[photo courtesy of Weather Underground]
Here we go again. There is another hurricane out in the Gulf. It looks like Ike is making a direct path towards the Houston/Galveston area. Each day Ike gains strength and the meteorologist anticipate it being a Category 4 hurricane by the time it makes landfall. Friday will be the day we'll know what Ike is going to do.
Thankfully people are taking this storm more seriously than the ones before. The stores are already restocking their supplies. The home improvement stores can't keep plywood in stock. People are waiting in lines while waiting for more plywood, some for three hours or more. The gas stations have been refilled and there is supposed to be enough gas for our city and those passing through.
This is all a bit surreal to me. This makes three hurricanes we've prepared for now this year alone. So far, the Houston/Galveston areas have been VERY lucky. Each storm that has threatened to make landfall in our backyard has turned east. I'm worried our luck has run out. We are due a big storm. Will Ike be the one? We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we're preparing.
The area we live in has been asked to "shelter-in-place". We're safe from the storm surge, it's the winds that will be a big problem for us. I heard on the news tonight that, if Ike is indeed a Cat. 4 storm, we could sustain 90 mph. + winds. So, we're planning on doing what our area has been asked to do, "sheltering-in-place" and praying for the best. Our backup plan is to evacuate if we lose power and it looks like it'll be off for a while. South Texas heat and humidity is NOT pleasant folks! I'm not sure where we'll go just yet. It depends upon how much damage is in our area. By that time, the roads will be cleared and alot of people will be heading back home to assess the damage to their property, at least that's what we think will happen. If we decide to stay at a hotel hopefully there will be rooms available. I've been looking for places that will accept cats and our pickings are few. We may be driving up to my parents (hope you're ready for us!).
In the meantime, I ask that those of you who don't live in this area to please pray for us. The hurricane is not the only thing we have to be cautious about. Alot of times these storms produce tornadoes that are just as dangerous as the hurricane. And, the winds can be devastating. When we evacuated three years ago due to Rita we went to Lufkin, Texas. The winds that hit that area were tremendous and the damage was unbelievable. My family who lives there were without electricity for a month (if my memory is correct). I'll never forget listening to giant oak and pine trees crack and landing on other people's homes in the middle of the night. Seeing an enormous tree uprooted is an image that sticks with you, especially if it's lying right in the middle of someone's home. My aunt K. was extremely blessed that she didn't have damage to her home. Her neighbor wasn't so lucky. So please pray. Pray that people will be smart and evacuate early. Pray that people will be safe. Pray that Ike fizzles out before making landfall. Please, just pray.
Note: There is conflicting news on Ike so we're not sure what category it is going to be. The consensus is that it will at least be a Cat. 3 and possibly a Cat. 4. A Cat. 3 hurricane will give us 75 mph. + winds and a Cat. 4 could have 90 mph. winds and up. There are new mandatory evacuation orders for Brazoria County, South and Southeast Harris Counties (Houston), and Galveston County that is now in effect. We are not in the evacuation plan.
Another Note: Gregg came home today shortly after noon. His office is closed tomorrow. Also, Violet's daycare is closed as well as all of the local schools. I found out that a huge Sam's Club in our area will be closed tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. The gas stations are starting to run out of gas and the lines at the stations that do have some are crazy long. We went to our local HEB, which is a huge store, and have stocked up on everything one could possibly need to ride out a hurricane... canned meats, peanut butter, cereal and granola bars, individual servings of fruit cups and applesauce, juice boxes, Gatorade, and water, water, water.
The flashlights had been picked off the shelves and so I'm considering ourselves very fortunate. I found some click lights and little head lamps (similar to these) that can be used for what we need. We will have plenty of light. I even bought a couple of glow sticks. I figured those would be useful as a nightlight, tie a string through the hole and hang it on Violet's door and she'll be set! Of course, we're praying that we won't need to use these items.