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Hurricane Rita

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The Wrath

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Great...we have another big storm. I don't think Houston can handle this right now, especially given the fact that it's absorbed so many Katrina victims.

As a personal note, can anyone who knows anything about hurricanes tell me if I'm in any danger living in Huntsville? I'm about 100 miles inland. What worries me isn't the actual hurricane, but the tornadoes that could be spawned in its outer rain bands.

Edited by Moose
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Great...we have another big storm. I don't think Houston can handle this right now, especially given the fact that it's absorbed so many Katrina victims.

As a personal note, can anyone who knows anything about hurricanes tell me if I'm in any danger living in Huntsville? I'm about 100 miles inland. What worries me isn't the actual hurricane, but the tornadoes that could be spawned in its outer rain bands.

Speaking about Alicia which was a force 3, the brunt of the storm had ended the nastiness by the time it left Harris County. If the weather channel is correct this may be a force 4 by the time it hits the coast. If that is the case then there is a chance of damage as far in as Huntsville or San Antonio.

Alicia hit us head on and literally shattered all the glass downtown because of the flying gravel and debris from roofs. We were in Pasadena and were without power for a week. Which Houston in August means something bad as it's over 100degrees and 100 % humidity stinks....

I'm hoping to convince my fiance to bug out on Thursday with our rabbits and wedding dress etc so I'll have a relieved mind. Then I'll wait until late as possible to get out on Friday. But if it looks like it's going to hit force 5 then I'm leaving really early on Friday. I've already told my staff to not worry about coming in on Friday and I'll hold the fort down as long as possible. Otherwise I'll hopefully be spending the weekend in San Antonio and be back on late Sunday or Monday at the latest.

I went by the grocery store and most all the water and batteries are gone. You'd think people would prepare more given our history of hurricanes in Houston but I don't think so. Since I'm on the second story I'm not really worried about flooding my stuff. Anyway, I'm packing tonight so I can leave when I need to. Which considering I live between 2 lakes is right after it really starts raining.

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I haven't been this close to a hurricane since I was 2. What is the danger of tornadoes?

I've been through both hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricanes throw off tornados like a guy throwing hand grenades out of the back of a runaway truck. Sure it stinks to be in the path of the truck but you can usually get out of the way. It's those grenades path that can't be predicted.

Oh, according to the weather Huntsville may very well experience some of the strong winds. They'll be eyewall and northern winds which while strong aren't as bad as it can get. You should be ok. A little inconvenienced but not in harms way. Now my mom and sister are both under manadtory evacuations right now and are leaving for San Antonio tomorrow.

I could make a joke about being in a hurricane really blows but it really isn't funny. We aren't going to know until tomorrow for sure about where and how hard we are going to be hit. Hopefully San Antonio should be out of the wind. You know, with my weeding next week the timing is really stressing my fiance out. At least the wedding isn't this weekend, just a couple of our showers.

Ironic, our wedding showers are being cancelled because of, well, showers. :D Back to packing up my car. Man, I just finished moving into my new place and unpacked the last box this week, got brand new furniture, and now I'm back to packing up some essentials like clothes and my 1st edition of Capitalism: The Unkown Ideal. Of course, it didn't help that my insurance company told me they won't cover my new house and they won't cover me for my move. Oh gee thanks Geico. Though luckily I also belong to USAA and they wrote the new policy for me and at a better price.

Of course, my fiance is besides herself with all the last minute wedding planning she's doing. Like I said, at least it's this week and not next weekend. At least I've got enough plastic to cover my new furniture. Now all I have left to do is change the litter in my rabbit carriers, stop at the store for a box of wadcutters just in case, and find a gas station without a line, safely pack the wedding dress and...

I'm reminded of my favorite poem from Kipling IF. "If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs..."

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I closed down operations at my office after the market closed on Wednesday. I'd already sent one my my team home as he was already covered at that point by one of the mandatory evacuations. I think we took about 8 hours to get from Sugar Land to Spring, which I didn't mind since our plan of going to San Antonio went bust. Going to Spring is usually a 1 hour drive and making it in only 8 was because I was flying down some side roads like nobodies business. Which was good as literally nobody had gas at any price since the whole town got up and left.

