Plans

Aug. 16th, 2007 09:53 pm
mellificent: (umbrellas)
Inspired by that scary-looking track for Dean that came out this afternoon, we went and spent a godawful amount on groceries - we were going anyway, but we bought extra canned stuff and so forth - and we came up with a tentative plan for what we'll do if we have to evacuate. There's no question of staying here if it really comes right at us - it wouldn't take much of a hurricane to flood this place - but we do have Mom's place, which is also in a flood zone, if it came to anything major, but which is 25 miles or so inland, at least. So that would be the first stage, going there. Yeah, it's half empty, but it does have a bed and some furniture, and electricity and water. No cable, no phone, so it's not exactly a long-term plan, but it'd do for somewhere to sleep. And we might repair further inland, to my aunt's, if it becomes anything big. (Also, as I said to Rob, if we end up getting several days off, we might want to go there just for something to do. It will get boring fast with no internet and no cable.)

Yeah, I know this is early. Dean is still a long way off, but it never hurts to have a plan.

Come to think of it, not everybody knows where I live, so let me explain exactly why it's so much of a concern. After the 1900 hurricane (aka Isaac's Storm, if you've read that), they built a seawall in Galveston, right? It's 12 feet high, and they basically jacked up the whole town to match - and I mean that literally. They put everything up on stilts, and filled in underneath it. All of the east half of Galveston starts out 12 feet above sea level on the Gulf side and then slopes back towards the bay. However, where we live wasn't in town at that time, it was out in the country, and the Seawall didn't come down this far, originally. And later, when they did extend it down here, they didn't do the filling-in part, it just slopes right back down on the back side. And that's where we live, right behind the Seawall, a couple of hundred feet from the Gulf. And I don't know how far we are above sea-level, exactly, but it's not far. Five feet, maybe, at a guess. (Maybe. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out it was two or three.) And we live in a first-floor apartment. Galveston doesn't normally flood in any major way, because of that sloping-back-to-the bay business, but there's still storm surge. So this is not somewhere you want to be in anything but the tiniest hurricane.

(We were discussing something today that I'd practically forgotten, though. We came to a hurricane party at these very apartments, long before we lived here. Well, it was more of a tropical-storm party, really. We sat in somebody's third-floor apartment till about 4am and got drunk and played Jeopardy! as I recall. And I remember looking down at the pool, and they had taken all the poolside furniture and sunk it in the pool. Wonder if they still do that. Seems like getting it out would be a bitch.)
mellificent: (Astros holytoledo)
I found an HEB receipt in my Franklin Planner today that I feel like I ought to keep as a historical document, or something. It's from the HEB in Bryan, pre-hurricane Rita. We bought gourmet bread because it was the only kind of bread in the whole store, and organic milk for the same reason. We bought carrots and lettuce (green leaf) and coffee because my aunt wanted them, and we bought blackberries - even though they were more expensive than gas - because I love them, and we bought spring water because they did have that and we were surprised, and we thought it might be a good idea to have some more just in case. (I think there's still a few bottles out of that case in the refrigerator.) People were a little crazy in HEB that day, but the cashier (whose name is Nellie, according to the receipt) thought we were the crazy ones when we said we thought everybody was getting hysterical for nothing, because the hurricane was going to turn and not hit us. We weren't psychic, we just had been watching way too much TV, and it had already started turning by that time. (We had that gourmet bread for dinner Sunday night before we left for home, though. It was yummy.)


I get a lot of catalogs this time of year, because I order a lot of stuff online, but the last couple of days I have gotten a couple of the stupidest catalogs ever. I've been trying to figure out why I got these catalogs - is there a "tacky catalog" mailing list I got on by accident? Now I admit, I have a soft spot for certain kinds of kitsch, but a fiber-optic Irish angel is not one of them. Neither is a comical moose print.

Oh, and goooooo Astros! (I am skipping quilt guild to watch baseball, that's how big this game is.)
mellificent: (umbrellas)

On the way out, Wednesday a.m.
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.



(Rob actually took this picture, hanging out the car window.)
mellificent: (baseb quote: rain)
There are still a couple of TV trucks parked out on the Seawall. I guess they're doing follow-up stories.

Galveston has been all over the news, of course. Anderson Cooper was broadcasting right in front of our apartments the other day (while we were gone, more's the pity) and I saw somebody I know on Larry King yesterday. Very odd.

