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« RITA: Calm. | WILLisms.com | RITA: Houston Returning To Normal. »

RITA: Twigs On The Ground In Houston.

Well, let's call it a fire drill. And we passed.

Can we do better?

Yeah. Always.

But this was an amazing success story, evacuating so many millions of people on finite road space.

Houston prepared for a prize fight, only to win by forfeit. It's a relief to win. It's always good to win. But some people will definitely feel like they've been robbed of the chance to prove that we can handle it, that we're ready and equipped to handle a major hurricane.

We're now back home at our house in between Montrose, River Oaks, and The Heights, near downtown Houston. The roads are fine. Our power never went out. No clocks are flashing. Our fridge is still cold. Our air conditioner is turned on again. We've gone from 84 to 77.4 degrees in here in the past hour or so.


We've also unpacked yet again and moved almost all of our furniture back into place (we had moved it away from windows). We've put our wedding crystal back into place, made the beds again, and otherwise tried to go back to normal as soon as possible.

Mrs. WILLisms.com finally can let her guard down a bit. She spent 15-16 hours traveling from one of the poorest countries in the world back to Houston (after a 3-week assignment), only to spend the next three days packing, unpacking, evacuating, not evacuating, and otherwise stressed out.

The roads have some twigs and leaves in them, and a few of those micro-thin shingles here or there. But these are nothing to write home about. The roads are clear. There is no flooding. No power lines are down. People are out walking their dogs and driving around looking at the damage.

I've been through maybe 50 or 100 much stronger storms, with more rain, more wind, and so on. I've driven and been driven through much, much worse.

The irritating part is that everything is still closed up, boarded up, and so on. It may be a day or two before gas stations have gas again and restaurants and grocery stores and pharmacies are all open once again.

The only actual damage to our place was to a wooden cross-hatch lattice deak with a rose bush growing through it. Minor damage. We'll drive a nail into it and fix it. And on our back patio, our bougainvillea is also growing through our neighbor's lattice/fence. And that lattice was precarious to begin with. It fell apart enirely, but it is still tangled up in the dangling two-story bougainvillea plant.

I'd say that the roads heading back into Houston are going to get very congested in a hurry, especially with the sporadic rain. Our drive back to our house (we came back the same way we went out) was far less enjoyable and empty than yesterday. All of those abandoned vehicles we saw yesterday were gone today. I guess they were towed or retrieved somehow.

Pretty wild Rita ended up hitting Louisiana harder than Houston, given that so many tens or hundreds of thousands of people evacuated from Houston to Louisiana. I think most folks in Louisiana got out after the 'cane tracked Eastward. So let's hope the loss of life is marginal and property damage is minimal.

Thanks for all of your prayers and thoughts and concerns.

Posted by Will Franklin · 24 September 2005 12:59 PM


Our cable went out about an hour ago! Other than that we can barely tell that Rita was any where close! But... we were prepared! That is what my good Eagle Scout husband always tells me! Yay! I am so thankful!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at September 24, 2005 01:10 PM

One Question??? Would we have recieved a credit card from the government for $2000 if we had been hit???? Just wondering?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at September 24, 2005 01:12 PM

Hey Will... Did you hear Hillary Clinton is not going to vote for Roberts as Chief Justice? She is probably jealous because he his a far better attorney than she ever could be! I would think that would hurt her chances for President?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at September 24, 2005 01:49 PM

Yup, we lucked out. Now, can we get back to normal please. We have a Chief Justice to appoint, another Justice to get nominated, and remove FEMA from DHS =)

Posted by: Steven D. Rivas at September 24, 2005 03:39 PM

Hillary is wobbling more than the eye of Rita before landfall - first she swings right, then she swings left. I guess she would vote against any Bush nominee to the court, barring herself. Certain blue state demns are positioning themselves to vote no against the next nominee by voting for Roberts. Maybe Bush should nominate the most ideologically originalist candidate he can find so when demns break their pledge and filibuster he can place a slightly less rigid but still acceptable candidate on the court.

While he's pulling that off, he needs to push tax code reform and work with erstwhile allies to identify spending increase reductions, and GET 'ER DONE!

Posted by: bill at September 24, 2005 05:43 PM

Is anyone else irritated that in order to watch college football in Houston you have to get Pay per view?...Except for a couple of games that I am not as interested in?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at September 24, 2005 08:48 PM

Glad to have everyone back, and that the damage was minimal.
Hillary's just showing her blue state props. She'll never be held to account for votes on justices. "How could you justify a no vote on Justice Roberts, Senator?" Then comes an easy answer that won't make sense. Next question?

Posted by: Giacomo at September 25, 2005 03:35 AM