Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Endure: Hurricane Ike (Part 2)

Tuesday ends, and most of the city is still without power. Water is back up. The phones and gas have always been on.

Traffic on the way to work was very light. Nearly all the stoplights are non-functional, though the roads have are also all nearly cleared. What tomorrow brings is still impossible to predict. Wednesday 17 September will not be as certain as 10 September was.

I'm using the words "most", "nearly all", and "virtually all" a lot, because those are accurate terms to use. Most businesses operated at less-than-optimal capacity, if they were open at all. When gas stations have gas, long lines form. Grocery stores close early. Laundromats close early. The curfew is still in place.

Ike was just a Cat 2 storm! It was a Cat 1 when it passed over Houston proper. Imagine what havoc Rita would have caused!

Today is Tuesday, and four solid days have passed since conventional business is possible. What is impossible is the ability to buy groceries and gasoline while holding a regular 9-5 job. Right now, individuals must choose between going to work at regular hours, or buying gas or food.

I did not imagine this happening. I did not imagine the evisceration that would happen in the aftermath of the storm. All this from a Cat 2 storm.

All this instructs us to know that one cannot depend on power, gas, and food deliveries at least four days after a Cat 2 storm. When we recover from this storm, we should keep in mind what we would need to prepare for, when a Cat 5 storm comes along.

My best wishes to those repairing the electrical grid, cleaning the streets, and trying to see to their property.

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