What angered me when we got there is the house next to the one we were going to be sheltering in was under construction as many houses in the neighborhood. The other builders all moved their equipment and supplies inside their houses as the hurricane was coming. This guy left literally hundreds of scrap boards with nails and cinder blocks etc scattered in his front lawn. He took the time to lock his tools into his shed with multiple locks so they were going nowhere but he left a front and back lawn for that matter filled with trash.

This trash would quickly become missiles when the hurricane wind hit and would cause untold damage in the neighborhood. So a few neighbors and I picked up all the scraps and trash and put it well inside the confines of his house. Of course, the house is nothing but stucco and studs but the stuff would be of a lesser danger to everyone being inside the house.

Also, when we were putting up some of the plywood to cover the windows our ladder wasn't large enough. So we went next door and borrowed his ladder. After using it we put it back exactly where got it. Now, under normal circumstances this would be breaking and entering but since it was literally laying against the front of the house we didn't have to break in the wide open shell.

Of course, this begs a couple moral questions: us moving the lumber he left in his front lawn that presented a very clear and present threat during the storm. Was it moral for us to pre-emptively move the lumber inside the lumber owners property instead of outside in a pile on the lawn a) it would not get as wet and damaged and would therefore sustain value b)most importantly, we protected the value of our lives & property by placing them inside the house. Now, the owner did not loose use of his property but we moved it without his permission. True enough. And we did violate his property by entering the shell of the house under construction but we did prevent a significant amount of destruction by moving said lumber and cement blocks.

The roofing crew left shingles and tar paper on a roof. Most of our cars received some damage or had tar shingles on them. Luckily, we had plywood covering our windows as we tool a serious hit and would have otherwise cause serious damage. So if we would have not removed the materials from the front of the house our autos most assuredly would have been lost and significant amounts of damage would have occured to our houses and potentially our lives.

On a side note, we were indeed without power for 16 hours in over 100 degree weather. With all that nice water it made for a looooong humid day. Of course, the house we were at didn't have internet access so I was having to use my cell phone. Not that I could actually use it for phone calls but sms worked beautifully. After 9/11 my family all got phones that could easily (read even my mom could do it) do sms. My Nokia 6800 is built for it and my sister's Blackberry was cranking out messages. For those living in areas where you face outages of basic services, a ood cell phone with an extra battery is worth it's weight in gold.

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Scott, Glad to hear you came through the hurricane with nothing more than a bit of property damage.

Sure you were well within your rights to move the stuff that was a danger to you.

Thanks. I'm old enough to have been through a few of these to know they are not worth screwing with. I definately feel "lucky" about the last minute swerve to the right.

I believed I was well within my rights as the guy abandoned the material knowing it presented a clear and present danger to us. That's why he locked his expensive tools but left the would-be missiles. I do feel guilt about borrowing his ladder without his permission. That was in the confines of his house albeit it has only 2 1/2 walls it was still his property and I didn't have explicit permission for its use. Though I need to re-read The Ethics of Emergencies....

Something I will say I appreciated having more than my Nokia was my handgun. Having seen the images of New Orleans I knew the people of Texas were different but you never know. I did see one fight at a convenience store but that was due to the heat and probably some alcohol. I did have comfort knowing that my Hydro-shocks were there. I kept it in my holster underneath my jacket. I've never felt such an odd sense of not being in control and the chance of something silly happening. Given my job, I deal with insanity and stress all day long but this was a very real and visceral stress. Luckily, being a very big guy wearing a lizard camo jacket with Doc Marten's people tend not to bother you. I've learned that when you walk and look like you are in charge or at least are not afraid of the situation (be it walking past a security guard at the American Exchange or in the middle of a group of ticked off people stranded at a gas station) people tend to automatically assume you are such. That's ponderous.

I just imagine being somewhere between Howard Roarke and Randall Tex Cobb. I've used the visualization for years and it has come in handy more than once to stop nonsense.

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