Thursday, September 18, 2008

Road to Recovery

Short post. I still don't have internet or cable at home. I got recalled to work today to help with the damage assessment. So I'm taking a couple of minutes to update this blog.

As I mentioned to Bob earlier, we survived with only a little bit of damage. We have shingles off in several places. Three large sections on two sides, and several single shingles gone from the back of the house. I went by the Army Corp of Engineers Blue Roof site yesterday and registered to get help putting tarps up on my roof. I have a feeling it's going to be months, if not a year, before I get my roof repaired.

We had an awful lot of tree debris in our yard. We had a small tree and several large bushes in the front get blown over, but we're trying to stake them back and hope they survive. A Rose of Sharon in the side yard fell against the window, but it didn't break. We lost a huge branch that could have fallen on the roof, but fortunately, fell sideways instead. The worst was a large shade tree in the back. That tree is cursed. First year, a big windstorm blew a big branch down on our patio. This summer, lightning hit it and took out another big branch. The hurricane blew down 2 more big branches. I think at this point, it's had it. We'll work to get that tree completely gone soon.

We did a lot of cleanup the last couple days. My boss came over with a chainsaw and helped us cut up most of the downed limbs, and we pulled them to the curb. I have a massive pile of tree debris now. Last night, I raked the smaller limbs and leaves into piles to be bagged tonight.

Our big score at the grocery store yesterday was a half-gallon of milk and 2 fresh zucchini. It's very eerie to walk into a big store and see almost nothing in the produce, meat, dairy or frozen section. The couple of things in there, you're not sure you actually want to buy. Why are there only 2 containers of cottage cheese sitting on this huge stretch of empty shelf? I think I'll pass.

We're also avoiding going out to eat for a while. One, the restaurants are packed by people who don't have power yet. Two, I'm still nervous that they don't have fresh food. If I can't find any, where are they getting their food? I can eat canned stuff a few more days. It's food, even if it's not gourmet. Or even particularly good.

As I mentioned, I got recalled to work today. The center is closed until Monday, the 22nd, but there are a lot of people here walking through the buildings, looking for damage, fixing stuff. My job today was to research any waivers or changes to environmental rules for the disaster here. Found a lot of interesting stuff, and even a couple of reg changes for transportation that should help us a lot. I have a feeling I'll be working Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then on into next week. I have to cancel my trip to Virginia next week. I kind of figured that would happen. I'm a little sad, but I can always go back for MarsCon next year.

I finally found a newspaper yesterday. It's the first pictures and news I've had other than the talk radio station. The pictures are astonishing to me. Wow. They are awful along the coast. Makes me realize how lucky we were inland. Even a little bit south and east of us, they had horrible flooding. Man, I'm really missing cable and internet now. It's been 5 days, an eternity when you're used to be as wired as we are.

Got the insurance claims in. The State Farm people I talked to on Monday weren't from Texas and didn't realize we have different insurance policies here. They filed my claim under homeowners, without realizing I have a separate policy for windstorm. So Wednesday, they called back and denied the claim. Needless to say, we were a little upset, especially since I was staring at my windstorm policy at the time. I called my agent and he said that was a common problem, but they were fixing it. He opened another claim for me and assured me we were covered and we should see an adjuster in a week or two.

I won't be able to post any of my pictures until my internet at home comes back. I hear that we're supposed to get it tomorrow, but with Comcast, who knows? I think Daniel is seriously considering going to DSL and Dish Network instead of Comcast. This is just the final straw that broke the camel's back.

Later. Send your prayers and thoughts to those who lost so much in Hurricane Ike. We are unscathed and relatively well off.

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