Galveston and Houston

I just keep thinking “Please, no.” We’ve already taken the left hook, now comes the right.

My oldest daughter and I just got off the phone. She’s been on the evacuation route with her father since 7 last night and have only made it as far as Beaumont, which would normally have been a 2-3 hour drive. Their home is where the first storm surge is slated to roll through and they expect it to be under 24 feet of water. They’re headed to Hot Springs, Arkansas because that was the closest hotel room they could get due to the number of Katrina evacuees in Houston right now. I know she’ll be safe, but I hurt for her anxiety over the situation.

My Uncle Bill, who just bought a beachside home in Galveston, where we’re all from, is in San Antonio with my aunt. He’s brought along his mother, my great aunt, who lives alone in the family home that my great-grandfather built. That home withstood The Great Storm of 1900 and I expect it to make it through this one as well. Galveston has been through this before and is much better prepared that New Orleans was.

My mother called me last night just so we could talk before the phone and power go out. She’s on a small ranch on Houston’s north side, but will still have to deal with no utilities, the evacuation route being logjammed, and at least 100 mph winds.

So after calming down a little about the effects that Katrina had on my family and friends in New Orleans, now I turn and see my child, my mother, my family, all running for safety. And here I am, stuck in Chicago. I can’t get to them and I can’t do anything about what they’re about to go through or what they will lose.

So please Chicago, stop for a minute. Think about the loss that region has already felt, think about them and say a prayer for their safety, whatever your religion may be.

7 Comments so far

  1. nikkos (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 10:46 am

    My heart and throughts will be with you, your family and all the families in the path of Rita.

  2. Dave! (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 12:26 pm

    Everyone in the path of that bitch, Rita, is in my thoughts… Out of kindness and respect, I’ll even suspend our duel. :)

  3. Alana (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 1:15 pm

    Well Dave, I do appreciate the chivalry. :)
    Thanks to both of you guys.

  4. JenniferRoche (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 8:39 pm

    Oh, Alana, that’s awful to hear. Wishing your family peace and safety. Hang tight. Keep us posted.

  5. Alana (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 8:44 pm

    I just got this note from my mom:

    “Just an update to y’all in response to your emails and phone calls. Rita is coming our direction, but landfall location is still uncertain. It looks like it will go to the east of Houston/Galveston area. That would be a good thing for us. We are not in an area that has a history of flooding. In fact, we have sustained severe rainfall without any flooding. The forecast is for 10 to 18 inches of rain. We should be okay with that. The winds concern me…they are predicting 75 to 100mph depending on where the hurricane comes ashore…could even be as low as 45mph. Even though we have many large trees, I think we will be okay…we don’t have any directly over the house. Thom and I have spent the day securing the barn and houses…putting away feed buckets, lawn chairs, etc. We are as prepared as possible. So now we sit and wait. Landfall is predicted for early Saturday morning…before daybreak, so probably won’t get a lot of sleep Friday night. Cell phones are currently nearly impossible to use because of so many people in the area they are overloaded. I just wanted to let you know our current status. I am concerned, but not overly. I think we will be okay, but who knows about winds. Time will tell and I will try to keep you posted. Guess it’s time for a Hurricane Party!!! Take care…I love you all.”

  6. Rebecca McCormick (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 5:48 am

    Alana, Just checking in. Please let us know if we can do anything to help your daughter while she’s in Hot Springs.

  7. Alana (unregistered) on September 24th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for the past three days.
    Here’s an update from my mom:


    Well, as you may know, we pretty much skated through the storm. Rita made landfall around Beaumont/Port Arthur…that was a good thing for us. We had very strong winds all night…which made sleep a non-event…and some rain, but not really too much. I can see a couple of trees down in the south pasture…but appear not to be on the fence. There are tree limbs down in the yard, but not on any of the vehicles! I haven’t been to the north end yet, but don’t have any reason to expect any thing other that what is around the house.

    Thank you all for your concern. We were very fortunate this time.
    Talk with you all later…I’m going to take a nap!

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