The eye of the category 2 hurricane officially made landfall on Galveston Island in the wee hours of Saturday morning, before following a similar path taken by Hurricane Alicia in 1984 by moving up Interstate 45 northward and ravaging the mainland on its way to Houston, Texas.
According to friends and family that I finally managed to contact late this afternoon, they are still without regular phone service or electricity at this time although at least cell phone service has been restored. While Southwestern Bell had no immediate estimate on the restoration of land lines for phone calls, Reliant Energy was saying it could be as late as the end of September to restore electricity to everyone affected.
Severe street flood is common, especially in areas where the roads are now of lower elevations from redevelopment over the last decade. Water levels are expected to crest in most areas by Sunday with drainage proceeding accordingly.
Downtown Houston and other parts of the city report lots of broken window panes from damaged skyscrapers. There is not a current estimate available for the conclusion of cleanup operations.
Relief and rescue efforts are underway for those in need and President Bush has declared the affected areas a disaster area, paving the way for state and federal aid to become available.
More on this when details become available.