September 13th, 2008

Peony Stoney

Can't watch the weather channel anymore...

So, a lot of you know that my husband grew up at NASA. His house is about two blocks away from where CNN, the Weather Channel, and CBS are bunkered down, which, incidentally, is the hotel we stayed at when we went to his HS reunion a few weeks ago. It turns out that the lobby flooded, a chunk of the stone building was ripped off, and the boats that were... a football field length away towards the cove are up in the driveway of the hotel, which is built on a man-made hillock, pretty high up from the visible coast.

Last night we heard from a neighbor that stayed (gah) that the water was up to the window sills on the houses in the neighborhood. Which means from the base of the house, that's about four feet up. The houses are also built on hillocks, and my father in law figured at one point that they were 9 feet above sea level at the base of their house. When everything dies down (and up here in the metroplex we've already got the leading edge of the storm over our house, and may I remind you that my house is a five hour drive from my husband's childhood home - BIG storm) my husband and some of his old buddies from the neighborhood are driving down there with chainsaws to help cut trees off power lines to speed up the process of getting people back.

I am SO happy that our neighborhood up here is one of the smart ones: all of our power lines and phones lines are buried. We've got a line of water and tornadoes headed our way, but I don't anticipate any major damage, for we are the third little piggie with a brick house. *insert bass line here*

It seems that just about everyone in League City and Clear Lake (the neighborhood that surrounds NASA) bugged out, with the exception of one or two folks. They will have no power, no running water, no TOILETS, no GAS (hey, yeah. You have a generator. Is it going to run on wishes and dreams after three days?) no food, no POLICE. I get that some people absolutely cannot afford the gas and food and lodging expense of fleeing a storm. I really, really do. But Texas isn't Louisiana. (Sorry.) They had buses RUNNING THROUGH NEIGHBORHOODS ready to pick people up and take them to the Red Cross, or to the state-funded shelters. All pets were allowed to come, and were tagged, scanned and sent up to the shelter right by my place, a big huge acreage with lots of room.

Then again, all day yesterday my husband was scoffing this storm, saying he didn't get why it was such a big deal. After all, he and his folks weathered Alisha and the tropical storm a decade back that dumped the largest rainfall of any storm EVER on EARTH. (he sat through that one in his TRUCK on the side of the highway. Yeah, I was a bit nervous to say the least. People next to him drowned in their cars. Good lord.) He's all *beats chest* Strong like bull! Then he saw pictures of the waves and said, "Oh, shit." Yeah, dummy. That's when he started making calls to our friends that are back in Houston and the 'burbs on the coast to tell them that this one they shouldn't try to ride out.

Hooo rambly. But that's what a journal is, right? Anyway, if you stuck around this long, and you want to get involved in some way, here's the Red Cross, and they are STILL helping folks that fled Gustav over a week ago, and here's the SPCA that took not only all the LA. pets ahead of Gustav, but the Houston-area strays and loved pets, too. We drove past yesterday and there are some vanity cattle (not for eating, but for loving) some donkeys, goats, a few emu, and lots of horses, in addition to bunnies, cats, dogs, lizards, hamsters... (I want to just roll around in the animals. Theoretically, though, because I don't want all that dander on me. Hahaha. Ahem.)

Today is a lord of the Rings trilogy kind of day. What else do you do in a torrential downpour? (Maybe the Back to the Future series? OOH. HELLO, me: STAR WARS!) Bunker down, those of you in Texas through Missouri - it's a biiiiiiig one.

(Oooh, it turns out that the refineries that are north of NASA towards Beaumont don't look like they suffered any damage, which means gas prices should fall dramatically in a day or so. Whew. I heard of y'all with over $4 gas! That's insane!)