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September 13th, 2008
12:06 AM ET

The demonic shriek of Ike's winds

Gregg Canes
CNN Senior Photographer

It's been a while since I covered my last hurricane and I forgot just how frightening, exhilirating, majestic and physically tiring it can be.

After a day of live shots along the Galveston seawall, it was decided to move to a safer location in a parking garage. The trip to the parking garage was about 200 yards but it as like walking into a blizzard.

The rain has been driving so hard it hurts. The only way to move was forward and slowly careful not to drop the camera, I inched my way through a debris field of what remained of the wall.

This is insane, I thought. It was a human chain of Augie Martin, Jason Morris and myself that finally allowed the massive 200-yard trek to be completely.

I'm in my hotel room now. All power to the hotel is gone - even the emergency lights in the stairwell.

Walking back to my room, I could hear the demonic shriek of Ike's winds and in the distance at least one large fire was burning. The hotel, we have been told is very safe, yet as I stand here typing by the light of my Blackberry the building itself is swaying in the rhythm with Ike.


Filed under: Hurricane Ike
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    I am in full agreement with Laura's post about people who refuse to obey a MANDATORY evacuation order. You people do NOT have my sympathy, and you should be fined and billed for rescue services rendered.

    By staying you put your life in danger, yet in the end your action proved nothing, you gained nothing, and then you have the audacity to think you deserve to be rescued. Fine.....then pay for it.

    September 15, 2008 at 9:10 am |
  2. Bettina

    I just saw this video clip on cnn, the clip is called “Ike flood victims return”:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/weather/2008/09/14/nguyen.kemah.flood.victim.cnn

    I was appalled that the owners left their 2 puppies (in their crates no less) practically to die helplessly in a horrible way I’m sure. Now, any thinking person would have either put them up high (if they are putting them in cages), or left them to at least try to find a higher ground themselves (tables, etc)…I don’t feel sorry for this family at all now…what horrendous pet owners. They probably have no conscience at all, or even thought they did anything wrong. Poor animals, I can’t even think about the way they died. If it weren’t for this, I might have felt nothing but sympathy for them, now, not at all. And why couldn’t they have just taken those “crates”, or the puppies themselves with them. What morons. Fortunately, I have been seeing a lot of very different stories, of people being resued and taking their beloved pets with them. They give me hope and restore my opinion of the human species.

    September 15, 2008 at 1:43 am |
  3. Don

    I'm in Evansville Indiana and the remains of Ike have just blown over
    this city with such great winds! Many branches down and many
    police, fire engine, and ambulance sirens howling! The awesome
    power in the storm front was amazing I can not imagine what Ike's
    force must have been like on the coast of Texas! My heart goes
    out to all of the people that have been affected by Ike in Texas and
    elsewhere....
    Yours,
    Don

    September 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  4. raindog

    It's unfortunate that a purely natural weather event is being labeled "demonic".

    September 14, 2008 at 3:57 am |
  5. RD

    I'm on the other side of the world with the love of my life in Houston and no way of contacting Him. This has been the only information I have. Thank you for your commitment and bravery to stick it out. Having some real facts always helps as the imagination usually creates worse.

    September 14, 2008 at 2:46 am |
  6. N. Thomas

    As someone who has been through a few hurricanes, who was inside the house when the roof blew away and the rain started to pour in, I cannot understand why people would not evacuate. It wasn't as though I chose to stay home instead of going to a shelter. That wasn't a choice and we weren't even in a low-lying area.

    What in your house is worth your life? And the ones with children who stay put, I want to know why. Why would you risk the lives of your children, the lives of your family? Do you know more about hurricanes than the meteorologists? And the ones who say they won't leave because God will protect them... well I think they are idiots. God gave your protection... he gave you a brain, do engage it!

    I very much agree that those obstinate fools who did not evacuate and end up having to be rescued should be presented with the bill. Gas prices aren't cheap, helicopter rides aren't cheap, and neither are the lives of emergency personnel! I wish I could bill for the anxiety and the loss of sleep their refusal to evacuate cost me, and I don't even know anyone from that area.

