There was no damage to the house, although the back fence fell down after being hit by a limb. A limb that, as far as we can tell, blew over from two houses away. My dad came through fine as well. A decent-sized limb fell on his house, but it doesn't seem to have done much damage. The people across the street from us had part of a tree come through their bathroom window and there were a few fences down around the neighborhood, but mostly the area immediately around us seems to have been lucky. The neighborhood just to the north of us, however, apparently has crazy numbers of downed trees, some of which fell directly on houses. No casualties that we know of, but we've heard that a few houses were essentially split in half.
The first thing we did after Ike passed was get outside and start clearing the leaves and debris out of the storm sewers and gutters along the street. We cleared the street in front of our house, in front of our neighbors who'd left town, and in front of the elderly couple who live across the street. Most of the neighborhood was out doing the same thing and there was a strong sense of community as everyone checked on one another and helped each other out.
It's a good thing we all did that, too, because yesterday morning after the hurricane had passed we got hit by a huge band of rain and there was lots more flooding all over town thanks to the already-swollen bayous and the debris blocking storm sewers all over town. Our street turned into a river, and all the trash bags of leaves that people had left out by the curb started floating down the street like barges. It never got more than halfway up our front yard, though, so our house was safe. I did take the opportunity to wash dishes in the rainwater runoff from the house, though. I am like a Pioneer goddess!
My mom-in-law rode out the storm at our house, but when we brought her back to check on her apartment yesterday we discovered that not only was her place unscathed, but that she has power! And internet! So that's where I am right now while all our cell phones and iPods charge. She's also generous enough to keep us in as much ice as her icemaker can produce.
The really good news is that we had a cool front last night, so the weather here is actually lovely. Highs in the low '80s and lows in high '60s all week, with not a drop of rain in sight. Bliss. We've been living out of our fridge, which stayed cool for quite a while, but this morning I finally had to toss everything that was left. So until more stores start opening around town it looks like Beanie Weanies and peanut butter sandwiches for us. But all that planning and stockpiling I do at the start of every hurricane season is finally paying off big time, because we're well-stocked with most of the necessities. The thing I've been most grateful to have is my coffee press, because I think I might revert to savagery if I couldn't have my cup of fresh hot coffee in the mornings.
Driving around town is pretty scary, because about 80% of the traffic lights are out and there are some places where downed trees and debris are blocking the road. But already people are out cleaning up the mess, and I imagine things will be getting a little better every day.
I've gotta run, but I'll try to post again when I get a chance. Love to all!