"Do you know there's a hurricane in the gulf?"
"Yeah, I heard something about that."
"Have you gotten your water and supplies yet?"
"No. I'm waiting to see what it does."
"Well, you'd better hurry. I'm driving up at Wal Mart now and it's packed already. There won't be anything left soon."
"It's too soon. We don't know where it will head."
"You'll be sorry."
And so it begins. Now, we pick at my sister a lot about being the hurricane worry wart but she's been spot on twice this year. I was smart enough to listen to her and sent E to the store right away for Katrina but I drug my feet a bit this time. I waited until Thursday and karma bit me in the butt. I wound up having to work until 8:30 pm that night. When I left the office I had to gas up the car, shop for supplies, and pick up prescriptions. I got home at 10:45 pm. Wal Mart was a nightmare. I was there an hour and a half. It only took me half an hour to gather the supplies into the basket. The last hour was spent waiting in the checkout line. :(
My parents hate to evacuate for any storm. In fact, I don't think they ever have. My sister started calling them on Tuesday to ask when they were going to head this way. I think she called them twice that day and three times on Wednesday. Mom was pretty adament about not leaving but they promised they were watching the weather. Wednesday afternoon my sister called me to tell me to call them and ask them when they were coming to Baton Rouge. I did and got the same response. But by Thursday they were singing a different tune. During the night Rita made a northerly turn and it looked like the west side of the state was going to get a hard hit. So Thursday afternoon my parents did something I'd never seen them do - they evacuated and they were right to do so. A neighbor of their reports that the big oak tree in the back yard went down but didn't hit the house. Unfortunately, the way it fell it took out the electrical and cable connections to the house. They will be out of power for a number of days. Other than that they think the only other damage is some missing shingles from the roof. My brother-in-law is going to take them down there tomorrow to assess the damage. It's killing my mother to not know exactly what the damage is.
I've twice spoken to the Sheriff's Office down there as I worked there for 17 years. In times like these I get such a feeling of needing to be there to help. I've been gone 7 years now but I know that if I were there it would be as if I'd never left. The new 911 director is a girl that worked for me back when. When I told her that I wished I were there she said she wished the same. She's understaffed and it's very busy. Those guys don't get to leave in hurricanes. They've all been at the court house, some with their families since before the storm started. A said she'd not had any sleep and it didn't look like she was going to get any anytime soon. It took all I had not to get in the car and head west.
We have fared well yet again. We never lost power although it blinked several times. My sister lost power early on and was without it all night. It came back up for several hours but I just learned they are down again.
The wind is starting to subside. Baton Rouge is right in the line of the feeder bands coming in from the gulf. We've had storms and tornado watches all day. As I type this I hear it kicking up again and I hear another warning being broadcast on television. Maybe it's not over yet. They are telling us that we will likely see this sort of weather through tomorrow evening because Rita is going to stall out to the north west of us. We've already had eight inches of rain. Blah!
So we are safe, much safer than folks back in my hometown area. Maybe E and I will be able to get a good night's sleep tonight for a change. ;-)