Around 3 am in the morning of Saturday, September 13th, I was awaken by the sound of Hurricane IKE roaring through our town of Spring Texas. I was not able to return to sleep the rest of the night as the sound of the howling of the wind and the beating of the rain kept me awake. The whole experience felt as if I was on a dingy in rough seas because the rain fueled by the wind made it sound like waves were crashing against my window panes.
Our electricity was knocked out around 1:30 am Saturday morning but the water, gas, and my land line were all still working. Later in the day, cell phone service went down. During hurricane Rita’s descent on our area, our electricity was only out of service for about an about which made it possible for us to receive the majority of our news updates by watching the weather channel.
Not this time. With no power, we called our family members in other states for updates on the location of the storm. We did have an additional and unexpected source of news. Somehow during the mist of a hurricane, the local paper, our Houston Chronicle was able to be safely delivered to our front yard. By the end of Saturday, hurricane IKE passed but not first without making its presence known.
We live in a community that was established within the last five years and as such the majority of the trees are 25 feet or smaller with the average size being about 12 feet tall. Thus the damage that was felt in our subdivision was minimal as it was limited to down tree limbs and some newer trees were left standing at a 45 degree angle.
The older more established communities in the Spring Texas area received major tree damage with some of the trees causing significant damage to the houses they fell on or went through and older property line fences were completely knocked down. Billboards were split in half, traffic signals went out along with the electricity, and pieces of fiberglass signs were scattered across the roadways.
Over the past couple of days, I have gained a new appreciation and thankfulness for the comforts afforded to me by electricity. The comforts of electricity to run washing machines, microwaves, ovens, televisions, dvd players, hair dryers, curling irons, computers, garage door openers, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and lights.
Things Living without electricity has taught me:
A small level of normalcy has returned to my life today, September 17th. Our real estate office’s power was restored along with its phones, Internet, and email. And it feels so good to be writing a post again. These last couple of days without Internet and email service has thrown me into an unfamiliar world. Countless times over the last couple of days, I instinctly turned on the light switch when I entered a room. Nothing happened of course but it reminded me of how easily it is to take electricity for granted.
It will be days and weeks before the power is completely restored. Our home is still (5 days later) without power as we are just 1 of 1.4 million CenterPoint customers that are in the dark. Within the next week, CenterPoint predicts to have service restored to 50% of their customers. I hope their estimates are right because the sooner we can get service restored the sooner our lives can return to normal. I am one of the fortunate ones who will be able to return to a normal life.
Not all people will be able to return to a normal life as they will be forever impacted. My heart and prayers goes out to all them. The families that have lost loved ones, priceless (non-replaceable) possessions, and their homes because of the hurricane IKE.
School districts in the area including Tomball ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Spring ISD, and Klein ISD have cancelled classes for the week of September 15th – 19th. They hope to re-open for classes on September 22nd but no official announcement has been made yet.
September 18th – UPDATE:
Last night around 8:10 pm, the electricity for our subdivision of Louetta Lakes was restored. You would have thought we all had just WON the lottery based upon the clapping, yelling, and cheering that could be heard through out the neighborhood. After living without electricity for 5 days and now being able to walk into a room turn on the light switch and it actually comes on was THRILLING!!!. Its probably one of those things that “you had to be there” to fully understand and appreciate. We tend to consider electricity as an ordinary everyday item until we don’t have it. When the electricity was restored, it was boosted from an ordinary to luxury status. We became the “haves” of electricity instead of the “have nots” of electricity. Especially considering that 58% of CenterPoint electricity customers are still “have nots”.
Let me just start by saying that Jill made the daunting process of both selling my old home and finding... read moreLet me just start by saying that Jill made the daunting process of both selling my old home and finding my current one more pleasant than could have been expected. Throughout the entire process she was honest, easy to communicate with, and patient. When it came time to sell my old home, I contacted Jill and she met me at home at took the time to get to know me, why I was wanting to move, my timeframe. She showed me the comps she already prepared, and explained the entire process. We then did a walkthrough of house where Jill identified items that needed to be addressed to make the house more appealing (paint, fixtures, minor repairs). Once those issues were addressed, and the house was listed, it received multiple offers and Jill took the time to narrow down the best options and then explain what each one meant in detail with regards to the offer amount, type of financing and what it could mean down the road when it came to inspections and appraisals. Once we came to a decision on the right offer, the rest of the selling process moved along smoothly and Jill was quick with updates each step of the way.As the closing date of my old home approached, the focus shifted to finding a new home. Jill was very accommodating during this time as my fiancé and I had a very small window of time during each day where we were both available for showings. Jill was routinely able to get the showings scheduled during this time, often on short notice, and was helpful at pointing out things both positive and negative that we may not have noticed otherwise. No example better illustrated this than when we found a home that appeared to check all the boxes. During the showing, Jill pointed out the proximity to a major road, and the road noise during morning and evening traffic, and even brought up potential future expansion of road and surrounding area. Despite this warning, we were so enamored with the house that we went ahead and put in an offer. While waiting to find out if the offer would be accepted, I heeded Jill’s advice and checked into expansion projects, and decided to drive back by the house during rush hour to check on the road noise. We ended up pulling the offer and Jill seemed genuinely relieved. I appreciated the fact that she was willing to be as adamant about the issue as she was when she could have easily let us make that mistake, and made the sale. A short time later we did find the home that checked all the boxes without any road noise or any other issues, and the purchase process went as smooth as the selling process had been for my old home. Even months after closing, Jill continues to be helpful as she was able to provide quality handyman references for some small projects that I needed done. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with and getting to know Jill and I can’t recommend her enough. read less