Day 21: Hurricane Ike in Jasper, TX

The first severe part of the storm hit town during the early morning hours today. Ray and I slept through most of it, although for a while we did hear a piece of partially-detached aluminum siding banging against the side of the building. The power went off briefly a few times, but surprisingly, it’s been on most of the time. That was a good thing, as the hotel was still able to set up their breakfast buffet, which at 8am, we got up for just in time, as they were starting to put it away as we sat down.

There are a bunch of roof shingles laying all around outside the building, but other than that, the hotel is sturdy enough and holding up fine. All day, it’s mostly just been a steady rain and winds. They say that the worst part of the hurricane is supposed to be coming later this afternoon. At worst, we’ll have to leave our rooms and congregate in the hallways or conference room to stay away from the windows, but other than that, we are safe here.

Most of the other guests here appear to be locals who did not feel their homes were safe, but did not want to leave the area completely. The hotel owners and staff have been very accomodating, and we really appreciate all they are doing to keep us safe and comfortable. They put out some cold-cuts for us to have sandwiches for lunch, and the coffee pots have been kept full!

The cable TV is out, but surprisingly, everything else seems to be working well–phone and Internet service are working, and as I mentioned, power outages have only been momentary. If possible, I’ll post updates on the Hurricane, as well as if and when we can continue on our bikes, later.

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