Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Party

My hurricane party is in full effect now. The drinks are chilled and the nachos cheese is warm. I've been watching the soda and beer stock at Walmart all week long. They've reloaded the beer aisle 3 times this week alone. We spoke to the beer delivery guy today, who was refilling the store again only 2 hours before they were about to close. He said that this is the last the beer and they won't have more to fill until Thursday. Yikes!

My area has only a 50% chance now of even getting tropical storm force winds. I went ahead a filled the bathtubs with water but didn't put any tape on the windows. The motorcycle is still outside but we blocked it in a corner to protect it from the wind. Then we parked the minivan right beside it to offer further protection. A couple of my neighbors expessed concern about our motorcycle. Thanks for caring!

My good friend Jennifer with 4 other people in tow, was stranded in the worst possible place in Houston. She was one of the unlucky ones that got stuck in the I-45 HOV lane. When I called her yesterday afternoon, she reported that she'd been on the road since the wee hours of the morning and had forgotten her phone charger. They were smart enough not to burn gasoline by idling and had spent the day under the 101 degree sun without air conditioner. Her plans were to go up to Oklahoma and stay with her father but that was looking pretty bleak. I told her that she had friends in Bryan she could rely on.

And this morning I was able to help her immensly. She called to tell me that she'd only made it to Huntsville, just under 2 hours normal travel from Houston. Her friend's vehicle was down to a quarter tank and there were cars everywhere, filling every parking lot who were unable to go on.

She wanted to take State Hwy 30 to our area and asked if there was gas. Information about gasoline was something I could supply! Yes, our town still had gas at the beginning of the day. We made emergency plans that I should fill up a gas can and take them a couple gallons if they were not able to get all the way here. With the Lord's blessings, they did make it to Bryan, filled up, and continued North on their trip. I had offerred them a place here but Jennifer's mother wanted to continue. No matter how old you get, you still have to listen to your mother.

The gasoline in town disappeared this morning. There are still a couple here and there but you have to know somebody who knows somebody to be able to find them. I learned recently that the Shell down the street still has gas. They had gotten their normal delivery so were able to continue selling to everybody. They sold gasoline at a rate of 1000 gallons/hour. The teller was in shock.

Yesterday Lowe's in town was expecting more emergency supplies to come from Austin. They told all their customers that the truck was due at 1pm and quite a crowd was waiting. When 1pm came and went, the store manager contacted the driver to find out where he was. The truck driver had made it all the way to Hearne and then decided to turn back because traffic was too bad. Now mind you, Hearne is north of Bryan so he would have been going the opposite direction of the traffic mess. He was only 20 minutes from town but went all they way back anyway. The manager at the store almost busted a blood vessel because he was so angry!

We have almost every supply imaginable (except a propane stove) but needed ice this morning. We sent the guys out around town but they were rather unsuccesful. One convience store said he was out of ice but a truck was due to deliver in about an hour. The guys waited it out but it still wasn't showing. Suddenly a woman walks up, opens the ice container, and pulls out a bag of ice! OOOPS. The convience store owner, quickly realizing his mistake, told her that our guys had already paid for the ice and he couldn't sell it to her. That was a great help! He gave us 80 lbs of ice for only $4.

There are only a couple stray clouds in the sky right now but the wind is blowing steadily. We're all tired and everybody is heading to bed. I have friends in the little town of Splendora who live in a mobile home whom I've been unable to contact at all. They're probably in a shelter right now but I can't help but worry. When I hear from her next I'll be sure to yell at her for not calling me and for not showing up on my doorstep!

Later everybody!

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