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Vanessa Edward Foster's Hurricane Rita Blog
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Entry 9
September 24, 2005 8:15:03 PM EDT
My Hurricane Rita Blog: Sat 9/24 7PM

As they say, all's well that ends well. We lost power at about 3:30 this morning (the reason it took so long to get back to folks). It stayed out until an hour and a half hour ago, but all in all that was great! Maybe having Celia as a gauge to measure all other storms by makes me either more jaded towards storms and the threats they pose, or much more level-headed when they stir up and start approaching. I've seen numerous of these types of really intense "killer storms" out in the Gulf, and the mass evacuations, and the aftermaths of nothing much to really report. As I pretty much expected, the hype on this just seemed a bit too overkill.

In the end, the real losers were the poor folks in Louisiana who weren't even preparing for such a hit, the folks who spent all the time and money evacuating from areas that weren't even hit, and the weathermen's (and computer models') credibility for those who predicted the storm was going to hit the Texas coast. No one said a word about Louisiana, other than hurricane watch.

As for me, I had a really enjoyable visit hosting my own evacuee from Clear Lake. Kristin and her kitty Copper hung out and enjoyed the hospitality and the visit, as did mom and I. She was even near tears thanking us for taking her in. Obviously I'd do it again without a thought. I'd much rather have her here than worry about how she was faring in a possible flood over there. And she felt much safer as well being further away from the bay & Clear Lake.

Some of the stories coming in still ... Kristin had a friend who left the east side of town and took 32 hrs. of driving until she got to Vicksburg MS. It's normally about an 8 hr. drive. That's not even that far off the coast. It's unreal how long, and how much gas was burned, just running from this storm.

Oh well, the GOP friends in the oil industry are smiling after this weekend. That's about the only winners I can see besides the residents who were spared damage.

And while on that, I lost the back and a side fence. Gotta figure out how to get that replaced. Lost power for 14 hrs. And I lost the battery back-up to my computer when the power surges knocked out power last night. Originally I worried that it was the computer that had fried -- yeeps! Not good when you're needing to send out the resumes! But thankfully after trying unplugging things from the backup, it turns out the computer / monitor and all else on the strip to the back-up survived quite well. As for damage that was about it. Note to Sarah: I did turn off the ice box and the A/C so those compressors didn't fry.

Very little rain to speak of ... the bayou out back didn't even rise! We had some stiff breezes, but nothing really gale force here at the house other than an occasional gust here and there. No downed trees, no broken limbs, no shingles missing from the roof. The birds are all back, the dragonflies are unusually heavy, but back as well. Nature seems to have restored her balance. For all the worry and stress, it was a non-event here in Houston.

Kristin reported nearly no damage at her place ... fence knocked down, a column blown down from her back patio (apparently not a load-bearing one). That was it. She didn't even lose power.

Now it's a matter of getting the million plus evacuees back home, and in some semblance of order. I worry there will be a lot of traffic tie-ups and probably some serious accidents with all of the return traffic. Hopefully there won't be the same level of tragedies as seen with the evacuation. But I realize that a lot of folks are really anxious to get back home, and I would be too if I was in their shoes. Kristin was so happy not to have had to brave any traffic trying to flee the city ... she had a 45 min. trip home with no traffic. But that's the exception, obviously. One wonders if the gas prices are going to rise in time for the returning evacuees. Great time for profit-taking, with a captive consumer-base that must buy to ride. I guess we'll see how "compassionate" these conservative business owners really are.

Beyond that, it's a gorgeous day. Cool and breezy ... I don't even know if it reached 90 today, although the sun made it out in the afternoon. You'd hardly know anything had happened if you'd just landed here from another planet.

Now the question begs, was this all worth it?

Ness ....