Why I was complacent about Hurricane Ike causing any real damage is puzzling to me now. I only really started to worry when I left work on Thursday around noon and saw several businesses and households boarding up windows.
Now, in the aftermath I am saddened by the massive destruction and devastation to Galveston and surrounding areas. I watched the mayor of Galveston tell her residents, “Do not come home. You cannot live here.”
We have just started returning to work and almost normalcy in Houston. Several people will not return for days or weeks and the same goes for electricity and water in most homes and apartments. The University of Houston lost 20-30% of its trees and there is a huge amount of structural and water damage all around Houston.
Surprisingly, I worked on Sunday and Monday at my second job; Kona Grill in the Houston Galleria. People were lined up outside the door waiting because we were one of the only places to open. I had to tell my guests I could not serve them water or even ice as it was unsafe to consume. We were serving bottled water, bottled tea, and canned soda. People waited for a long time and ordered from a very limited menu and nobody fussed. They were just so thankful we were able to serve them.
Today I will be volunteering at a POD behind the Robertson football stadium at the University of Houston passing out water, ice, and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).
Below is a compilation of photographs taken in Galveston the morning after Ike. The music accompanying this video is “Kokopelli Wind” performed by Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai from the album Inner Voices from Canyon Record Productions.