Ike affects students' families

By Leah Cooper, Managing Editor
On September 18, 2008

Not a drop of rain fell over San Angelo when Hurricane Ike ate its way through the Texas gulf, killing at least 50 people in 10 states, destroying homes or leaving them without any source of power. Some ASU students from the Houston and Galveston areas, however, waited anxiously to hear from family and friends who stayed behind to endure the storm. One such student, freshman Marcus Petteway, worried about his grandmother, a Galveston resident who decided to ride it out.

"I was just so scared," Petteway said.

His grandmother survived the effects of Rita, Petteway said, and successfully did the same with Ike.

"She called me and told me she was OK," Petteway said. "I am just glad everything turned out OK."

Other students, like sophomore Jennifer Barrett, learned that her uncle suffered a minor property loss when a tree landed on the roof of his home and car. Some businesses in Galveston, Barrett said, were not so fortunate.

"The waves in Galveston, where the hurricane directly hit, were above the Seawall and over the stop lights as well causing major flooding and wiping out," Barrett said. "Hooters, which was on the beach pier, completely blew away during the hurricane along with a couple other pier businesses."

Though many lost homes, vehicles, and perhaps businesses, the majority, like senior Theresa Henry's family suffered only a loss a power and minor debris damage.

"My dad lives in Spring and didn't have electricity until Sunday afternoon," Henry said. "My sister lives in Katy and doesn't have electricity."

Some students, like junior Brenda Bonneau, said they fear the economic effects from Ike. Gas prices are expected to increase slightly due to the shutdown of the majority of the U.S. oil drilling platforms and refineries in the gulf coast area.

"It [gas price] hasn't gone up that much yet," Bonneau said, "but it'll hit soon."

Bonneau's home in Texas City suffered minor water damages and her family said they had "help" from out-of-state volunteers.

"There were people from South Carolina that came down to help start cleaning," Bonneau said. It is unknown when exactly families are allowed to return to their homes.

Junior Kurt Crenwelge said he was worried about his parents, but knew they prepared in advance for the hurricane.

"I remember Friday morning I had the news on and I was tracking the storm. I said a quick prayer for my family," Crenwelge said. "I was concerned, but I've survived tropical storm Allison before. Ever since my family has lived there, we have this sense that nothing bad is going to happen, because we live so far inland and no storms really ever affected us."

Crenwelge said that his parents put plywood on their windows and wrapped the chimney with plastic to prevent water from leaking inside the house.

"I was rightfully concerned," Crenwelge said, "but we've survived tropical storm Allison. Crenwelges are tough; we'll survive anything."

Graduate student Steven Apodaca said that, at first, journalists were overstating reality and he did not think it Ike would be a threat. However, when Ike unleashed its full fury, the magnitude of the situation became obvious.

"My initial reaction was 'Oh, it's just another hurricane. The media is blowing it out of proportion once again,'" Apodaca said. "Leading up to it, I think that everyone saw that it was more of a serious issue."

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