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#49777 - 09/22/05 03:10 AM Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
Blacktop Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 134
Loc: Cypress, TX
Well, we are in the final stages of preparations for Hurricane Rita here in Houston. I have never seen this city in such a state of panic before. People who live in areas that don't flood and are well inland are bugging out - making things more difficult for those in the storm surge zone who DO need to evacuate.

I work for AAA, and I have been booking hotels for people who feel an urgent need to leave. By noon today, all hotels in the ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS were booked solid for the weekend. No exaggeration. This afternoon, the closest available lodging we could find was in Oklahoma City (8 hrs travel time). That's fine that they want to leave (BTW I'm sheltering in place), but they haven't thought ahead.

Here's problem #1: Traffic has already become a nightmare on every major highway leaving the Houston area. These people must be smoking something funny if they think that they can get to Dallas in the normal drive time of 4 hours.

Problem #2: Gasoline is in short supply here already. I visited three different gas stations last night before I found one that still had any gas left. The folks leaving town for points north and west haven't realized yet that the shortage along their route will be worse. Thousands of vehicles traveling the same corridor will quickly deplete the supply. They will get down to a quarter tank and start panicking. Then, when they cannot find any gas along the road, they will run out of gas. They and hundreds (thousands?) of others simply won't make it to their reserved hotels in Dallas or Wichita Falls or wherever. They'll be stuck alongside the road without any food, water, or shelter. The gasoline tanker may be days away! And here comes Category 5 Rita, right up Interstate 45 behind them.

They should have stayed at home. Bird in the hand and all that. I guess I'll find out soon enough if staying was the right decision for me, the wife and the animals. Will the hurricane straps I paid extra for when we had the house built keep the roof on? Will 35 gallons of water be enough? Do I have enough ammunition? Stay tuned!
_________________________
AJ

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#49778 - 09/22/05 03:54 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
cedfire Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 659
Loc: Orygun
Best of luck down there and hopefully Rita fizzles out before making landfall (fingers crossed). Please keep us posted...

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#49779 - 09/22/05 04:10 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
GardenGrrl Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 26
My Uncle from Lake Jackson, Tx (fifteen miles from the coast, south side of Houston) left early this a.m. He took his wife, my grandmother, the bug out supplies, and some really expensive artwork. Their decision to leave was pushed by the realization that traffic and gas supplies were getting bad already, so they skipped boarding up the windows and went straight to packing up the antique budha statue worth more than my college education.

Anyway, I'm just glad they are safe in Dallas tonight with my cousin. It only took them 8 hours to drive from Lake Jackson to Dallas, a trip that is normally 5 to 6 hours. <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

I feel for the Houston evacuees trying to come to Austin. All our hotels were booked long before anyone thought about Hurricanes. It's the Austin City Limits Music Festival, ya'll. If people really need a place to sleep, there's camping space around town. Of course, it's going to flash flood by Saturday. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

I'm looking on the bright side -- I won't have to drag the hose around the veggie garden this weekend. It's a great opportunity to collect rainwater for future garden and fabric dying use. And, I *just* fixed that leaky window in my truck.

So very glad my grandmother is safe. I hope everyone else is, too. Good luck.


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#49780 - 09/22/05 04:49 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
O.K. I know ancient dumb irish warriors were known to ride with drawn swords to fight the oncoming surf flooding villages during storms. But just exactly what caliber have you stockpiled against a hurricane? <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#49781 - 09/22/05 05:17 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
GardenGrrl Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 26
Chris,

I prefer a nice Crossbow, http://www.crossbows.net/danish.html with two dozen wood-shafted bolts and a sppol of sinew to use for repairs.

<img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#49782 - 09/22/05 05:30 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
wolf Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
Good luck, Blacktop!
_________________________
"2+2=4 is not life, but the beginning of death." Dostoyevsky

Bona Na Croin

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#49783 - 09/22/05 06:15 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
skunked Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 28
Loc: Portsmouth, VA
Maybe this calibre?
http://www.5ad.org/gun.htm

Not that this is a laughing matter and I wish everyone in the path of this juggernaut the best.
_________________________
Decaf? We don't need no stinkin' decaf!

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#49784 - 09/22/05 06:37 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I see a growing social phenomenon of fear and anger that will make the militia sillyness pale in comparison. Politicians and officials are collectively circling the wagons with the growiing awareness by people that our entire infrastructure has some major flaws. Special interest groups, and I make no distinction on merit or agenda are holding up a battered New Orleons like a murdered relative and crying " you killed my daddy and I want XYZ." Right now America is seeing a growing "walk the walk if you talk the talk" and a "put up or shut up" attitude.Force 5 Hurricanes provide a surplus of wind allready. None of us appreciates, nor needs the additional hot air being generated by anybody.

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#49785 - 09/22/05 11:22 AM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
Blacktop Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 134
Loc: Cypress, TX
"But just exactly what caliber have you stockpiled against a hurricane?"

Why a water pistol, silly! <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Seriously though, I got up at 4:30 AM to see if Walmart had received any more gas cans overnight. No such luck. They were passing out flats of water packaged in soda cans to people as they came in the entrance. It was all they had.

At that early hour, surface street traffic looked more like 8PM Saturday night levels. Hwy 6, one of the main evacuation routes from the coast, passes by about 5 miles from my house. Gridlock traffic northbound as far as the eye can see. Elsewhere in Houston, traffic conditions are similar. The OEM and EOC are fine tuning their evacuation traffic plan to see if they can alleviate some of the backup.

According to some of the other Ham radio operators, cell phone service is already spotty across most providers. (I wouldn't know personally, as I don't have one of those funny little unreliable radios!) Even landline service takes a few tries to get out long distance. 2 meter works great though! Hope we don't lose any repeaters.

Most gas stations were closed, but I was able to top off my tank at a station off the beaten path that had only Super Unleaded left. Prices are still reasonable at $2.79/gallon.

Both my wife and myself have been released from work through Sunday, so we have plenty of time to finish things. Mental preparation is important. I've decided to play a game with it so that the more excited other people get, the calmer I'll get. Getting pretty mellow about now...zzzzzzzz
_________________________
AJ

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#49786 - 09/22/05 12:39 PM Re: Rita's coming - Houston is panicking!
harrkev Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Quote:
2 meter works great though! Hope we don't lose any repeaters.

If you are in the path of the storm, you will. Repeaters usually don't have a whole ton of backup power either. Even if the antenna lives, I doubt that it would last too long once power goes out.

Here, after the storms last year, the local popular repeater was running off of a generator. Somebody has to fill up the gas tank twice a day in order to keep it running.
_________________________
--
Darwin was wrong -- I'm still alive

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