2005 Road Trip

Self Assured Senior Portraits, Sultry Bridal Studies, Dreamy Maternity Images, and Precocious Toddler Triumphs.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rita, Let's Dance

Fixing what was wrong with the Rita Evacuation.

here is what was planned:
where:

State emergency officials say shelter hub sites, where people can go to be placed at a shelter, have been set up in several cities.

These are the receiving points:

LUFKIN: Lufkin High School, 309 S. Medford, off Loop 287 East.

NACOGDOCHES: Fredonia Hill Baptist Church, 1711 South St. (Business U-S 59)

AUSTIN: Delco Center, 4601 Pecan Brook Drive (off U-S 183)

HUNTSVILLE: Mile marker 101 and a-half on Interstate 45.

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION: Gateway Center, College Station.

SAN ANTONIO: McCreless Mall, 4100 S. New Braunfels Ave. (off I-37

How:

288 to 59, I45, 290, I10, massive clogging... how about more of a spiderweb instead of deadly arteries only?

SISTER CITIES>

everyone talks about neighbors helping neighbors but if there were sister cities already established, it would be more hospitable to have it in place. plan for a cat 5 and designate sister cities to go to instead of sending 1.3 million people to HUNTSVILLE> that was just INSANE. some people from Galveston were supposed to be in huntsville, but others beat them to it, so they went to Centerville, also completely overwhelmed, and finally ended up in Humble, not even part of the plan. PPP if you ask me.

How about a civilized passenger train service? to me it is just completely insane to not have passenger train service between all the major cities in houston. instead of putting yet another freaking lane on the highway and taking 5 years to do it, just put in a passenger train to each major city a load a few thousand at a time, we are such a car oriented society and it is so counter productive. why cant I take a bus from the closest major intersection to I45 or 249 and take a train there downtown? it is just so uncivilized to have cars sucking gas instead of trains operating more efficently.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

"All Over"

we survived quite nicely. not enough damage to even justify a "I survived Rita' T-Shirt. 3:22 pm, which is much faster than expected. our updates up until now has been via UPS, unintereupted power supply, but those only last for 5 minutes, so we have been very conservative on that.
as for the damage, it has been MINOR to the house.
we really just got sideswiped and are doing great. we were a little uncomfortable without power from 6:30 pm last night to 3:30 pm today, we are fine now with the refrigerator running.
both boys are taking a nap to recover from all the excitment.
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Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita

we have evaluated all the traffic, which is HORRENDOUS. 3 mph and so people are running out of gas 10 miles from their starting location, with the temperatures soaring at or near 100. the fire department is totally being honest and saying that compared to being broke down with no gas being home is safer. so since we are personally out of the storm surge area, we are safer than many. there are people that are abandoning cars along the road, and with the high winds coming, the cars will be tossed back into the road, blocking those that are still trying to get out. we are looking at loosing shinges, siding, gutters, windows. we have a plan. we are going to shelter in the downstairs hallway / closet, there are no glass windows in the laundry room, we will shut the bathroom door (glass window in there) and we should be okay. the huge glass windows in the foyer is a big concern, but structurally, it is the best location.
we have plenty of water, and nutrition bars for the critical 24 hours during the storm, we have 10 packages of AAA batteries for the walkie talkies (8 families in our church are forming a network in the area. we have batteries for the coleman battery operated lantern. we have heavy tarps for protection if we loose any windows. we are concerned that we have a huge water oak in ourfront yard that is less than 10 feet from the house that could be blown down.
we will fill both bathtubs with water to augment our bottled (35 gallons) supply. we would have a diffult time if we loose natural gas for cooking. we have enough other stuff to cover our needs for 2 weeks. we are remaining calm, we had some serious jitters at 2 am but as the path continues to head for New Orleans, we are feeling more comfortable with our choice.
location:
Klein, Texas
David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport
News:
traffic (click around I45 / Louetta
rain (click around tomball):
http://www.hcfcd.org/L_willowcreek.html

we are getting some good wind activity here.
24 MPH (21 KT) gusting to 33 MPH (29 KT)
the heat at 94.5 F (34.7 C) is just stiffling, some rain would be a welcomed relief from the dry intense heat.
as for me, wow, talk about pain! Pressure: 29.59 in. Hg (1002 hPa) has got every joint in my body just reeling! all in all, it looks like we are going to just get sideswiped by this system.

