When Ike Comes to Town · September 15, 2008

Yesterday afternoon Ike made his way to Kentucky.  He blew in with gutsy (and I do mean gutsy) winds that reached 75 MPH as measured at our local airport.  Yes, there was damage.  Our street is a mess with almost every neighbor facing downed trees.  Over 3000 power lines are down, and 60% of the city is without power.  Numerous streets are closed.  We are included among those without power, and the prediction is that this may last the week.  Andy is traveling this week, so we are at the grandparents doing laundry and getting a hot meal because they do have power.

Our family is fortunate.  We may have to replace our groceries, but we only had mininmal damage at home.  Our yard needs to be cleaned up and some branches are beyond our ability to chop, but we are in good shape.  Schools were closed today, so we are able to get to work while we have daylight.  The dishes are never ending.  Our household normally runs the dishwasher a minimum of twice a day, so you can imagine that doing them by hand is a never-ending job - even without pots and pans to clean.

To put this in perspective, the benchmark in Kentucky for disaster is the tornadoes that wreaked havoc in 1974.  Our mayor announced today that the damage from Ike's winds is worse than the damage of those tornadoes. Amazingly enough, the winds came without any rain, so the clean up is easier.  Part of our normal power company crews are in Texas to help with the Ike clean-up there, so we are hindered by a smaller than normal staff in an area declared a "state of emergency" by the governor.  As long as the hospitals have full power soon and those who are on oxygen in their homes get what they need, our crews can stay in Texas as there is much more to do there.

A family traveling this week to pick up their daughter from Wyatt's orphanage was going to take a photo album to his foster parents for us.  However, the pictures did not arrive on Saturday and the plan was to overnight them today.  Well, we can't get to our e-mail or the address we need, so it looks like we will just have to mail the album to China ourselves or wait for the next family to travel.  Bummer!

Tuesday update:

We still have no power.  It is upsetting the kids, so we stayed the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Andy cancelled his trip so that he could clear the yard of debris, and he is staying close to home to update us on the power situation.  Gas stations are running out of gas because not all are able to operate now, so we are trying to stay put - not to mention that it is unreasonably expensive.  School is still closed, and we are being told that while they are deciding day to day over whether to open the schools, we should anticipate being home for the week.

Thursday update:

  • still no power
  • indications that there are actually 5800-8000 power lines down
  • Zachary returned to school yesterday.
  • We borrowed a generator from generous friends who have power.  We now have our refrigerator working but not much else.  We have resorted to fast food twice.
  • Savannah, Wyatt, and Julia will return to school tomorrow.
  • The county schools are closed for the week, so Tamara does not return until Monday.
  • The family time has been great!
  • lack of e-mail, not so great
  • Tamara got a great work out at the Y today.  Savannah, Wyatt, and Julia had fun in the Fun Zone and the pool.  We will miss the Y.  We are cancelling our membership on Monday.
  • The hospital bills are arriving.  Our out of pocket expenses surpass any year total to date in 15 years of marriage.  Yikes!

Friday update: no power,  sigh

Sunday update - WE HAVE POWER!!!

As of 5:20p.m. today (Sunday, September 21), we have power.  It returned eight days and about four hours after it left, and we are thrilled because we did not expect it back today and certainly not before Wednesday.

Wyatt was so cute when Tamara and Savannah returned from Bible study.  He walked Tamara to the second story of our house and showed her that every light switch was working.  He then pointed out that the TV and ceiling fans worked too. 

The bad news is that Tamara is sick.