested in adding this option to their order.
All emails that were received from 9/11 till today were returned. If you sent us an email and did not receive a response, please resend us your inquiry. There were a few phone messages left to be returned and we will do so tomorrow (Tuesday).
Thanks again for every one's patience. It was greatly appreciated during this very overwhelming time. Promise to post some Ike pics later this week.
Friday, September 19, 2008
This will be very quick.
We are still without Internet or phone service at this time. It was eating at me that this group of orders were sitting here ready to go and no way of shipping them without the Internet. I called every person I knew within a 20 miles radius to see if they had power AND Internet. FINALLY found someone, so I was able to print labels by hauling my hard drive across town. The group from Sept 8-12 will be shipping today (have to run back to the office to finish packaging them before UPS arrives at 5pm). I was not able to send shipment notices, but customers should receive an email from UPS with your tracking number for your package.
My apologies for all the craziness over the last week. I can't wait until things settle down to some kind of normalcy.
The girls at the office are busting tail on the orders for this week. It's still looking like Monday or Tuesday when they will ship. Not too far off schedule. YAY!!
Thanks again for every one's patience.
Ohhh and emails. Sorry, not happening without our internet. I'm also without it at home. Seems to be a wide spread thing with Comcast customers.. GRRRR! Promise to get to those as soon as it comes back up.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This is Kelly, your guest blogger.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We have spent most of the day working on a plan to catch up on our current orders.
- Orders that were on our work list for the week of Sept 8-12 were completed today (thanks to my awesome seamstress', who came in even though their homes still have no power <3>
- Orders that are on our work list for this week - Sept 15-19 will begin production tomorrow. My dedicated team will come in this weekend so we can hopefully get these orders completed and shipped out by Monday or at the latest on Tuesday. This is just an estimate and we hope you will bare with us as we do our very best to get back on schedule over the next couple of weeks.
Our clean up process from the water damage will continue through out the coming weeks and possible months as the ceilings and walls in some rooms will have to be replaced (and of course the roof). Thankfully the rooms effected were contained to our Showroom/foyer, packaging room and my office (south side - which took the direct hit from Ike). None of our machines, inventory or fabrics were compromised. We took extra caution when securing these items during our evacuation and were all on the north end of the building.
Considering all the work that is ahead of us, we are trying to focus our time at the machines to complete orders. We apologize for the emails that receive a generic response redirecting them to the blog. For those with specific questions, we are still working on returning emails. If you have sent a message and do not receive a response back by Friday, Sept 19 - Please resend your email. Our phone lines continue to be down (could be the tree laying across some lines that lead to our building :P ). We will update again when these lines are back up.
I cannot thank everyone enough for their prayers, thoughts and understanding during this time. I'll share some local photos of the aftermath soon. Just the short drive to our studio makes the hair on my neck stand up. It's amazing what Mother Nature's fury can do.
Today we are focusing on clean up and getting the office back in working order. Our phone lines are not working and ask that you please continue to use our blog for any updates. As you can imagine, we are very behind on emails/orders and will try to respond them as soon as possible.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Hello KozyPal readers! This is Kelly, your guest blogger.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Please keep us and other Gulf Coast Texans in your thoughts.