I volunteered to go down to Houston to help my company with their clean-up after Ike. I work for VZ Wireless, and while I don't like to talk about work (that just spells trouble), I have to say that I'm pretty proud of how the folks down there did their jobs. Many of them still had no power a week after the storm, but were still coming in and working 12 to 15 hour days or nights. We got a ton of stuff done and we're now providing excellent cell phone service even to the few alligators and feral dogs that are left out in Crystal Beach. Seriously, we got our network up in a very short time, doing things that you know to do and then going back and thinking up new ways to get the job done. There were a lot of folks there from all over, Philly and Massachusetts and Raliegh, North Carolina. Most all of them were staying in RV's or maybe hotel rooms. My sister lives within five miles of the network offices and had power so I slept over there. My folks were there too, waiting for power to come back on at their place. I had night shifts most of the time so I didn't get to spend enough time with them, hopefully I wasn't a burden. Lots of trees down, traffic lights out all over the place. I did not see any lines at gas stations though. I got there Thursday after the storm on Saturday and I was staying on the NW side, so folks were adjusted to it by then and I'm sure I didn't see the worst of it. Some stores were open and some were closed. I saw a Walmart with no lights on in the parking lot or on the front of the store but the inside was up and they were open thanks to a portable generator.
In the end, I was there a week. I brought my bike but never even put on the wheels, too busy working or sleeping.