Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunkered Down…waiting for waters and wind

For some reason I’m finding it a bit harder to post today.  I had figured that all this “free time” that we have been granted would be a real inspiration for post generation.

Unfortunately that isn’t the case at the moment.

Lavie, Alvis and I have evacuated to the Cleveland, TX area…as we did last time.

We left our home behind as tightened up as possible.  Our biggest concern is storm surge damage or impact.

Having some free time has allowed me to do a bit more research…not necessarily a good thing. Our home is located about 3.5 miles (crow-flight) north of Galveston Bay and about a half-mile from one of the bayous.  Turns out the elevation is at 15’ above sea-level.  It’s likely to be close; either way.  Hopefully our home will be spared.  For some reason, I’m more concerned about waters than wind.

So far, in our country bunker, the winds have been slight and we are now only starting to see some overcast skies.  That is going to start changing dramatically in the next few hours.  By 7pm I expect we will start to get the feeder-bands of rain and increasing wind-speeds.

All the mattresses have been hauled down to the bottom floor.  As with Rita we will sleep in the core of the house tonight while Ike roars through.  It looks like it will be the three of us, Lavie’s parents, and Lavie’s maternal grandmother all saying prayers together tonight.

I will say that with one exception, the drive out of town was nothing like we encountered for Rita.  I was doing two sections mid-afternoon yesterday on the highway at 70 MPH.  It was unheard of.

Hardly any cars were on the road except at a few jam-points in smaller towns where local police were trying to manage flow-through evacuation traffic with mixed results.

The local gas-station that services this area is out of gasoline. They do have diesel.  The owner doesn’t know when the next truck will come in.  Might be a day or two.

And if power goes out in the area—almost certain here in the woods—then I’m not sure the pumps would be working anyway.

We have a small generator up here, but it will likely see only minimized use for essentials at the moment.  It isn’t connected to the house directly.  So we wil be running only some fans, maybe a hot-plate for cooking, the fridge.  We will probably take turns keeping the cell phones charged as needed—I think the cell-phone towers have generators of their own, but no idea how long they can stay up without refueling.

We were more anxious during the pre-night wait for Rita than we are with Ike.  I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

Once the main-power goes out, so will Pop’s DSL connection and while I suppose I could use dial-up, I doubt I’ll have much heart to post for a day or two.  While the electricity went out for Rita, the phone lines stayed up.  So I guess that is one vote against VOIP service.

But for now, spirits are up and there isn’t anything more we can do but wait.

The aftermath wil likely be stunning for the Gulf Coast region.

Good news is that we are tough and have strong identity so I have no doubt we will pull together and rebuild.  These things really bring out the community spirit and bind us together in ways that good and easy times surely can’t.  We get opportunities to meet our neighbors and learn that “neighbors” isn’t as extinct a term as our normally insulated lives might lead us to believe.

It’s the waiting for the inevitable that is the hardest.

After that, the picking up and moving forward is gravy.

Best wishes to all.


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