There is a tropical depression in the Carribbean. The very thought makes me feel panicky. Isn't hurricane season over with yet?
mellificent: (baseb quote: rain)
I'm very tired. The drive home was relatively easy - amazingly easy, as a matter of fact - but still, we had to wrestle luggage around between cars and drag plants outside and vacuum dirt off the living room rug (where we had dragged the plants inside - we put the plants on plastic sheeting but some dirt still escaped onto the rug) and so forth. Thank god for showers and air conditioning.

(According to the radio, there is an actual Canadian cold front headed our way later this week. Thank goodness for that. It didn't occur to me until today that it is now technically fall. It sure doesn't feel like it.)
mellificent: (umbrellas)
We just found out that we're supposed to be back at work Tuesday, so we're going to go ahead and leave in the next hour or so - we think the traffic will only be worse tomorrow. Cross your fingers for us.
mellificent: (umbrellas)
I have people overload. I imagine this is why so many people are in their cars headed for home already, isn't it? Everybody's crammed in with their relatives or in hotel rooms or (worse) in shelters, and home is looking awfully good. However, I'm pretty sure we don't have power at home and they aren't letting people onto the island anyway. So I'm stuck here at least one more day and maybe more. I have taken refuge in the sewing or the computer room more and more as time has gone on. My aunt seems to like having us here, on the whole, though - and we're actually sleeping at my cousin's, which is quite comfortable. We're sleeping in Brittany (the 17-year-old)'s bed. When I said that I felt bad throwing her out of her bed, Brittany swore that she likes sleeping on a palette on the floor in front of the TV, and her mother confirms that she does it a lot of the time anyway. So we decided not to argue further. I remember doing things like that when I was young and limber, a long time ago!

The sun came out for a little while earlier, but mostly it is cloudy and blustery. It's hardly rained at all, though. I gather at home there was much rain and some pretty severe wind (gusts close to 100 mph, maybe) but relatively little damage. Hopefully they will get the power on in a day or two and we can go home.

Gridlock

Sep. 22nd, 2005 04:34 pm
mellificent: (Buffy quote: stuck in hell)
If you've seen the reports on CNN today about the massive traffic backups in Houston, that's more or less what happened to us yesterday, although we avoided the worst of it by making a big circle around the western edge of Houston. We left really early yesterday morning - before 8, which is incredibly early for us - and there was no traffic to speak of. The water was dead calm so there weren't even all the surfers that we usually get before storms. (The pelicans were having a really great time, though, by all appearances.) We got to my mom's on time, more or less, and got shifted around between cars, and got away, still really early and in light traffic. We had decided not to stay together, and so Rob and I started looking for a place to have breakfast. We were going along the feeder road to the IHOP and my attention wandered for a minute and I somehow managed to hit the curb pretty hard - and the tire immediately went completely flat. We thought at first we were going to get off pretty easy because a very helpful policeman came along and gave us a hand, and there was a Sam's right across the street from the IHOP so we thought, well, we'll just go get a tire there.

But it turned out about half of Houston called in sick to work yesterday (no big surprise, I guess, under the circumstances), so the IHOP was swamped (and we were starving by that time, too) and then there were only two or three guys working in the tire department at Sam's so that took forever, too. And by the time we got on the road again the nice clear highways were no more. We started around the Beltway - the outer loop around Houston - and it was moving at first, if slowly (they had even closed the toll booths), but after a while it really started crawling along, and we finally got off and moved over to Highway 6, which is further out, and then when that started doing the same thing, we went even further out away from Houston. We ended up going to Bryan via Rosenberg and Brenham and Caldwell, which if you look at a map is a good bit out of the way, but we got there in 7 hours (from the time we left Sam's), which is apparently much faster than other people got anywhere. (About three hours of that was actually in Houston traffic, but even after we got out on the little two-lane road in the middle of nowhere, there was still enough traffic that it backed up for 5 miles or so at every light. Just crazy.)
mellificent: (umbrellas)
When evacuating, do I take my fabric stash? (I think this question is somewhat moot, though - I can only get it in the car if we don't take any clothes.)
mellificent: (breathe)
We are probably evacuating tomorrow. Even though Rita is now supposed to make landfall further down the coast, this still puts us on the "messy" side (i.e., northeast).

(If we go to my aunt's house as currently planned, I should be able to update from there. That's assuming I don't kill my mother first.)

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