Gas campers and snake kissers – an interesting evacuation day

With only 7 sweaty hours spent on the road today, I feel like one lucky evacuee. We made it on a single tank of gas, which is really quite a good thing as I can honestly say that we didn’t see a single person pumping gas today — only lines for non-existant gas at the stations and people wandering around with gas cans.

There are cars, evacuees, styrofoam coolers and gigantic water bottles as far as the eye can see – parked/stalled on the side of the road, rendevousing in parking lots and many simply waiting at gas stations for the tankers to show up (whenever that’s going to be).

Around 900 buses (Metro, school and private) are being sent by the city to aid broken down travelers with water, some time in the air conditioning and, for some, transportation to varying locations.

They are much needed. Even as we rolled in to town, we watched packed car after car pull over to camp out for the night – hoping for some rest and maybe some food and gas tomorrow morning. I’m not sure how much better things are going to be by then really.

All in all, it was a strangely social and friendly day. People were picnicking, dogs were walked, acquaintances were made and travel horror stories were swapped. As so many of us kept our air conditioning off to conserve gas, car windows and doors were left open in the creeping traffic enabling some lively conversations from vehicle to vehicle.

I personally found endless amusement in the AAA truck driver behind us with the enormous python in his lap. The guy would kiss its head and wave its tail at drivers as they inched by. A sense of humor really can make the lousiest days just that much better – or maybe I am really just too easily amused.

8 Comments so far

  1. renee (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 12:35 am

    I’m glad to hear you made it out safely, R.

  2. sean (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 2:11 am

    London here, glad you made it out too.

  3. Kathleen (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 2:52 am

    I’m glad you made it out, and I really hope you got a photo of the guy with the python. Keep that sense of humor and know our thoughts are with you.

  4. BruceH (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 7:46 am

    I’m glad you guys made it. My neice made it after 36 hours. She and her husband left Dickinson Wednesday evening and arrived in Crockett (where the rest of my family is sheltering) about 3:30 this morning. I haven’t talked to her yet, so I don’t know what happened, but I’m very relieved.

    As for myself, I’m still in the Heights. I’ll be sheltering at Fitzgerald’s. Wish me luck….

  5. Network Geek (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 8:09 am

    Wow, you guys were lucky!
    I live in Jersey Village, about three blocks from 290 and it was a giant parking lot yesterday afternoon. I walked with my dog up there, giving directions to folks as we went, about 3:00PM and it looked like chaos. I decided to just stay because, well, I had no where else to go, really. As long as I have an Internet connection and power, I’ll keep blogging, though.
    Good luck everyone!

  6. katya (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 9:52 am

    Bruce – !!! I’d love to know how things go at Fitz’s. We just live a block away from there – has everyone been moved to shelters??

    Kathleen – No python photo :( Which is so unlike me really…. I snap at everything that moves normally.

    Sean and Renee – thanks!!

    NG – stay safe stay safe stay safe. Rock that blog on!

  7. tv sucks (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 5:49 pm

    after 14 hours arrived in austin:
    watching internet broadcast of local news

    here’s a refugee drinking game:
    watching the continual coverage
    1 shot every time they say ‘wobble or hunker’
    2 for every time they show the ‘uncertainty cone’
    3 for every time they show a black person crying

  8. katya (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 6:13 pm

    Heh – brilliant drinking game. My personal pet peeve has been the term ‘contraflow’. Damn the corporate media’s stupid buzzwords. Damn their eyes!

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