Saturday, September 24, 2005

Rita Mania: Part 3 - Sunny Morning

Well, the worst has passed Austin by. All we got was some hot wind gusts. East Texas and Louisiana, on the other hand, got the brunt of the hurricane and those people are in my prayers. I'm also grateful that Rita was a Category 3 and not a Category 5 when it came ashore.

It did give me a good reason to stock up on canned goods and bottled water, though...

Best Wishes,

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita Mania: Part 2

So, in preparations for this weekend and Hurricane Rita, I go to Walmart to get some essentials, like bottled water, canned goods, batteries, over-the-counter medicines, etc. I figured water might be scarce -- and it was -- but I had no idea how cleaned out the place would be!? It was like visiting after a looting or something! Almost all of the basic canned goods were gone, ALL bottled water was gone and batteries, especially "D" batteries? Forget it!

So, I got what I could from Walmart, which was considerable and went to another grocery store (HEB) for the rest. I found a few more items and they were just starting to stock some more bottled water. A gentleman next to me asked the stocker if he could take a case off the palate (a case is a 24-pack) and they stocker said "sure!" So, I did the same. When I got to the checkout line, the checker said "You found water??" (like this was a rare treasure, which it was) and I said "Yep!"

Still no "D" batteries, but oh, well, you can't have everything...

Keep in mind, this is AUSTIN. We're not even expecting the most severe weather. We are not evacuating.

But people don't want to take any chances, and I can't say I blame them. Hurricanes are unpredictable, after all. I think everyone's learned to take things seriously after Katrina.

More as things develop...

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Rita Mania" Begins

I've been made aware of the exact type of weather we could be facing -- even in Austin and Central Texas -- this weekend from Hurricane Rita. We got the leftovers of a hurricane a few years ago but it was just a little rain and wind gusts, nothing significant. This time around, we could get 75 - 100 mph winds, lots of rain and possible tornadoes. The severity will depend on if we are on the west or the east side of the hurricane. If we are on the east side of the hurricane, the effects are more severe.

I'm not worried at this point but my "caution meter" has gone up a few levels, especially now that Rita is a Category 5 hurricane. I've started praying for the people on the coastline, the people in Central Texas and for the Katrina evacuees who are having to be evacuated yet again. I can't imagine how traumatizing this must be for them.

In my job, I have been doing tech support for people all over the Central Texas area. I have helped many people displaced by Katrina from New Orleans, people who relocated here to Austin. Now, those people will have to face another significant hurricane, only weeks after being forced from their homes.

It's going to an interesting weekend, to say the least. More later...

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Et Tu, Rita? Batten Down The Hatches

Okay, so now a new, potentially major hurricane heads towards the Gulf of Mexico. This one, Hurricane Rita, appears to be aiming for Texas. It looks to be heading for either Galveston or Houston. It shouldn't pose too much of a threat to Austin, as Austin is several hundred miles inland from the Gulf. We may get a lot of rain, wind and possible tornadoes from the outer bands.

The rumor mill wants to say that it could hit Louisiana. It could also turn back out to sea or go to Mexico. Only time will tell.

More here as we get closer to landfall...

Best Wishes,

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Initial Thoughts On Hurricane Katrina And Its Aftermath

I am still not fully comprehending the total devastation caused by Hurricance Katrina. I've gotten to the point where I turn the sound down because the news commentary is either such a political blame game it's nauseating or the facts are just too heartbreaking to bear.

I pray for the survivors and the relief personnel and volunteers daily. I am emotionally wrenched as I read of new deaths and the causes of death. I sympathize till I start feeling numb, then I pray for the Lord to help me focus on Him and His goodness, understanding that He is in control of everything.

I know people in Louisiana but they were spared the worst of the Hurricane's damage. They are in the minority, to be sure.

Texas has certainly contributed to the relief efforts. I've been very proud of my state's involvment. Even Austin has been very involved, taking in and helping hurricane refugees. It's going to be a long road ahead for everyone involved.

Through ISAA, I've encouraged people to give cash or blood to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

I have to go for now. I'll blog more on this again soon...

Best Wishes,