My mom and brother live in Houston, so I have a vested interest in keeping tabs on the impending landfall of Hurricane Rita. Both live in homes on the west side of town, my brother just outside the outer loop near I-10, and my mom further out along I-10, near Katy.
I went to Rice University in Houston – although no one in my family lived there at the time – and I still have many friends there.
None of the people I know are in danger of flooding or are in zones of evacuation. At worst, they can reasonably expect broken windows and other property damage. My mom called last night. She works in an orthopedic clinic. They closed up shop yesterday and backed up all hard drives (off-site, I hope). She and my brother plan to hunker down and ride out the storm. I probably would as well.
My brother writes:
What can we say… a huge storm is heading our way. We seem to be as prepared as we can be, but we are still discussing the possibility of leaving town. A typical drive from Houston to Dallas takes about 4 1/2 hours…today it takes about 14 hours to do the same drive. My parents and Kristin’s parents as well as her grandmother have decided to stick around and see what Rita is really all about. We hope that we are far enough inland to avert any major disaster. Flooding doesn’t concern us as much as the 165 mph winds (which will be about 100 mph when they hit us). As long as trees and debris don’t hit our house, we should be ok. We expect the power to go out but we have the pool to keep us somewhat cool. We will keep sending updates for as long as we can.
Even had they decided to leave, traffic is impossible. Check out these Houston traffic webcams. My mom’s exit is Barker-Cypress along I-10 Katy. Sure are many more folks leaving than heading in.
This is not my family’s first brush with hurricanes. Last year, my father in Freeport, Bahamas took two in the face. (That’s my sister and her kids, not my movie-star offspring.)