UPDATE ON RITA: CATEGORY 5

The church closed until Monday to give people the opportunity to leave town if they had to, but I’m not leaving town.

Reason #1: My roommate is a nurse so ethically, she has to stick around until there is a mandatory evacuation of Houston. She is an honorable person, so leaving until then is not an option.

The last time there was a mandatory evacuation of Houston was over twenty years ago during Hurricane Alicia. So many people were trying to leave, traffic was at a standstill. People were stuck in their CARS during a hurricane as a result. People are definitely safer in their houses, so we don’t see a mandatory evacuation of the rest of the city. Houston, by the way, is now the fourth largest city in the US and for that reason, logistically, I don’t see Houston being evacuated.

Reason #2: My car is not running right, especially when I’m sitting in traffic. So, with the freeways backed up I am staying put. Though Roomie has offered me her car, I would rather wait until both of us could drive out together.

Reason #3: I live on one of the few streets that did not flood during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. That flood was what they consider a 500 year flood and I don’t forsee that sort of damage. Therefore, unless this thing dumps over 38 inches of rain in a few hours, I will be okay. I also have a two story townhome, so I have “higher ground.”

The only worry we have is high winds and loss of electricity for more than a few days. We have ice, canned food, plenty of water, and a plan. The back porch is clear of any possible flying projectiles. I notice that many of my neighbors have left and also left their plants and deck chairs outside as well. That should be fun.

So, I’m not leaving. I thought about it all day long as the church became a ghost town (we were technically dismissed at three) and Roomie said it was okay to go, that she could take care of herself, etc.

She said, “this would be your first hurricane, and really, it’s not a good one to start off with.” I laughed. She is right, but I would be more worried sitting in Austin wondering how she was than I will sitting with her in the middle of all this.

So, I’m staying.

Prayers are appreciated.

We have plenty of ice, bottled water, canned food, tape for the windows, trash bags (to cover our beds in case the windows break) and like I said, Roomie is a nurse.

If (big IF) there is a mandatory evacuation, I’ll be checking in from Austin.

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