Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina--why do all of the bad ones have female names?

Well, we have power for a little while so I'm going to try and type a bit. My mother, step-dad, brother, sister-in-law, and brand spanking new niece left New Orleans on Saturday morning. The traffic was light and it only took them an hour and a half to get out here. We were able to find a hotel room for them but only for one night. The German, VanGoghGirl, and I hung out with them at the hotel until bedtime and then we came home to get some sleep. Around midnight, I talked to my youngest brother and his girlfriend and they told me they had plans to leave the next morning. I called my oldest brother around 1:30 a.m. and asked him what he was going to do. He said that he was still trying to figure all of that out because transportation was sort of a problem for him, his girlfriend, and their two kids. The problem? His girlfriend's car doesn't have air conditioning. She figured that since it was the middle of the night it wouldn't be all that bad and that it was better to just go and be hot than to stay and perhaps lose their lives. I told him that The German would be glad to come and get him but he decided to be obstinate. He insisted that he wasn't leaving until after he washed their laundry and took care of some things. The German said that he was just going to leave to get them and bring them back here while the roads were pretty clear. I called and told my brother that he had already left and got chewed out about it. He told me that he wasn't leaving yet so I might as well tell The German to come back home. I was pretty upset because this control freak was willing to make the rest of his family pay the price for his obstinacy. I called up my bio-dad and told him about it and he called my brother and also got my uncle (his twin) to call him. Bio-dad says that my brother probably won't speak to him for awhile but at least he'll be alive and able to have time to get over it as long as he's out of danger. Bio-dad has his faults but he's extremely practical-minded and knows how to win an argument with my brother (and almost anyone else for that matter).

Yesterday (Sunday), my mother and her crew wound up having to stay here because the nearest available hotel room was in Ft. Worth, Texas which is nine hours away from here. The hotels are full of Floridians who came out this way to avoid the storm back when it was expected to hit them the hardest. Despite the lack of hotels rooms, things went fairly smooth. The contraflow plan kept the cars moving on the highway for everyone who didn't wait until mandatory evacuation order was issued. Of course, my brother wasn't one of them. He didn't leave until the order came through and so he got stuck in the throngs trying to get out of the city. If he hadn't had his family with him, I'd have said it served him right for not leaving when he could.

The winds started kicking up by the afternoon and by evening it was raining. We wound up having to take a trip to Wal-Mart to get some more supplies. The lines were unbelievable. I even saw one of my old buddies from New Orleans who had come to my city for shelter.

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