We just passed the anniversary of Hurrican Katrina; the anniversary of Hurricane Rita is just around the corner. I am jumping the gun a bit, but here are my blog posts from last September, chronicling our Rita experience.
Rita's comin' to Texas, folks (Sep 19, 2005). I was one of the very first Texas bloggers to declare that Rita had our number. That post was updated numerous times over the next couple of days as the reality began to sink into the wider media.
Batten down the hatches (sep 21, 2005). I started planning our escape route. At that point in time it wasn't clear whether my wife, a resident at UTMB Galveston, would have to stay on duty or not.
update (Sep 22, 2005). A grueling 9-hour drive to go 60 miles. We were part of the largest evacuation in US history, the great mother deity of all traffic jams. A nightmare of overheating brakes and low gas and frustrating cell-phone outages and endless mile after mile of highway, one foot at a time.
contraflow (Sep 23, 2005). Having escaped Galveston county, but still in northwest Harris, we were deciding whether or not to try and make it to san antonio or not. We ultimately decided to stay in Katy rather than take our chances on the highway and repeat our experience of the previous day.
shelter in place (same day, 23rd). The evening of landfall. We went to our community masjid for shelter, anticipating the worst.
the power is ours (late that evening, 23rd). A report from the masjid, waiting out the storm. It became pretty clear that evening that Rita wouldn't pose the threat we all feared - thanks to the divine providence of a sudden change in Rita's course.
Houston makes it through (Sep 24, 2005). A guest post from my friend Taha. We made it safe and sound and Taha expresses the thanks we all felt.
sitting dry (that same day, 24th). We did lose power but only for about 10 hours. We returned to my inlaws' place in Katy and now begin the waiting for normalcy.
Aggie joke (Sep 26th 2005). Some welcome humor at Texas A&M alumni expense.
Houston reawakens (same day, 26th). The city comes back to life, though finding eggs and milk was pretty hard. We were glued to the radio listening for when the local WalMart would reopen!
home (Sep 27, 2005). Made it back to my house in Galveston, where apart from a few shingles, everything was ok.
My posts didn't get into a lot of detail about the preparations we made to leave our home, the work involved in getting it all back together again, etc. Overall it was a grueling and insane week, one I'd never want to repeat. And we were of course lucky. Our neighbors in Lake Jackson, who got the full brunt of Rita, still haven't fully recovered.