September 23, 2008 2:59 PM
I have been in Tyler, Texas, for 10 days now seeking refuge from Hurricane Ike. After eight days without power back home, where it got hammered by Ike, I called my house and got the answering machine, so I know that I have gotten power back to my home. For that, I am grateful.
My sister and brother-in-law just called and said they were at my house, and other than a lot of tree limbs down, there was not much damage to my house. For that, I am eternally grateful.
That was not the case after Hurricane Rita in 2005. I had a large oak tree on my house and the electrical meter and breaker box was lying in the driveway. It took three months to get the electricity hooked back up, and six months to move back in.
I did, however, lose my antenna this time. The mast is bent over, and the antenna is resting against the roof. Oh well, that is easily replaced compared with those who lost their homes and everything else they own.
I wanted to move it anyway. I want to go from the ground and attach it in two places near the peak of the gable. That will make it a bit sturdier to handle the brunt of forceful winds of future tropical cyclones—I hope, anyway. It did survive Hurricane Humberto, and tropical storm Edouard. It was just no match for Ike.
For my neighbors who were not protected by the sea-wall levy system, it has been a nightmare. Of the 3,500 homes in the Bridge City, Texas, area, only six did not have wind or water damage, or both.
I even heard that the people who evacuated from Orange, Texas, by bus, and left their cars in the parking lot of Lamar State College-Orange had water up to the rooftops of their vehicles.
The hurricane knocked all three of our full-power major network television stations off the air for a time. KFDM and KBMT were back on after a few days, and KBTV came back on Friday. I don't have any information about either of the low-power analog or digital Fox affiliate channels or the full-power TBN affiliate station. I will try to get that information when I get home.
Once again, I would like to thank the people of Tyler for being so helpful and gracious to the thousands of us who found ourselves seeking shelter from the storm. Your compassion for those of us leaving our homes and belongings does not go unnoticed. We thank you, and although we wish there was some way to repay you for your generosity, we do hope you never have such a tragedy to which we would have to repay that debt of gratitude.