Although Hurricane Ike is gone from Texas, the recovery from the wrath the storm wrought is just beginning.
In exclusive interviews with AllHopHop.com, various members of the Houston Hip-Hop community illuminated on how they are coping in the aftermath of Ikes destruction.
An estimated 40% of Houston residents ignored warnings to flee the city, expecting that the hurricane would not cripple the region, which eventually suffered more than $20 million in property damage.
While assessing the damage to his own properties, rapper Chamillionaire explained to AllHipHop.com why he took no chances and is relieved he chose to evacuate.
I honestly didnt expect the storm to have as big an impact on Houston as it did. The storm lifted trees from the roots at my house and knocked down a fence at my car shop but thats nothing compared to some of the disaster the storm caused for others, he stated. I feel blessed to have the means to get out of the city to seek refuge in surrounding cities but feel pity for all the people that are still sitting in the dark with no power. I really hope they can get all the power in the city restored sooner than the 2 week recovery time they are estimating.
Madd Hatta, radio host of 97.9 The Boxs #1 rated morning show, elaborated on the perilous situations many stranded residents now face.
According to him, the lack of essential living items like water and gas now leave many in more danger than the hurricane itself.
I stayed on the air for about 40 plus hours and Im still working day parts for talent that couldnt come back on the air, Hatta revealed. The city was shocked that it was touched the way it was. We didnt see it. Im without power at home and luckily the station had water and food. The city is begging for gas, water, and ice. Its a hectic situation. But were a strong city we will survive.
Despite not being able to offer physical assistance, Madd Hatta colleague Terri Thomas explained that they were still able to act as a calming influence on air, by offering residents valuable rescue information.
People were terrified, calling us on the phone. Family and friends huddled in closets and smalls rooms for information or a song of hope or even just comfort knowing that they were not alone, Thomas recalled. We made it through together. We did our best to give out information on the storm, relief efforts, rescue efforts, and safety measures. For those that were stuck, we were able to link up neighbors to share supplies and a helping hand.
It is estimated that over 100,000 homes were flooded. Many cornered residents resorted to climbing trees and rooftops, floating on debris, and punching holes in their attics to survive.
Ozone-award winner Paul Wall is one of an estimated 2 million still without power, but remains thankful for his safety and stresses that his fellow Texans remain cognizant of helping out their neighbors and community wherever possible during this difficult time.
I havent had any power since Friday (September 12).Theres 13 people at my house because of all the flooding. But by Gods grace theres no major damage to my house, and most importantly were all safe, Paul explained. I never thought a hurricane would come this far north. This is the time for family and friends to stick together and for us to be kind to strangers and look out for our neighbors. Really this is all a walk in the park compared to Katrina so I cant complain. I know my fellow Texans out there are going through far worse than me and I wish there was something we could do to help out.
Also among the lucky few were Pimp C widow Chinara Butler and their six-year-old daughter Christian, both of whom narrowly escaped Ikes punishing flood waters that consumed and saturated their entire home.
Still shell-shocked, Butler remained short for words and in awe of Mother Natures frightening power.
Wow! she exclaimed after surveying her ruined home. One day youre here, and the next day youre gone.
Hurricane Ike made landfall on September 12 over Galveston, Texas with winds of 110 mph and waves overcoming the 17 foot high protective Galveston Seawall.
As a result, landmarks like the historic Balinese Room nightclub were completely washed away.
The TMI Boyz, some of whom have family from Galveston, allege that the federal government is still making the same mistakes that cost people their lives during the rampage of 2005s Hurricane Katrina.
This is a major situation we have here at home, the citizens of the United States dont have any where to live, and nothing to live off of, we have the same FEMA problems as New Orleans after Katrina, the group disclosed in a joint statement. You would think that the government would have already prepared itself for a catastrophic event such as Hurricane Ike, some of our family members lost everything.
Houston officials report that relief efforts are still ongoing and estimate a completion time of 2 weeks before power is returned to every Houston resident.
At press time, Hurricane Ikes death toll for Texas stands at 19 people.