I wanted to let y'all know that I am fine as are my animals. I was actually in New York City when Ike decided to make landfall on the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas. For those of you who do not know, that is very close to Galveston Island which is not very far South of where I live. There is quite a bit of destruction along the coast of Texas and Louisiana. There are several communities that have been destroyed or have sustained severe damage. Right now, no one except emergency personnel and other people deemed essential are allowed onto Galveston Island and surrounding areas.
My house sustained very little damage. I am missing some shingles (maybe 2-3 dozen) from my roof but everything else is intact and undamaged (including my fence!!!). I have electricity, running water, internet and a fairly decent signal for my cell phone. I am very very very lucky. Several of my coworkers are without power and/or running water. Some of them have also sustained extensive damage to their houses (ceilings are collapsing and fences are down).
The Houston Zoo is in good shape. We sustained some minor damage to fencing and had lots of trees and limbs down. Our grounds, horticulture, maintenance and housekeeping staff did an incredible job getting the zoo cleaned up. Animal staff helped where and when we could. The zoo, as of yesterday, had running water and electricity. It also reopened to the public yesterday and had quite a few guests come through.
Moody Gardens (on Galveston Island) sustained some damage, I do not know how much as of yet. I do know there was flooding in some, if not all, of their buildings. Yesterday some staff from the Houston Zoo went down and got some of the animals (at the request of Moody Gardens). We will temporarily be housing them until Moody Gardens can take them back. At this time I do not know which of their animals we have. I do know we have taken in some of their birds (no penguins) but that's it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected (and continue to be affected) by this storm.
For some images of Hurricane Ike and his aftermath, go here or here or here. The Houston Chronicle also has lots of information concerning Ike and the recovery efforts.