Trlica and I arrived back in Pearland yesterday a litle after 4 o’clock. We had heard that lots of water blew in around doors and windows and that a lot of people had roofs that looked OK but had lost sheetrock from the ceiling because the rain blew through vents and such. We knew the power was out for most of the city. Here’s our story:
Before we left Kingsland (where my mom and dad are… they kept the kids for us - thanks guys!) we purchased a window unit air conditioner. We found ice on the far side of Austin and filled up our ice chest. We couldn’t find any 5 gallon gas cans… and it only got worse from there. Gas stations were empty starting in Rosenberg (about 40 miles outside of Houston) - fortunately, a few gas stations along Highway 59 had power and had received deliveries. We only had to wait about 10-15 minutes in line for our “last chance” gas there. When we pulled up to a line of pumps that were empty, with a policeman standing by them, we expected to get turned away and sent to another pump. Instead, he let us pull up and park. When I got out of the car to fill ‘er up, I heard lots of screaming and looked up to see a bunch of policemen drawing their guns and chasing a car that pulled alongside us. We were pretty scared. We don’t know the story, but we expect that it was someone “breaking the rules” for lining up coupled with the police “zero tolerance” attitude. It was pretty frightening.
When we got to Pearland, we went to our property and checked out the damage we knew we had there (our generator was out there and was taken by a friend of a neighbor when they came to check on his house… he thought it was a gift from heaven to find a generator and two full cans of gas… he took the gift). The shed was completely stripped from the wood foundation, and the sprinkler control unit was the only thing that kept the shed tethered to our property. Some of our trees were bent sideways, but everything seemed to be alive, and there was even citrus still on the tree. Wow.
When we got to our house, we talked with our policeman neighbor and listened to his harrowing stories about how the walls of the house were visibly shaking and the windows buffeting in and out - before their satellite dish ripped off the roof and started hammering back and forth on the rest of the roof (it was still tethered by cable). They took a fair amount of damage, with water coming in through the ceiling and a good portion of their roof blowing off. Trlica and I walked around the house to survey the damage: the trampoline was half way in our other neighbor’s yard and twisted something crazy. The fence between the policeman’s yard and our yard was mostly in our yard - our yards were one big happy yard. Our mountain laurel tree and our peach tree were both blown over (the peach tree was supporting a fence), but they were both able to be righted and resoiled and they should survive. Our plastic storage closet was in 8 pieces, but should be able to be put back together just fine. Then, Trlica asked me if that noise was a generator (it was - but not ours) and proceeded to complain that she wasn’t going to be able to sleep with that much racket right outside our window. That’s when I noticed that our main air conditioner was running… WE ALREADY HAD POWER!!! The interior of the house: we think a little water might have blown in around the back door, and our bedroom windows may have leaked an ounce or two, but was dry by the time we got there. That’s it. Our roof took zero damage - most of the roofs in our neighborhood have serious damage. We’re thinking we need to bill our insurance company for about $20,000 for avoided damages since we funded a new roof out of our own pockets a couple of months ago. Yeah Brinkman! Good roofing!
Our neighbor’s friend (that took our generator) brought us back the generator and two full cans of gas right before we got home. His power was back on too. We’ve since then taken the generator to the church hoping they will get some use of it (and the air conditioner). I cleaned up around the yard a little this morning and helped the church crew cut down some trees in the neighborhood around the church for those that are in need. I’ll be doing this for the next couple of days. I’ll also have to clean up around our property a little - lots of downed limbs but no tree trunks damaged.
Chainsaws are AWESOME.
Praise God - He is good.