Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It's the Rita-Ready-Or-Not Show, in Prime Time

Now it's our turn.

Wednesday about midnight, TX: It's just been announced that Rita is already the third strongest hurricane ever recorded. Hard to imagine winds that are swirling at 175 miles an hour. The thing looks huge on radar, a rapidly growing cancer cell of clouds literally engulfing the Gulf.

Traffic's been crawling out of Houston north and west toward Dallas, San Antonio and beyond. I live in Kerrville, a town of 25,000 70 miles northwest of San Antonio on I-10. Already the town in hopping. There were lines at the gas station today. The grocery store was packed, and the carts were piled high with staples, soft drinks, water.

One irony for us is: Kerrville made national news (CNN, et al) just two years ago for flooding in this area. I saw cars going down the creek and wedged up in trees just three blocks from my house.

This afternoon, "All Things Considered" interviewed a woman down closer to the coast who was closing down her convenience store, about to board it up. She'd sold out of just about everything to the evacuating scavengers making their way inland. "Cartons of cigarettes... twelve packs... and lottery tickets - can't keep 'em away from their lotto."

...Gambling with their dollars but not their lives. As some said, after seeing Katrina on the news, "I can't swim all that well." Yeah, and houses and fuel tankers hitting you in the head will send you to OZ real quick like, no slow mo drowning to it.

Kerrville is a tourist town with lots of motel rooms, but we are booked solid this weekend, and I hear most everybody has friends or family coming to visit from the coast. Everybody is stocking up.

It's kinda nifty. It's definitely got people talking to each other, just passing strangers waiting in line to buy deisel or TP. Everybody is talking about IT - the IT now being not just Rita but the hurricane season to beat all.

We've got two days left here of hot, sunny weather. Then, the clouds will come in and start to twirl. Welcome to the most watched hurricane ever - in advance of its coming to shore.

I've got decent batteries in three of four flashlights. I've got four jars of pasta sauce, about four pounds of pasta - and about four pounds of trail mix if I loose both the electricity and the gas. I'm set.



At 11/07/2005 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane katrina or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!


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