Sunday, August 28, 2005

"If you can’t stand the heat... "

Can you stand one more post about how hot it is in South Texas?


Well, I don’t blame you. Right now everybody’s focus is on New Orleans, all of eastern Louisiana and western Mississippi, and points north and east of there.

I have never been in anything close to 165 mph winds on the ground. That’s what Katrina’s top winds are as I write this.

Two summers ago we sat out Hurricane Claudette with its 90-100 mph winds in Victoria as the eye passed about 20 miles south of town. Our electricity was out for 3 days, lots of tree limbs were down, and there was significant damage to some homes in our neighborhood as large sections of trees or limbs fell onto roofs.

I’ll tell you, it was frightening. We sat and watched the trees in out back yard wave and flail. We listened to the wind moan.

At one point some branches from a crepe myrtle were whipping against our bathroom window so hard I was afraid they might break the glass. (Those branches had never come close to the house before!)

Carol and I went out in the middle of the howling wind and driving rain, wading through water about 3-4 inches deep to hack off the crepe myrtle’s branches before they caused any damage. Then we went back inside to dry off and watch the limbs of a large tallow tree in the back yard sweep down and whack the ground again and again.

I didn’t know they could bend that far and not break off.

When you’re sitting through something like that with all the sounds and scenes you’ve not experienced before, it is very unsettling. I don’t say “terrifying” because we knew the winds were only about 90 mph, and that barring a tornado our brick home was pretty secure.

I literally can’t imagine sitting out a category 5 monster like Katrina.

I’ll just say that our thoughts and prayers are with those in the storm’s path. Oh, I know, most will survive. But I sure wouldn’t want to be with them through the experience of finding out which ones won’t survive, because there are sure to be casualties.

We had several deaths here in Victoria from Claudette—a category 1 “minimal” hurricane.

So, good luck to those in Katrina’s path!

And, by the way, the Hades index here today was about 102%.

Yeah, we played golf anyway, but maybe we should have just stayed indoors and, figuratively speaking, “gotten out of the kitchen.”


Anonymous said...

My wife waited on a family from LA tonight. They "evacuated before we had to," and then very nonchalantly told her "we probably won't be going back to a house." I read that early estimates are for one million people to become homeless after the storm.

I'll never again complain about a flooded road on the way to school.

Karyn Lyndon said...

Okay...I want to see a ski pic of y'all in the sweaters...

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the many Bs said...

Yes, I'm keeping my eye on New Orleans and surrounding area as well and hoping for the best for those folks down there. I'm so lucky that we don't get any extreme weather up in the Seattle area. We had a storm with 70 mph gusts in 1993 and I watched some pieces of my neighbor's roof blow off. I was without power for 3 days. I can not imagine what double or even triple the wind speed could do. Very frightening, indeed.

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