Sep 23, 2005

The Rita Journal - Day 3, Part I

Friday: 23 September 2005

Hurricane Rita is supposed to make landfall at midnight tonight.

10:34 AM. Sitting here at the laptop in my kitchen, listening to The Eagles, filling up a container with water, and eating a bagel. The drinking water pressure is dropping alarmingly fast. It seems like it slows to a trickle after only a couple of minutes. The mayor of Houston seems to be making statements every few hours; there was one this morning at 5. I woke up at around 9 to find my dad on the couch watching TV. At this point, everything on the news is bad news. Apparently, we're on the west side of Rita and thus have somewhat weaker winds coming from the northeast: about 70 to 90 mph. I still can't get over the fact that Rita is bigger than most states.
A bus carrying senior citizens overheated and exploded right before Dallas. Twenty-four people died. I can't even think of what that must be like for the survivors and family of that bus.
Today we're going to finish filling up water, water, and more water, and then finish packing up emergency evacuation stuff, in case we have to get out in a hurry for some reason. The van still has a full tank of gas, thank God, so we're better off than most. Maerilly and her family left for Birney, TX at midnight Wednesday and arrived at 2 PM yesterday. Jordan got to New Braunfels yesterday, after 20 hours in their huge van. Luckily, they made it with one tank of gas. Luis and his family ended up not leaving at all due to too much traffic and not enough gas. Same with Lara. That seems to be happening to a lot of people.
Today will be a last flurry of working, and then? Then it's just a waiting game.

11:42 AM.
It's getting a bit windy outside.

12:26 PM. Just learned that school is closed on Monday.

2:27 PM. A little over half the people on our street are still here, but you wouldn't know it by looking outside. It's like a ghost street; people go outside very rarely, as if they're afraid the hurricane will suddenly jump out and ambush them. The air, previously so still, is constantly moving now. In the silence on our street, the rustling of trees is significantly loud now; symbolically the sound of destiny, if this was an analysis for English class. The friend whose house we boarded up for five hours decided that if, after all that work, the boards didn't hold up, he'd have to create a commission to find out what happened and hopefully try and blame it on Bush.

3:08 PM.
Speaking of Bush, he said in a statement that, and I quote, there is no risk of him getting in the way. Well if even HE agrees that it's a risk...just kidding. Rita is now a category 3 with 125 mph winds, which are really being felt here now. Trees are swaying quite a bit, and my mom thinks that she felt a couple raindrops. The sky, so clear just yesterday, is now overcast, and the clouds are darkening steadily. It would seem that Rita is nodding at us from the Gulf.
We are preparing our pantry to be occupied in case the winds and/or flooding get really bad. Of course, we've got food in there, but we also have to keep our two dogs in there with the three of us.
Rita just breached a recently patched-up levee in New Orleans. I kind of hope that she will indeed swerve to hit New Orleans again; there's almost no one there now.
The weather is getting slightly apocalyptic in its worsening.

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