well, we are still 3 hours until land fall from the storm, and we have gotten a preliminary test run. no power in the entire subdivision for 3 hours. It has been our 3rd outage today and surely not the last. I am just glad I can check in and say so far so well. I had battery light and gas stove to make dinner by. started eating the meat in the freezer so that we dont have any waste this week.
the wind from the N (010 degrees) at 23 MPH (20 KT) gusting to 44 MPH (38 KT) is not too bad, the heat 80.1 F (26.7 C) with the a/c off was starting to get bothersome.
it has been a great dry run for us to see what we need for disaster preparation. while there has been some criticism here about bugging out and whatnot but a very valuable lesson is the people that were bussed out of Galveston on non a/c buses were supposed to go to Huntsville shelters, were turned away because of people in cars that could have stayed home, or gone on to Dallas, so the buses were sent to Centerville, they were turned away again, finally they found shelter in Humble at a civic center. just insane. personally if they consulted me, I would say that shelters are to be assigned by zip code. establish sister cities now for the next crisis. more spider web routes out rather than main arteries. each community will adopt another one and take care of them.


Breezy

we are getting some good wind activity here.
24 MPH (21 KT) gusting to 33 MPH (29 KT)

the heat at 94.5 F (34.7 C) is just stiffling, some rain would be a welcomed relief from the dry intense heat.
as for me, wow, talk about pain! Pressure: 29.59 in. Hg (1002 hPa) has got every joint in my body just reeling! all in all, it looks like we are going to just get sideswiped by this system.
well, we are still 3 hours until land fall from the storm, and we have gotten a preliminary test run. no power in the entire subdivision for 3 hours. It has been our 3rd outage today and surely not the last. I am just glad I can check in and say so far so well. I had battery light and gas stove to make dinner by. started eating the meat in the freezer so that we dont have any waste this week.
the wind from the N (010 degrees) at 23 MPH (20 KT) gusting to 44 MPH (38 KT) is not too bad, the heat 80.1 F (26.7 C) with the a/c off was starting to get bothersome.
it has been a great dry run for us to see what we need for disaster preparation. while there has been some criticism here about bugging out and whatnot but a very valuable lesson is the people that were bussed out of Galveston on non a/c buses were supposed to go to Huntsville shelters, were turned away because of people in cars that could have stayed home, or gone on to Dallas, so the buses were sent to Centerville, they were turned away again, finally they found shelter in Humble at a civic center. just insane. personally if they consulted me, I would say that shelters are to be assigned by zip code. establish sister cities now for the next crisis. more spider web routes out rather than main arteries. each community will adopt another one and take care of them.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Storm Supplies

We are 73 miles from Galveston, so we are going to ride it out. We have 5 day supply of water and 3 months of food. We do however have a full tank of gas just in case. I was surprised when they upgraded it from cat 2 last night to cat 4 this morning.

I have been reconsidering all day ;-) I am working on the assumption that Hattiesburg Mississippi was 100 miles inland and they did get some wind damage but not enough to completely trash the house. But if that was just a cat 4, and this one is already a cat 4 and not even picked up strength, we may be looking at a cat 5+ so I am preparing to go to Huntsville if I feel prompted on Friday. We are defiantly taking it seriously ;-) http://www.khou.com/images/hurricane/HurricaneEvacuationMap2005.pdf

For us, the cat 5 surge map is still well below 610, so anyone south of 610 should get the hell out. We are marginal for storm surge, but high risk for wind damage.

http://tinyurl.com/7vjp4 is the list if you stay that you should have. We have a 5 day supply of nutrition bars for quick retreat, they will fit in the 72 hour kits.

The is the projected landfall. Port Lavaca, TX is the current projected ground zero and thus passing between San Antonio and Houston, those areas may be in more danger than Tomball/Klein/Spring

For a weather cam, http://tinyurl.com/a5hvn is Galveston.I have been thinking about our cash situation during this storm preparation. took out $200 cash for what we can get. there is no fuel to buy and no food either. I just put all my photo albums in 2 gallon zip lock bags. I was thinking about my homeowners policy today, rounded that and the FEMA flood insurance paper work in zip lock bags.

I have access to all my cc online with the access codes on my computer, I did PRINT out that sheet JUST incase something happened to my COMPUTER. We have 5 days of bottled water (35 gallons) and 5 days of Cliff Bars that is in our 72 hour kit, stocked up on first aid kit stuff yesterday, gased up the car yesterday before the prices skyrocketed.

Will pack the car Friday "JUST IN CASE" I need to do some serious backups to CD this week not going to try to load the desktop computers in the car, that would be just nuts. did take the digital camera around and fully documented everything. zip locked the home movies, really need to burn them to DVD, take up a lot less room. same with the photo albums. so my goal for 2006, convert all the albums to 2000x3000 dpi resolution pictures of everything and make duplicate backups.