    September 14, 2008 at 2:41 am |
  7. w4wtoronto

    It's all over now until next time. Thank God y'all weren't born in Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, or the Cayman Islands where they get Hurricanes several times a year.

    September 14, 2008 at 2:22 am |
  8. K Joy

    I don't understand people who won't leave (not can't but won't). I lived through a hurricane as a toddler, and when Andrew came I got outta Dodge, er, Miami. When they say evacuate, I'm gone. If pets aren't locked up they do better if they must be left behind believe it or not. More pets died from fright that were in "safe" places than pets that were left to find shelter on their own. I'd get my vet to give me something to sedate my cat and take her with me to a shelter and hide her until it was all over. People who WON'T leave are, in my opinion, stupid thrill seekers and should pay through the nose to rescue workers.

    September 13, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  9. sharon

    My prayers are with all of you.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Donna

    When residents see CNN crews in harm's way, staying when everyone else has been told to evacuate ~ why would they think it's life-threatening for themselves? Have CNN crews had anyone rush up to them, seeking shelter? What would happen if they did? I've seen no news this morning about predicted storm surge of "up to 20+ feet." Has anyone heard from the woman mayor of Galveston, hunkered down with her crew on the island? I remember her from other hurricanes. What a broad. Tell her bloggers are watching, if you see her. ~ DFW Donna

    September 13, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  11. Pat

    I'm not sure that people watching the coverage realize that many people in the Houston area were advised not to leave – this includes my daughter and her family. I talked to her at 2:30 this morning but have not heard from her since. They lost power at appx. 2:00 a.m.
    My prayers are with everyone in the area.

    September 13, 2008 at 9:15 am |
  12. Karen Dethloff Glenday

    I'm relieved that my prayers have been answered and those 22 or so crewmen aboard that frieghter are safe! My great great frandfather sailed ships from the Gulf Coast to the Yucatan and back many years ago and I have a special place in my heart for those that risk their lives to bring goods and commerce to our ports.
    I can only imagine what they went through. I crossed the Atlantic in a watercraft many times that size and experienced Cat 1 hurricane conditions and that was frightning. I can only imagine what they experienced. I hope that we hear from them after they are stabilized and able to give an interview. Its a miracle they all made it! Really a miracle! I want them to know that many many people were praying for their safe return. We'll keep praying until they all make it home to their families.
    God Speed

    September 13, 2008 at 5:36 am |
  13. Benzy

    My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Galveston and nearby areas. Hope that all will have a safe passage through the stormy night.

    September 13, 2008 at 4:09 am |
  14. Ben

    Having lived on the Gulf Coast for the first twenty one years of my life I have been through a few hurricanes and rode almost all of them out in our family's old home. I can feel why some stayed home, I hope they prepared for high water and strong winds!

    Living in California for over forty years now and close to the Loma Prieta big shake I can say "They don't have earthquakes in Muskoge"
    or for that matter Corpus Christi................stay safe folks!
    Ben

    September 13, 2008 at 2:35 am |
  15. LR

    While I truly wish you well and hope that no harm comes to you, I believe that it is irresponsible for the media to position themselves directly in the storm's path while at the same time advising everyone else to leave. I wonder, how many people decided to follow your lead of reckless disregard for the warnings? I don't applaud your courage, but instead question your motives. You would have served the public better by evacuating inland, thus using your considerable influence to promote cautionary behavior.

    September 13, 2008 at 2:10 am |
  16. lee zbit

    Did the 1000 or so inmates and deputies finally get out of the 1 story building that is Galveston Co. Jail? as of 3 pm yesterday they were still there.

    September 13, 2008 at 2:02 am |
  17. Kimball McIlvaine

    Sorry..., and most sorry for the animals...but very very angry.. why didn't CNN offer people helpsites for animal and call on people in animal rescue organizations...it's easy to get out.. BUT not as easy for people that have horses and livestock... SO for me, You have failed to help people...and I am so disappointed(moreso) because you never even gave considsideration of what people could do and whom they could contact... I would think that would be a Number One consideration.... Please Just mention Humane Societies or any organizations that help in crisis.... PLEASE, people just don't know...and they get false info for there animals... I would hate to hear it is OK to leave horses out...as our farm was smashed with debris and 12 inches of water..(in Fay).people need to know and have resources..please give them that.... I am just shaking my head...so disappointing... that this wasn't in place before this.... I will could give you 20 organizations perhaps...but not even they were showing on google to help.... hoping as we all are
    As Ike was headed towards us here in SW Fla.. and I am a recent semi snow bird from CT person, some people say ride it out..we were under water from Fay... and they need authority to remind them of the importance from authorities form Humane Societies and people that know what the heck they are talking about... Get Wayne Pacelle on the phone from Humane Society and make them talk for the animals... PLEASE!!!!!!!!
    ,

