September 12th, 2008
10:37 PM ET

Waiting for Ike

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/12/art.vert.rod.griola.jpg caption="CNN cameraman Rod Griola in Houston, Texas, waits for Ike to make landfall." width=292 height=320]
Rod Griola
CNN Photojournalist

Waiting for the storm is an anxiety inducing event. One can image what people in the Houston and Galveston area are thinking right now with a massive, water-filled guest, named Ike, about to call. Outside our hotel in downtown Houston 2 bars are open, people are sitting outside having a drink. I can't say how they feel exactly but a beer seems to bring things down a notch.

For myself, waiting for IKE to do something here, in Houston, is uneasy. I'm a cameraman with CNN and so my assignment thus far has consisted of preparing supplies, being ready to work at a moments notice, and to shoot video when the storm gets to Houston.

At this moment it hasn't, so I wait. It is a nervous wait.

I keep myself busy with searching the storm path, over and over and over again. I search for where the flooding historically occurs in Houston. I find a weblink that shows where the watersheds are in Houston. I look at the maps. I sort of understand the maps.

I have a link on my web browser to NOAA's tracking page of IKE, I check it several times again, even though NOAA updates it once every 3 hours. One of the AC360 producers asks me to help out with Anderson's 8pm liveshot. I head out to help, again trying not to think about how I'm not shooting any storm video right now, I help do a mic check.

In our hotel the bar is open, and people are gathered watching ESPN, CNN and Houston's Channel 11 news. They are watching the storm updates over and over and the community safety officers telling people to stay home if you haven't left yet. The Yankees game is in a rain delay, and the storm is just beginning to thrash Galveston. And we can watch moment by moment as the bands of water inch up the TV screens from Galveston to south Houston.

I know Houston fairly well. My wife and I took a cruise out of Houston about 4 years ago for her 30th Birthday. I've been to Houston this year about 10 times for various work related reasons. But I've not seen Houston like this. It's waiting for this storm so quietly. I've been told I probably won't have start shooting until close to daybreak, CNN has a lot of crews here and they don't want to burn everyone out, because once we start working, sleep will be the absent thing.

So Houston and I wait...

Filed under: Hurricane Ike
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Amanda Walton

    Hey Rod, Stay Safe. Your writing made me feel like I was right there, I'm in Ontario Canada so I've never been near a hurricane, very intense what you describe. I am like that when bad weather is called here on the lookout for tornados, watching the satellite on Environment Canada waiting for changes. This summer we had a few bad days and as a camper who spends my time in the parks I post weather especially weather warnings to make sure everyone is prepared. I couldn't imagine what you all must feel.

    It's now almost 2am so you may now be out there with Anderson as I watch. My prayers are with all the reporters, crew and residents who chose to stay that you all stay safe. I'll be up all night watching as long as you guys are live as I'm sure thousands are doing.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:52 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    Looking forward to seeing the pictures you will take. CNN always has the best pictures. All the reporters look like drowned rats now – Rick Sanchez looks especially wet since he didn't have his slicker on. I doubt that the slicker makes much difference in rain like this though.

    I hope before the winds get really bad in Houston that someone ties a rope around Anderson's waist so if he goes airbourne you all can fish him back in.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 13, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  3. Salaina Syed

    Prayers is the only thing now we can depend upon....stay safe reporters especially...i am hell scared out here....my sister is in Houston who has planned to stay back....why is this all happening out there..?? last time it was katrina..now its Ike...this time...the Houston mayor said it's going to be disaster....i await the news from CNN..keep it up CNN... i want to hear the breaking news as "Ike hits Houston at Cat 1 causing least damage and no deaths".....

    September 13, 2008 at 1:32 am |
  4. kd

    be safe!
    i always think of the camera guys, so thanks for the peek inside.


    September 13, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  5. Peter Ransome

    My gf lives in Rosharon south of Houston and they have no power now, hours before the storm is there

    September 12, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  6. Betty Hyde

    Here I sit in Tennessee watching this massive storm beat down on my home, I grew up on the Gulf coast and Left 20 years ago getting away from a storm. I am thankful that my family that lives in Brazoria County and Harris County have got out of the way of this massive storm called Ikes. I thank you for doing the job that your doing so that people like me can keep up with what is really going on. Stay Safe and God Bless

    September 12, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  7. Teresa Selby

    You stay safe out there and tell the other reporters.

    -Your biggest fan from Washington State-
    ( If you want a break form the wind and the rain, come up here!)

    September 12, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  8. Rose

    We are in Pasadena Texas, we lost our cable no more CNN. No Anderson, really sad.

    September 12, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  9. Lindsay

    Hey Anderson and crew– you should come hunker down with us in Houston! Come experience the power going on and off incessantly before the storm is even here! Witness the homeless people walking around just ready to loot. We're just two minutes away from downtown, shoot us an e-mail! It will be much more exciting than standing on the sidewalk downtown.

    September 12, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  10. Milka

    I cant imagine what it is like waiting for the storm to hit and just sitting, watching and waiting. Wow you are all amazing strong people to be there. Good luck!

    September 12, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  11. Jay

    Having lived in South Florida for over 30 year and through Andrew my heart goes out to these folks!

    It is good to see Rick Sanchez on the street, during Andrew he was in the cozy Channel 7 newsroom!

    September 12, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  12. Jennifer Griola

    Stay safe honey!

    The kids and I are praying for you, all of you 🙂

    September 12, 2008 at 10:45 pm |