I am a major receipt-a-holic, I consider everything is deductible. ;-) We unplug all electronics during storms, need to unplug all appliances ( microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, freezer) I will throw in a book of checks in the 72 hour kit. I wrapped all the computers in garbage sacks and put them in the interior closet. taped up some of the picture windows. cleared out a closet for the boys, put in a twin size mattress, a second one for us in the hall, and a third in the laundry room for krystal. I think that home depot and lowes are seeding the skies in the bahamas to make these damn storms!

The freeways are HORRENDOUS. 33 hours from my house to dallas, so we are not going to evaculate. We are 73.5 miles from galveston and feel that we should be okay from storm surge, but not sure about the winds. Our house is supposed to be good up til 95 mph, but there has been some speculation that many of the houses are not up to spec because of contractors cutting costs. We have 5 days of water storage and 3 months of food so we are going to bleach and then fill the tubs with water. We have flashlights and batteries, tea lights and matches in zip lock baggies. We have every confidence that we will be okay here in Klein Texas. hey have upgraded it at 4:15 pm to a cat 5 storm. So we are seriously considering how safe 73.25 miles is, however, at this time I45 is COMPLETELY clogged, so there will be no leaving in the next 48 hours. I am sure that 4 am would be the best time to try to leave http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/layers/ I can't even get the site to come up it's server is so heavily hit right now. I just checked the speed charts for http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/speedcharts/speedcharts.aspx I45 north, northbound, fm1960-louetta and it puked. Right now the freeway is reserved for those in danger of the storm surge (could be 25 ft tall when it hits the coast) which would effectively destroy Galveston, Freeport, Angleton, Lake Jackson and the ship channel including baytown and nasa as well as sugarland and pearland http://www.hcoem.org/txdot/ http://www.hcoem.org/txdot/ is where we really focus, the flooding since we are 3 houses away from the Theisswood Bayou, south of the spring creek bayou and north of the cypress bayou (also computely clogged with traffic now) Heehee we had some power gliches today, the cell phones didn’t work, they were all 3 bars, but no dial tone, just txt msg I think. Currently it is 10 hours to get to huntsville, even if we WANTED to leave, I45 is a parking lot. I have been reviewing the backroads. If we took louetta to aldine westfield, and then 1960 to 59, we could possibly bypass everyone heading to dallas, which has no more rooms now, even thouse 12 hours ago, they said they had 20,000 available. This route I could head to shreveport, LA Or I could also take 249 north and the pick up on 1486 north pick up on 30 E and cut into huntsville that way. Course part of me is holding out that the hardest hit will be west of us between us and san antonio and austin and we will just get some horrendous rain and a little wind here. But then I see where they are predicting the worse storm since 1851.

We are starting to wigg out here, the storm surge is projected to be 26 feet tall (our house is 18 feet tall) and the winds are supposed to be 125 mpg (our house is built to withstand 95 mph) we are strongly considering leaving, just waiting to see how we feel tomorrow, we would leave immediately but the freeways are all parking lots. Naomi is in Washington, Jazz is in Montana and Krys is checking in every couple of hours and would happily leave with me if I said, lets go. They are projecting 115-120 here, which has us buggin, we are not considering it would have been ideal to leave Teusday as well, but now the freeway is a parking lot and I have no wish to face 115-120 mph winds in my 2475 lb honda civic. I am still not sure what to do with my three. Go and get trapped, stay and trapped. When we prepared it was for a cat 4 not a cat 5+ now what? We have gone over this and changed our minds every 30 minutes. were told we are only 63 miles from a shelter but it takes 10 hours to get there,i would rather be trapped here in the house than on the road during this, reality is that the nearest shelter is Witchita Kansas. so the problem is that we 'can't' evacuate. the roads are 4 mph right now.all 12 lanes (we would be on I45 from Louetta to Buffalo TX ) northbound are open but it is a parking lot. we would be safer in the house than in the car. if we leave, it will be today. if we stay, we will send AWESOME pictures. ;-)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Storm Preparation

looks like houston is going to get slammed head on... we JUST finished our house repairs from Allison in May of this year. my dh just send me to get water... I have a splitting headache. now I am supposed to drive across town for water... we need about 5 five gallon boxes. what a PITA.

here we are 73 miles from the beach, however, Miss Katrina did damage 100 miles inland, so we are still in the damage path.
we are stocked up and planning on riding it out unless they say move inland. My dh just ordered my 250 Gig hard drive and DVD back up for my desktop so that I am better backed up, but FEDEX refused to deliver it on wednesday, thursday, or friday. I am 90% ready, have the car gassed up, the water filled up, groceries and diapers stored up. the only thing we do not have is a fully stocked first aid kit (it has taken a major hit this summer) and propane for cooking. but I really dont think that we will be as hard hit as allison.