    September 13, 2008 at 1:50 am |
  18. Joe Bottomlee

    I can't beleive people that people would want to stay on Galveston Island with the storm surge that is expected.

    I used to live on Galveston. For the most part the sea wall is the highest land point on the island. From most place on the island you have to drive up hill to reach the road on top of the sea wall. On the east end of the island where Broadway Blvd and the Sea Wall Blvd meet is about the only place that is at the same level. The only places I remember being higher than the sea wall was the old WWII bunkers build along the coast line. The other place is at the hotel were the news crews and emergncy crews are staying.

    I hope everyone survies, but if the predicted surge does come, I think the whole island wil be under water and there will be lost of life.

    May God watch over them.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  19. tim

    It's amazing that people still question whether a God exists. Man will never be in control of all things. It's arrogant to say He is "mother nature."

    September 13, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  20. Cindy

    God Bless. Be safe. Thank you for all of the work that you do. We are "extended family" to many on Galveston and feel like that is a second home. – Up here in Austin with 8 gallons of water and lots of canned goods!

    September 13, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  21. Don, WA

    It seems the demonic shriek of Ike's winds have blown Beat 360 right off the page tonight – I would'nt want to be in galveston. If you're still there I hope you have a life raft.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:38 am |
  22. Kathy

    I'm across the gulf in Tampa praying for everyone in Ikes path. It could of been us, Tampa has been very lucky! I saw the awful result of Andrew after it hit Miami. My son lives in Pensacola and they got Ivan in September of 2004 which was absolutely terrible. I hope Ike spares all of you! God Bless You

    September 13, 2008 at 1:36 am |
  23. Deb in Washington State

    At what point do you decide it's just too dangerous to report about the storm while actually standing in the storm? I'm sure you know what you're doing, but it is really frightening to watch.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:31 am |
  24. Bernice

    That's the thing when a storm is built to be a really bad one, but turns out to be not so bad and after people have spent money they could not afford they are not as likely to leave every time. That's why it is so very important that the weather reports are not hyped up more than they so be, but at the same time not underemphisized.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  25. Jeffrey

    Why are you there? You post stories about people who won't leave, yet you stay.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  26. Blanche Davidian

    It’s been a while since I covered my last hurricane and I forgot just how much hairsppray you go gneed tooo WHHHHHHOOOOOSH!!!!

    September 13, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  27. Marshall In Austin

    Can someone please post a link to live coverage on this?

    September 13, 2008 at 1:15 am |
  28. Lauren

    Every time I watch to coverage of these monster storms I become more and more frustrated with the people who, after being told of a mandatory evacuation, decide for whatever reason not to leave. I'm not talking about people who can't leave. I'm speaking only about people who won't.

    This was somewhat understandable during Katrina, when even if someone could leave, they couldn't take their pets to a shelter, or they didn't have transportation. Those poor people who couldn't afford to leave and had to be housed in the Dome or Convention center.

    I happily part with my tax dollars to pay for the buses, trains and planes that evacuated NOLA and other residents to flee Gustav. The plain truth of it is, that it's far more expensive an undertaking to try to rescue people after the fact, than to provide for evacuation services to avoid that. These people seem to be missing the point. The point of an evacuation is to remove people from a disaster area... so the first responders can concentrate on getting the infrastructure and services back on-line without having to spend precious resources rescuing all these folks who shouldn't be there in the first place.

    You know, the Rockies... we have those sorts too. Their the people who ski out of bounds... and expect to be searched for and saved. We save them and when we find them alive... we bless them, and cheerfully present them with a bill for all the resources expended to bring them home.

