The storm track changes to the east

9AM UPDATE:I guess I’m an optimist: I put the garbage out for collection. The “official” track takes the eye right into Galveston Bay. Instead of expecting the big winds from the south, Katy can now expect winds from the east and northeast. While you have to believe the current storm track, the storm could shift either east or west as it’s already done. I’m starting to believe we’re looking at landfall east of High Island, Texas. This would put Katy out of danger for the most part and would threaten a whole new group of people. Port Arthur and Beaumont are now under “mandatory evacuations” which will merely add to people on the roadways, obviously. I-1o westbound has been a parking lot since yesterday and nothing has changed since then. Reports of people pushing their cars on the freeway in order to conserve gasoline are more frequent.

4AM UPDATE: Yeah, so much for sleep. Woke up to a clean kitchen. The kitchen elves drink Heineken, apparently. Scary. I noticed the header graphic I was pulling got corrupted, so I’m pulling a similar graphic. (It’s also “live” and will update throughout the day. The dotted straight line is current heading and speed) Note the new changes putting the eyewall even FURTHER to the east. It’s so weird to have almost complete agreement in the computer models, and then all the models disagree so quickly. Here I was, thinking that when the computer models all agreed, THAT was the path the storm was going to take… Apparently, the High Pressure area that was our “protector”, steering the hurricane to the west of us is bugging out to the east. The track of the storm is also shifting with it. The storm’s eye may very well make landfall significantly to the east of the Houston ship channel. This catastrophic storm may very well be catastrophic in an area not currently prepared for the event.

1AM local time: The track of the storm moved east about 40 miles, making a beeline for the eyewall of this beast to hit Freeport. The storm now looks to be coming up Hwy288 and Hwy 6 right up here to Katy.

This was the update I was waiting for. I have some work to do tomorrow. Maybe a decision to leave. I’m not sure what. I’ll get some sleep.

And the women have left

10AM Thurs. UPDATE: Thanks to starting out on the west side of town and the fact that no Interstates were used, the women made excellent time into Fort Worth overnight. It took about six hours for a path that would normally take around five. There’s a straight road into Katy north of I-10, and from there on Hwy 90 which runs parallel and just north of I-10 into Sealy, and then northwest from there into Bryan College Station, picking up Hwy 6 there and taking that into Waco. From there I-35W into Ft. Worth.

Okay, the wife and her two daughters have left. They’ve taken the dog with them. I don’t expect I’ll see them for a few days. They’re headed for a hotel in Ft. Worth. Holly has a conference there, and has a room reserved for a couple of days. Grandma and Grandpa live nearby, and I’m sure there’ll be an overnight visit or two if the hotel rents out their rooms past Saturday.

The dog, a rottweiller mix dog who cowers at the least wind and climbs into the bathtub with the least rumble of thunder, is all excited for his car ride with the women.

Casey and I are staying.

Without anything else to do but wait, I’m doing something that men do only when all the women have left.

I’m making jerky!

I have work ahead of me

Okay, I’ll be back out, because the car that’s staying here with me is out of gas, and there’s outages in several places already. I had cold stuff in the car from my trip to Kroger and didn’t want to wait in the five car waits at the stations that DID have regular unleaded. The cold stuff all went to the freezer. A couple of three pound chubs of ground meat, Half gallon things of milk (that I’ll probably have to partially empty as they expand a bit when they freeze…

As it comes to pass, wife will be leaving for Dallas with Holly and Megan and Casey will be staying here. Mike has made some noise about staying elsewhere, but I’m not sure of his plans. So, it’s not exactly like there’s goijng to be a full house here, anyway.

UPDATE: Wed: 8PM: Gasoline has been delivered to a couple of local gas stations. Chevron at Westgreen just north of I-10 (between Fry and Mason) got a full load, and the local Conoco had the tanker filling… The lines were about ten deep coming out both sides of each of the gas stations. But there was gas.

Everything is bigger in Texas

It’s like Texas somehow has decided to attempt to one up the Central Gulf Coast and host its own catastrophic hurricane.

Some sort of karmic jealosy, perhaps.

If I was writing a story, I’d include some poor soul that invoked the wrath of the gods. I’d have her “accidentally” call upon some mystical malevolent force of the ocean to destroy her ex-lover with rage and fury… and the rage that was Katrina would be formed and cast upon the shore, destroying nearly everything along the coast line. But through some other twist of fate, our karmic target survived the wrath of the storm, only to take shelter here in Texas… only to have ANOTHER virulent storm track him down. Karmic vengence is a great topic, worthy of Stephen King. Unfortunately, it’s NOT a very worthy topic in real life, and what has happened along the Central Gulf Coast and what is about to happen along the Texas coast is not fiction but is deadly serious.

As I write this from my cozy chair in Katy, Texas you folks should realize I’ll be closer to landfall than anyone in Houston. Well, my HOUSE will be. Whether I’m here when the storm strikes or not is of serious question at this point.

From here on out, I’ll be seeking to do some serious storm preparations. There’s a tree in the front yard that’s needed a few branches sawn off. Lawn furniture. Potted plants.

I have a few garbage cans; I’ll clean those out and line them with garbage bags and fill them with water. I expect there’ll be a day or two without electricity around here.

Again, the computer models in the header graphic pulls from a live site that refreshes itself about four times a day or so. Feel free to refresh any of the cuppacafe pages to get a new header graphic. I may end up putting a radar link or the like up as well.

The romance author wife of mine is under deadline-itis. Her wonderful and patient editor expects Deep Breath by tomorrow. I know where my wife is on the book, and I’m sure she’ll make her (latest) deadline.

Events that are interfering with people around this house: The place my son works for, Cyberium, is having a large party this Friday, giving away about a thousand dollars worth of prizes, courtesy of Intel’s promotion, “The Seasons of Extreme!”. Intel planned this date months in advance. Could you imagine a better day to have such an event? Could things in Texas get any more EXTREME than Friday night or Saturday morning? Very appropriate, don’t you think? Technically, Friday noonish should be rather nice, with the wind just picking up, and perhaps a rain shower or two. But I don’t think too many folks will be ready to have much of a party when they’re getting ready to flee a storm such as the likes of Rita.

Step-daughter Holly is planning on traveling up to Dallas for a seminar on veterinary care. No problem, except she’ll be driving home Friday night. Depending on the timing, I may be advising her not to drive Friday. For one, driving south when everyone else is driving north may be a load of fun, but by then her mother may have actually decided to leave.

Well, I’m being paged to actually start my storm prep in earnest. So long for now, and I’ll check in when time permits.

Not so lovely Rita

Wednesday UPDATE: If you haven’t heard, it’s a Cat 4.

UPDATE: The noon computer models are out, and yes, Houston/Galveston is on target to be hit by at least a Cat 2 hurricane.

If you want to know where I live, follow the little Orange line on the header graphic. I’m right there. As of right now, the UKMET model has the eye of Hurricane Rita passing directly over my house.

Since the above graphic pulls from a live site, the orange line will most likely change as time passes later today (Monday) and farther on.

Needless to say, FEMA will get a chance to work its magic all over again, this time somewhere in Texas.