Rita: Update

So the new projected path shows that Rita may hit land either south of Houston or farther to the east. According to the weather people that means that I won't be seeing the real brunt of the storm. For some reason the real strong winds are on the southern side of the eye and the only way I would have gotten hit with that is if it were to move west of my position.
The house has been watching the weather channel and the local news all day. There really isn't much else to do but keep an eye on this thing. The big stories are the parking lot-like highways and the shortage of gas for all in the area. It seems as though after Galveston was ordered to evacuate yesterday everyone else thought it was a good idea to go as well. So now, those in Galveston who had no choice to go because the entire island is expected to flood are stuck in traffic and are in even greater danger since they have no shelter to go to once the storm bares down on us. Everyone else who is stuck on the highways can't even turn around now because of a number of reasons. Let's go through them:
1) Many don't have enough gas to get back home after sitting in traffic for 20+ hours.
2) Even if they did have the gas, there are many, many cars out there that are empty and have overheated so that's creating a massive problem in trying to clear those vehicles.
3) IF those with gas were able to get off the highway, the lanes traveling in the opposite direction are now being used to alleviate the traffic by allowing cars to drive the wrong way. These lanes are being referred to as "contra-lanes".
4) Many of those stuck on the highways have heard promise of tanker trucks coming to supply gas to those in need so they are sticking it out and waiting for their "saviors" to come. But of course there is no way for those trucks to get there because of the traffic. And to compound the trouble, I've heard some stories that tankers are charging outrageous prices for the gas. One such story being that a driver was asked to pay $60 for half a tank. That's nearly $11/gallon.
So now anyone who wants to leave is pretty much stuck unless things clear up REAL fast on the roads and the magic gas fairy fills everyone's tanks for free.
For the past day or so everyone in the house has been moving things into their closets to protect them from any possible rain or wind that might come in through broken windows. I haven't done that. My closet has a window so the whole thing seems pointless to me. I'm going to cover all of my electronic gadgets with garbage bags just in case and hope that no debris comes hurtling towards any of it. I'm going to try and stash away as much of the little knick knacks and posters/pictures as possible, but there really isn't much room left. Everyone is planning on hunkering down in the windowless areas of the house so that's taking up storage space for other items. I probably should get to videotaping my belongings for insurance purposes. I'm not too worried about harm coming to my person, it's more of the computer that is just a month old sitting in front of me. I haven't even paid it off yet.
I'm going to try to post at least once more before Rita hits. It's unclear how long we'll be without power. The last hurricane to come through here was in the '80's and it took two weeks to be restored. That was two decades ago though. I'm not expecting it to take that long. At least I'm hoping it won't. The weather is supposed to be a bit cooler for a few days following the storm. Here's a look at the local forecast. The high lately has been in the upper 90's, so upper 80's looks downright comfortable. It's the humidity that gets me.

Went on my nightly walk with the dog and took a look around the neighborhood. Looks like a number of the houses were dark, so either they've evacuated or they don't like lights. Less than half of the houses have taped up the windows on the first floor, and most were just the larger ones or decorative types that are more expensive to replace. No one has boarded up their windows. The big dumpster full of brick debris is still sitting down the street and is still completely uncovered. Yet, there was another dumpster just 100 yards away that had plywood tied down over it. I could see a number of the homeowners filing suit against the construction company that left the brick dumpster behind like this if any damage comes from it. There are also 1 or 2 Johnny on the Spots sitting out there. The smell coming from them made me think that they're pretty heavy, but just having it dumped out would on the street would be bad enough.

No comments: