Here's what happened last Friday night. Judy and I were watching the Astros game when the cable went off around 9:00 p. m. The wind was blowing hard, but it was nothing special. I'd already unplugged the computer, and now I unplugged the TV sets. We got ready for bed.
At 9:55, the electricity went off. I said, "It's started." I turned off the a/c and unplugged the refrigerators. Little did I know that we wouldn't have electricity again for quite a while. In fact, we called out neighbors last night, and there's still no power in our little area.
By 11:00 the wind was blowing quite hard, probably up to hurricane force. It blew like that until around 8:00 the next morning. We didn't get a lot of sleep, mainly because our bedroom is next to the garage, and the wind really worked over the garage doors. It banged them all night. The sound of the wind wasn't too bad in itself. It didn't bother the cats at all. It did bother me and Judy a couple of times. We're both certain we heard a small twister tossed off by the storm at least once. Maybe twice. We'd always been told that a twister sounded like a freight train, and that's the sound we heard. Judy thought the garage had been torn off the house. To me, it sounded more as if the roof had been lifted off the house.
I got up a few times during the night to look outside. There wasn't much to see, other than lots of rain. I could see the big magnolia tree outside our bedroom as it thrashed in the wind. It didn't lose a single branch, however. What lost branches was the big shade tree in the back yard. It has hardly any left. The time I looked in the back of the house, it was doing fine. The next morning, however, the limbs covered most of the yard.
All in all, it wasn't a bad night. Not one of the best I've spent, but not scary at all. Nerve-wracking, maybe, but not scary. We sat through Hurricane Alicia 25 years ago, and though it was supposedly just as strong as Ike, the winds didn't blow nearly as long and strong, at least not at our house. After that one, we just had a few small sticks in the yard. This time was different. I suspect there wasn't an undamaged tree in the whole town. Some were damaged much more than others, while some were simply uprooted. Judy and I got lucky in that none of the limbs punched through our windows or roof. Just the same, I'd rather not have another hurricane again for a long, long time. Or ever.