The Washington Times - September 12, 2008, 10:36PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the Hurricane Ike Blog.

Houston-area freelance writer Robert Geiger, holed up with his family as Hurricane Ike bears down on the Texas coast, shares his thoughts with readers of The Washington Times. If you’re in the Houston area and you’d like to contribute to this blog, please e-mail your stories to




Weird sky at night …


Well, it’s 8 o’clock in the evening and the front edge of Ike has definitely arrived. It’s become very windy and what’s strange is the wind will blow very strong in one direction for awhile and then it will suddenly, and quite randomly, gust in another direction.


The twilight sky is very, very ominous. It’s almost orange outside and there are very low, thick clouds that are rolling just above our heads. I guess 100 years ago this would have been the first real indication that something big was brewing.


I have two kids, a 6-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. They are excited and a little worried about the storm. Neither of them has been through a really big system like this before. Of course, I’m telling them it’s all going to be okay. I hope I’m right. My little girl Sara decided to go spend the night down the street with her grandparents, my in-laws. That way she can sleep in the bed with Nana.


With darkness approaching, the trepidation level goes up a bit as you can’t visually see what’s happening outside. I’m expecting some long hours tonight as we get pelted with all the debris that’s sure to be flying around out there.


I’m not really scared about anything. I think the biggest obstacle will be just how long we’ll be without power at our house. We’re lucky because my in-laws have a natural gas-powered generator so we can stay with them if we’re down for a long time over here. It’s just losing contact with the outside world that will be tough for me.


Speaking of which, it’s been great catching up with all my friends from around the world, who have all e-mailed or called to see how we’re doing. I guess this storm in big news everywhere because I’ve gotten missives from as far away as New Zealand.


We cooked on the grill tonight so we could enjoy the breeze outside. Then our neighbors from across the street, who moved recently own from Pennsylvania and are Hurricane rookies, came over for a few drinks. Hurricane parties are quite the thing on the Gulf Coast.


I hope the people in the flood zones are okay and I worry for the emergency response people out there.


More later if I have a connection. I’m already down to my Verizon phone as my DSL at home is out.


Hopefully, we’ll be okay.


— Rob Geiger covers drag racing for AutoWeek magazine and is a contributor to USA Today. He also publishes drag racing news on his Web site,