Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hurricane Rita update

The outlook for Austin improves by the hour, as Rita's expected path keeps creeping eastward. Two days ago we were looking at the prospect of hurricane-force winds; now we're showing less than 30% chance of getting even 40-mph winds. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be a rough Saturday; but 40-mph winds are a world better than 70-mph.

I'm safely back in Austin; left Houston yesterday afternoon. All major highways headed out were parking lots. Travel time from Houston to La Grange -- a distance of 100 miles -- was running six hours when I stopped in La Grange to have dinner.

Not that it took me six hours; more like three. But that's because:

(1) I make a round-trip journey by car to Houston and back every week; and as a result...

(2) I got bored with the trip a long time ago and started trying to figure out how many different ways I could go between Houston and Austin while still making reasonable time. Therefore I know all kinds of little back county roads that literally don't show up on the ordinary Texas state highway map, having wandered down them in my flight from monotony.

So I did not sit on I-10 for six hours. Instead I struck out through the countryside along my old friends the back lanes, and I had a pleasant, uneventful, mostly traffic-free drive, and I got home at a civilized hour.

There are, however, three families who are going to spend the weekend in my apartment as Rita refugees, and none of them have gotten here yet. I don't think any of them know the back roads.

Anyway, it looks like we'll have 22 people living in my apartment for a few days. Good times...

Y'all can keep the Matagorda-to-New-Orleans stretch of the Gulf Coast in your prayers. Wherever the thing hits, it's gonna be bad.


Post a Comment

<< Home