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Hurricane Rita


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OK - Orchid & Co. are heading toward the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Lufkin, which is the nearest Walmart to them that is not closing due to Evac. They are actually in Jasper - But that Walmart closed. The Western Union Offices are closed, so a wire transfer of funds direct is not possible until tomorrow daytime. I will keep in touch with them to be sure anyone who wishes to help tomorrow can.


They are going to get a Walmart Gift Card there, and they will call me with the Gift Card #. I will ensure that their card is charged enough to get them further on their way, and Anyone interested in also adding to this card may e-mail me. Do not e-mail my work account - I won't get that until tomorrow at 8 am CDT. Anyone who e-mails me at reaperbryan at yahoo dot com will be provided with instructions on how to use thier own credit/debit cards to charge the Walmart Card.


Thank you all.

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I wish we had more water. As it is we only have a three-day supply. But that's better than nothing.


Ain't emergency preparedness fun?



I'm in the process of filtering pitchers full of water and storing them in other containers. The store was OUT of water, but I only foresee needing any if we lose power. And if not, I'll drink that much by early next week anyway.


Still a Brita Pitcher, some tupperware plus a little time are all we've got. I'll make it work though. Already did all of our shopping to be prepared, except for diapers. No one told me we would need those.


My best wishes to everyone else who may be stuck in the messier parts of the storm.

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OK - As of a few minutes ago Orchid and Garm and Rex were at the Western Union Office in Lufkin (They decided to crash in the Walmart Lot overnight).


Since they are on their way out, anyone interested in donating further, please contact me and I will make sure they get it later today.


Thank you all for your generous offers of aid. :wub:

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An update. A bus carrying elder folks from Houston, exploded on I45 just south of Dallas. http://www.cnn.com/


The back up that was already horrendous is now an absolute nightmare.


My family left Houston at 10:30 yesterday morning. They reached Huntsville at 3:00 a.m. My sis-in-law's family has friends there, and I think they have decided to stay there, instead of trying to get all the way here to Dallas. I fretted over them all night, as everytime I tried to call them the lines were busy or diverting me to the wrong number.


I sure hope anyone else who has loved ones travelling in this chaos is doing ok! It's insane ::(:

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Another Update - It seems I was premature in announcing that Orchid & Co. were leaving Lufkin. They received the Wire Transfer, so they have money. What they do not have, nor anyone else in Lufkin, is Gas.


All gas stations in Lufkin closed within 30 minutes of the Wire Transfer going through - all Stations are empty.


FEMA is supposedly working on getting trucks to affected areas with gas to help evacuees out, but there has been no word on Lufkin.


It seems also that Lufkin is in the path of Rita once it makes landfall. There are literally thousands of people there trapped in the freeways and in town with little or no gas.


I will continue to post updates.


If anybody has relatives or family in Lufkin with a room to stay in, or even just a gas can with gas in it, please PM or E-mail me. I will provide you with Orchid's contact info so we can get her and her family off the road and into a safer location.

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It was a little crazy trying to get to Austin Wednesday night, but, from what I can tell from news reports, we were a hell of a lot luckier than the people trying to get anywhere yesterday since we were travelling at night and it only took 12 hrs to go from Houston to Austin. Probably could have shaved off 2-4 hrs off that time if we had turned away from my neighbor's suggested route earlier and then did a curve to come into Austin from the north.


I hope that the storm remnants don't stall anywhere. Houston's problems in 2001 with Allison didn't happen the first or second time that Allison came through the area, it was the third time through that we got all that rain. I also hope that the storm doesn't end up in the Dallas area since I may try to stick to my planned trip up to Plano next week (since going home early next week will probably be another excercise in frustration).



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I would to present these visual aids, so everyone can understand what Orchid is going through:



The Path of Rita (Projected) Source - www.weather.com



The location of the City of Lufkin. Source - www.mapquest.com



The two above maps overlaid.


Please anyone ho knows anyone in or near Lufkin or Tyler, Texas, I beg you to contact me.

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Unfortunately my closest relative is in Center, and I've never even met him (step-grandfather's brother). I had actually forgotten about him and now my mother is calling her sister to see if they can call him and check in.


I've even checked with people here at work, and unfortunately, no one has relatives in the Lufkin area. :down:


Are there no shelters being set up there with so many people stuck?

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A gas truck Just pulled in to the station where Orchid is waiting in line, and they are close enough to the front he be guaranteed a tank!!!!!!!!


*sigh of relief*


At this point she's more or less equidistant from Dallas and Austin. I will ask her which way would be easier traffic-wise and give you a buzz if she is heading your way.

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