Before it became dark, I had gone outside and the weather had changed dramatically. The sky was overcast and full of clouds, and the wind was beginning to blow. The waiting period began. During the day we had heard that the storm was shifting slightly and was no longer coming in at Galveston but was headed for Sabine Pass, and then later we heard in might actually come ashore in Cameron, LA. The big fear was that wherever it made landfall, a 20′ storm surge of water would follow and take out whatever was in its path. We didn’t want that storm surge to hit us.
The Coasties had us move our vehicles up on the sidewalk against the building. I was quite glad of that, as one big gust of wind would flip my Honda CR-V, and as my entire business was in my car (there was no room to bring my computer and office stuff inside), I crossed my fingers and just hoped and prayed that my vehicle wouldn’t sustain any damage and be there in the morning.
Later that night I managed to grab a shower (it was the last one I had for a few days <g>) and we divided up the rooms again. Just as I suspected, my brother and sister-in-law and the other fireman and his wife weren’t coming to the shelter that night, so Eric and I got one of the rooms to ourselves and my sister and niece got the other one. Eric had brought his portable DVD player, and we found a movie in the TV room and settled in our room to watch a movie.
About an hour after we finished the movie and had gone to bed, the power went out. I think this was around 1 AM Saturday morning or so. The fun was just beginning..:) A short time later my sister (who volunteered to be in charge of the EOC volunteers at the shelter) knocked on the door saying that we needed to move the extra mattresses from our room for the 26 EMT’s who had just arrived from the Tuscon, AZ, and Las Cruces, NM area.
I was trying to go back to sleep but wasn’t having much luck. Having no light was creepy, and the room was heating up by the minute without any air conditioning. Eric was snoring away, completely oblivious to the storm brewing outside (I plan on teasing him forevermore about the fact that he can sleep through anything–including a hurricane <g>). I could hear the wind picking up and the building begin to creak and started to get pretty anxious. We were in a room composed completely of cinderblocks, so I was fairly confident that we’d be ok, short of the losing the roof, but only being able to hear the wind and noises outside and not being able to see anything, and it being pitch black to boot, was only adding to my anxiety.
It was only a matter of time before we’d get the full brunt of the hurricane…
Note–All the photos in the hurricane section of this blog are courtesy of KJAS Radio, www.kjas.com in Jasper. While I didn’t take them, I’m using them to illustrate the kinds of things I saw during Hurricane Rita.
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