Friday, September 23, 2005

Breaking Camp

Okay, okay, I know it sounds a little crazy, but we decided around noon today to pack up and go back home. All indications are that the storm will hit to the east and we'll be on the "clean" side. We can expect winds up to 75 mph, but I think we'll be able to withstand that here at home. I guess we'll find out, won't we?

They also indicated this morning that this would be a major flooding event and they even listed my zip code as one where people should evacuate if they had flooding during Allison in 2001. My apartment building had some flooding, but certainly not to the third floor. Just a little on the first.

So, given that we had set up Camp Tidbit in a building where we really weren't supposed to be, in an area where we couldn't park the car up high to protect it from water, we decided we'd be more comfortable at home.

We decided to try to make it back in just one trip, so we left some things behind. Most of it I don't think we'll need, but I'm miffed to find that Dan left his laptop. Now, of course we can retrieve it later, but that's not the point. The point is that if we have a working land line but no power, I could've still posted to my blog and sent email if I had that laptop. But now I can't. So if you don't hear from me for awhile, that's why-- no power, no laptop.

Maybe someone else around here will let me use theirs.

Or if the roads are passable, I can always go back to Camp Tidbit and get it.

Then again, maybe we'll be okay and we won't be without power for long, if at all. A few weeks ago someone left a comment on one of the many Katrina blogs out there. They said that any old sailor knows that a hurricane always veers to the east before making landfall. If that's true, Rita may hit western Louisiana, in which case our lights just might stay on. That would be nice.

This afternoon was a pretty one-- sunny and not as unbearably hot as recently. Driving home we saw a lot of cyclists out, enjoying being able to ride the city streets without fear of being killed. Couples were out strolling, people were walking their dogs or letting them play at the parks, a few runners were on the bayou trails-- it was lovely and peaceful. It was like Houston had suddenly become a small friendly town. Everyone talked to each other, everyone smiled and waved. With so many people gone, I guess we recognized each other as fellow hardy souls.

It started clouding up around late afternoon-- high gray clouds in layers like a fancy torte. The breezes of early afternoon have turned gusty now as more and more clouds move in. I can hear the gusts passing through the trees on my property. I hope those trees don't come down.

I just checked the models and it looks like this thing is starting to turn toward the Texas-Louisiana border. Maybe that old salt was right. It's good news for us, bad for anyone in it's path. Bad for New Orleans, too. But at this point, how much more can happen to that poor city? Flooding again? Been there.

Well, I'm going to try to get a little nap before this thing starts getting serious.

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