Thursday, September 22, 2005

gearing up...

Rita is supposed to hit the Galveston, TX area early Saturday morning. We've spent the last few days contacting all our people at the facilities down there in coastal TX and LA to make sure they have emergency plans in effect and have everything secured and locked down tight. Talk is Rita is the strongest storm in recorded history to ever hit TX. We're expecting very severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and potential tornadoes as far north as Dallas/Ft. Worth. So I've been spending my morning today trying to contact all my facilities to make sure they have everything secured and emergency plans in effect in case of the severe weather we may get. Storms are expected to start hitting here Saturday night.

The stories of people trying to evacuate are unbelievable with how hard it is to get out. Highways are gridlocked, even worse since they made the decision to evacuate Houston as well. One of the guys I work with has friends down where the storm is supposed to reach land and they left at noon yesterday. A drive to a nearby town that normally takes an hour, they are STILL sitting south of that town this morning, almost 24 hours later! He said the wife of his friend called him this morning in tears. they couldn't get off the highway and they can't get to gas stations, bathrooms, food, anything. They did finally get off the highway about an hour ago to get gas but now all the on ramps to the highway are blocked so they are stuck, watching all the people on the highway moving. They closed down the southbound side of THE major interstate in and out of Houston, I-45 at 9 AM this morning and now have it reopened for evacuees heading north.

My supervisor here in the office told Debbie and I to go fill up our gas tanks about an hour ago. After the storm hits in the Galveston area, they are predicting gas prices to increase to as much as $4/gallon. Even bigger is the worry of completely running out of gas, with all the people evacuating coming here to Dallas. I still had half a tank but I filled up. Tonight I'm going grocery shopping. i was going to wait till the weekend, but I figure I better go tonight, before it gets crazy and bad weather starts showing its face.

Mom called me last night. apparently one of my aunts in NY called her yesterday, worried about me and wanting to know if i was going to be affected. Mom called me to see what was happening here and what they were predicting for us. I told Mom"well this give me no excuse to put off COMPLETELY cleaning my apartment" top to bottom this weekend. LOL

And in GOOD news... Tommy and Tanya are officially engaged! Last night was the base ball game. Tommy's been planning this for months! He bought the ring, set up at the ball park for Tanya to throw out the first pitch last night and Tommy to catch it. So she threw out the pitch, Tommy caught it and brought it back to her at the pitcher's mound. He pulled out a styrofoam box in the shape of a baseball and had the ring inside. The Pirates announcer almost beat Tommy to it. they put on the big screens that he had an important question to ask so he got up to the mound and just said real quick "Marry me." So he could get it in before the announcers did. Tanya threw her arms around him, and the announcers said "Well it looks like she said yes." or something to that effect. Dave filmed the whole thing on Dad's camera since he had a clearer view of it all. the Pirates camera men also filmed the whole thing and are going to give a copy of it to Tommy and Tanya. Mom, Dad, Susan, Amy Dave, and Joey were all there for it. no date has been set yet but I had to share the exciting news. I figure with all the bad news about the hurricanes... Katrina and Rita, that we needed some good news too.


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