    Basically, if we're issuing mandatory evacuation orders... and we're providing transportation and shelters where you can ostensibly get out of harm's way... and you choose to stay where you should not be (despite the warnings, offers of help, offers to transport and house your pets, laws protecting your jobs if you leave) and we have to fly some helicopter in there, or send folks to dig you out... then you will be presented with a bill for the time, costs and equipment used by the first responders to save you.

    You see, when you're where you should not be... and we have to save you first... you endanger others (namely the first responders). You use up valuable resources that are so precious when recovering from a disaster.

    Maybe if we did this... we'd have a lot less of the "we're just goin' ta ride it out" mentality and we'd see a whole lot less of this sort of thing.

    Oh... and to the Doctor who evacuated their house and locked the family dog in the pantry... shame on you!

    September 13, 2008 at 1:05 am |
  29. Dave (Springfield, IL)

    Gregg,
    Hang in there. As a former TV news photog who covered tornadoes,
    I can only try to imagine what it's like.Thanks for your perspective. Stay safe.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:05 am |
  30. Lisa

    Were the prisoners and guards evacuated from the Galveston County Jail this afternoon?

    September 13, 2008 at 1:03 am |
  31. Annie Kate

    I have a friend in Mobile and she has been through several hurricanes – she said the worst things about a hurricane was the shriek of the wind and the sound of things hitting the house; its so dark she said you'd never see anything blowing toward you until it was too late.

    I hope you and the rest of the crew stay safe. You all are the best whether it be hurricanes or politics.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 13, 2008 at 12:57 am |
  32. Suebob

    Please stay safe. Thinking of you and all the people who have to stay and do their jobs.

    September 13, 2008 at 12:57 am |
  33. Chele

    GOD BLESS

    September 13, 2008 at 12:44 am |
  34. Maria Atl Ga

    Anderson and all the crew thanks for all the thing you do for us CNN is truly the best in news. I have not been able to change the channel since the conventions..

    September 13, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  35. Jim

    I watched Touchman explain your walk from the wall – wow, yes, you're in the pit of it right now. Amazing – blogging via blackberry in the middle of the darkness as the eye-wall of a hurricane passes over/through you. Exhilarating. But scary, I'm sure.

    September 13, 2008 at 12:38 am |
  36. Diane McKeel,WA

    My niece Stacey is in Houston waiting it out with friends, so staying up to hear how all are doing. Galveston how fast are your winds?

    September 13, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  37. Nicki (San Antonio,TX)

    Amazing, i hope you remain safe! Are you in Galveston?

    September 13, 2008 at 12:27 am |
  38. kim

    please be careful! don't do anything stupid...too many people are not taking this thing seriously. My parents went to San Antonio to see a nephew graduate from military school and got stranded. And they are not even in the middle of the storm. They said there are people everywhere...please take care!

    September 13, 2008 at 12:25 am |
  39. Laurie, Nashville, TN

    Be careful Anderson!!! Our thoughts are with you and the crew and anyone else in Ike's path.

    September 13, 2008 at 12:20 am |
  40. brokenvoices

    praying for you, the crew, and everyone there!

    September 13, 2008 at 12:20 am |
  41. Maria Atl Ga

    Thank You for what you do, I have been watching CNN all day. stay safe

    September 13, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  42. Jay

    May God protect you!

    September 13, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  43. Jan-Michael Kolodoski

    Some students on the University of Houston campus have been evacuated to safer places on campus. As a parent I am pleased that UH has things under control. The students are moved, have places to sleep, and food and water.

    Downtown Houston was devastated by hurricane Alicia. The glass was falling in downtown Houston but one major thing has changed since the 1980's. The gravel roofs on the top of the skyscrapers have been banned by City Ordinance. Glass will break with Ike but it should be far less since the buildings will not be pelted by rocks from neighboring buildings.

    September 13, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  44. Prakash

    Can you tell us what's happening in Houston area? I have my relatives there and I am concerned...

    September 13, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  45. nancy

    oh, nevermind, I see: Galveston. Eek!

    September 13, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  46. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Batten down the hatches. Thanks for the work you all do.

    September 13, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  47. nancy

    what city are you in?

    September 13, 2008 at 12:13 am |