Thursday, September 22, 2005

Leaving Houston

Yesterday we unearthed some Houston area bloggers. Looking in on them this morning, we find there's an interesting array of personal reactions, observations, and decision-making about Rita as this monster storm barrels down on them.

In Houston, "the anxiety level in this city has risen, as has my own," writes Right Side of the Rainbow. For example, Off the Cuff packed everything away in a Houston garage and, so he says, is awaiting Rita's arrival right there at home. Nervously. Meanwhile, he intends to begin reporting on bloggers who plan to stay or evacuate.

Those who are staying might want to consult the Houston surge map for a Category 5 hurricane posted by Truth A whole lot more of Houston than you might suppose will be affected. It was enough to convince Truth Serum. He's 'hitting the road'.

Even scarier is the flash animation surge map for 'Hurricane Carly' -- an imaginary Cat 4 'cane -- developed by the Houston Chronicle. Blogger Lou Manatti has a direct link to it. In sum:
"A Category 4 storm... surge alone would bury the homes of over a million people. Galveston, Texas City, NASA, Clear Lake, Kemah, much of Houston, all would cease to exist."
For him, it's 'Adios', as well.

Yesterday, Sci Guy hosted a short article from Dwight Silverman, who's inviting bloggers who do stay to take part in a Houston Chronicle experiment in "citizen journalism." Can't be sure if Slampo will participate. Wednesday, he was planning to stay put. Today, he seems to be waffling a bit.

He's apparently decided to use what might be called 'The Walmart Test':
Right now our informal poll shows about 40 percent staying, 20 percent going, and the rest, as the pollsters say, are undecided.

We wish we had more time to think about this.

In the meantime we're headed back to our 24-hour Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. If it’s closed, we’ll take that as a sign from God to join the movement of the people. If it’s open, we’re sure we can find something to buy. Or someone to talk to.
Still another apparently let others decide for him:
So it's official. My family and I are staying put through the storm. Personally, I think we're insane, but.. what can you do, y'know? I have no control over their decisions.
This will sound familiar to nearly everyone along the Gulf Coast. Some people over at Metroblogging yesterday were reporting gas shortages all over the city. No Space for Rent likewise says:
There are very few supplies left at stores with no more shipments expected in. Gas stations are out of regular gas, and there are long lines for the small amount of supreme gas that remains.
If you're an oil platform, or love one, check in on the fellows over at The Oil Drum. They have the latest info on "the worst spots in Tx for Rita to hit." Thursday, they added a disturbing chart that shows a steady annual rise in the frequency of Category 4/5 hurricanes since 1970.

Pink assures everyone, "We doubt that Rita will leave us with a Katrina-like mess, but what do we know?" No idea if he's staying or going.

And, speaking of not knowing much, Winding Road In Urban Area has an interesting observation about the students she teaches at a local community college. Besides being unable to understand the potential devastation they're facing --
They could not understand the logistical problems of long lines, water and gas shortages, and perhaps no standing college campus much less classes on Monday. They want to know things like how long will the storm last, how long without phones and electricity. * * * They don't read the paper, they don't watch the news, and they do not relate to the unfolding events around them.
Is this age group known as the Gameboy Generation?

Chief Executive Drop-out from Galveston left a poignant sketch of a harried mother getting the kids, and dogs, and frogs, into the car as they all evacuate:
Kids crying as we try to leave. Their mother just realized what is actually going to happen here. Kids wanting to get extra teddy bears, dolls, etc. in the cars but just no room because they are bringing 3 dogs and kennels.

* * *
Well have to go deal with crying people now. 8 won’t let her frog go…she thinks she is saving his life! Geez! Everything is a fight now. Now they are asking why I have toilet paper in the cars……I am explaining that we will be in cars a very long time because it is very slow getting out as everyone is trying to get out. Explaining...

* * *
We are outta here
For Smoke On The Water evacuating from home means "stripping the boat" and packing his "papers, clothes, minimal survival cookware. My laptop. Guns and ammunition. All of it." And, he adds, "my two liveaboard cats."

Someone else has kindly taken over Smoke's blog while he and his guns and cats try to outrun the storm.

Good luck to all! And, we wish quick second thoughts to those who haven't yet evacuated.

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