Well.... Rita is now the 4th baddest storm ever observed. Down to 898 millibars in the eye.
We're still here, not a hotel to be had even as far away as Oklahoma City. I know this because I spent the morning trying to find somewhere for my ESL student from Africa to shelter. He lives with his family in the middle of downtown, not far from the bayou. I'd been telling him to prepare, but he (sigh, the first time he's been "engineerish") didn't really understand that when I said, "Get ready to drive north and keep on going."... I meant it.
Turns out my sister and her family are going to Abilene with a friend. Looks like 'Pup and I will be hosting my student and his family. He's trying to find shelter with some of his compatriots here in town. He was supposed to call me and tell me how his search was going, but we've been outside trying to put up the loose stuff. I had no idea I had so much STUFF in my garden. One piece at a time, it adds up. I'm going to call him and see what's up.
Good news, my neighbor's son is going to come and help us put the junk, errrr... stuff away. But, as it is 101 (I shit you not, 101 and that's NOT the heat index!) at 7:23 pm, he's going to wait till morning. We'll be driving down south to pick up my mom and dad with the idea of delivering them to my brother's house. The air outside is still, thick and heavy. No wind and it's quiet. Not many birds. Lots of 'skeeters and some butterflies, but no bird song. No cicada whine. I suspect many of our neighbors have left, tho I know there are more than a few still here.
My other sister, L and her family is heading west of San Antonio with some of bro-in-law's family and two RV's. They've found a place to park and hook up in a campground. My sister wants my mom and dad to be at my brother's because he'll have more room, and it will be quieter. There is actually some question about whether or not we'll be able to GET to my mom, but we're planning on taking a roundabout way and avoid the evacuation traffic. We'll have to be in the middle of it going to my bro T's house, but that's not to be helped. My sister L and her husband will be bringing them to L's house and then we'll pick them up from there.
My friend and student is going to talk to his wife. He's not done that yet. Sigh. Engineers. I think it's pretty sure he'll be with us. It's actually better for 'Pup and I, as this way we'll be with some able bodied people if something happens. Besides, I like him and do NOT want him to suffer unduly from this storm. Nor, of course do I want to suffer at all.
It's now almost 8:00, and it's still 100.5 degrees.
This ain't gonna be fun.
My mom and sis and sis and nephew and nephew's wife were down there and helped my mom put up some of her treasures. When I spoke to my mom, she says she most dreads going back and seeing what's happened to the house. Unfortunately, we've had to leave her 3 outdoor cats there, as they're really just tame enough to come to the back porch to eat. There was no way they could've been caught and transported. She's left food and water in a high sheltered spot, and hoping for the best.
I guess that's what we all are doing.
Hope with us please.