Just called my neighbor who was smart enough to turn off the cell phone and leave an update on the outgoing message. As of 6:30am, our area had taken a light beating of rain and wind. Certainly nothing like what was expected. Power is out (like it is to almost a million residents around Houston) and there’s no telling when it will return.
All in all, initial estimates seem to be that we dodged big bullet. Some who fled like me will likely feel the evacuation was a waste of time, effort and nerves… but the only thing I would’ve changed is that I would’ve left sooner. There was no way to know the storm would make a last minute turn, but I’m glad it did - at least for our own, obviously selfish reasons.
The evacuation order remains in place for the Houston area. Officials are asking people not to return immediately. Now the decision has to made as to how long we wait to return. Afterall, no power means no A/C, no internet and no television. So I’d be sweating, bored and without football. Sounds like heaven to me [/sarcasm].
All those nearly 3 million people who fled will now be heading back. Instead of the traffic fanning out from one place to many… the return trip will see millions heading back from many places into one area. (to say nothing of the fact that it’s when people get closer to home they’ll find gas stations without gas) It will be like the typical morning commute… time a gazillion.
Speaking with some other Houstonians here, I’m getting a strong sense that people will choose to ride out the next storm rather than go through the evacuation process again. That’s a scary thought as the next one may not miss us.