Rita

| 29 Comments

I am having a bad day, and yet my bad day is measured, because there are worse days out there.

Hurricane Rita has, as of this writing, just been upgraded to Category 5. It's barometric pressure is worse than Katrina's was at Katrina's height.

Galveston, Texas is in its path. Houston may be hit very hard as well.

At least two webcartoonists live right where it's going to hit. One -- Chaobell, late of /usr/bin/w00t and currently of various rather incredible Silent Hill poser works -- has publicly talked about her preparations. The other I'm not sure has publicly stated information, so I'm not going to identify unless given permission. Regardless, I hope Chaobell and [REDACTED] and any pets they may or may not have are well and truly far away from the hurricane's path right now, and my hopes are with them.

And with everyone in that city. And throughout the affected area.

Because my bad day? Is nothing. Nothing. I'm going to be fine.

Please let all of them be fine too. Please.

29 Comments

I'm sure that they'll pop in on this as well but the servers for Blank Label are all located in Houston as well, so there's a good chance they might be offline during the storm.



And, just in case she's not who you're thinking of, Jin Wicked (Crap That I Drew on my Lunchbreak) is in Houston and she's mentioned on her site that she'll he getting out of Dodge on Friday. (I'd suggest Thursday might be a better choice.)



On a side note, if any evacuees are heading towards DFW, be warned that friends in the area are reporting that they're expecting 50-70 mph winds there as well, in addition to very strong rain. Depending on how Rita tracks, it may be better to head towards the panhandle for safety.

Jin Wicked is indeed who I was thinking of. I missed that note on her site.

Austin could get Tropical Storm effects too, so folks up there be careful.

I'm in Austin, and was going to be getting married outside (in my back yard) on Saturday. Well, that's not happening -- but then, there certainly are worse fates.

(I'd offer my spare room for anyone from southward who needs it, but it's already in use by my little sister and her boyfriend, who were living in New Orleans).

I just hope everything survives fine, and that the politicians don't sprain their elbows patting themselves on the back for being prepared for this one.

I'm in Austin, and was going to be getting married outside (in my back yard) on Saturday. Well, that's not happening -- but then, there certainly are worse fates.

Sorry to hear that, but it does remind me of my brother's wedding.

He got married in Annapolis, MD, right by the Navy College, about a two or three blocks from the water (luckily, two or three blocks up a steep hill) the day after Hurricane Fran came through town back in '96.

I was charged with picking my brother up in College Park (Univ. of MD) the day of the hurricane and driving the two of us out to Annapolis for the rehersal. I still remember driving 20-25 mph on the DC beltway, not because of traffic, but because I couldn't see my hood ornament in the driving rain.

When we got to Annapolis we found the dock area was flooded, and actually got to see a guy in a big wooden row boat, rowing down main street. After the rehersal at the church, we went to the rehersal dinner at a resteraunt right on the water (the storm proper had passed at this point, but we were still getting periods of heavy rain as the edge of the storm passed over). The resteraunt was fine, but as we walked up we saw people running between the offices underneath the resteraunt and their cars with arm loads of computer equipment and documents.

That night, the water crested at the front door of the bed and breakfast that my parents had rented for the folks who did both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. The store my sister-inlaw was managing flooded, but she was on her honeymoon, so didn't have to worry about it. And the weather for the wedding was beyond perfect, which helped since the reception was outside and on the water.

The kicker? My mom's closest sister is named Fran. She still gets crap about that.

Oh, and for all those folks now leaving Texas and wondering where to go, a little reminder that this weekend is the Small Press Expo in DC. I know the Dumbrella guys are going to be there (including John Allison), I think I saw Modern Tales listed as well, and either way, I'm sure T will be somewhere no matter what. So, come up to DC and spend the weekend with comic book geeks!

What about me? I'm in San Antonio, TX. Sure, as far as Rita goes we're probably not gonna catch much more than some crazy thunderstorms for a couple days... But dude, every morning when I wake up I look out the window, and you know what I see? San Antonio, TX. Where's MY pity party?

Just don't open that window, you're liable to melt.

All the pity parties are currently booked but I'm sure we could fit you in some time around Halloween.

No, Halloween's no good, that's already the Rocket From the Crypt breakup party, immediately followed by the "seven hundred hangovers all in the same hotel" party. Dammit, hurricane's just mess everything up.

We can MAYBE fit you in early November, but December is always booked...

Mitch Clem has heard of music! Sellout!

I have some family in Houston, so... yeah.

Kris Straub has his stuff on a different server, so, keep an eye there for updates if BLC makes a doodie in its pants.

First of all, Galveston is going to get rocked. Again. (I'm getting the feeling the NWS is going to ban Spanish names from the Hurricane list from 2009-2013.) Houston might have severe weather problems, as well as Austin.

San Antonio is going to be fine.

Once the hurricane has landed, the intensity will die down quickly and it won't be as bad as it will be for those along Galveston's coastline. Rita might still be a hurricane until it gets past the midway point between San Antonio and Dallas, but the most severe impact will be along the coastline. Friction and air temperatures will weaken Rita until she's nothing more than a very large bag of rain, which as I mentioned before, is the biggest threat from any hurricane: storm surges and flooding.

Damn, all of these hurricane makes me wish my University offered a tropical meteorology class.

Good luck, and may the Goddess protect, my friends.

Take care, and please don't take any foolish risks...

Rob H.

I live about 70-80 miles northeast of Houston.

I personally will be in Dallas for the weekend, but the local electric co-op is, according to rumor, planning for power loss measured in WEEKS...

I'm lucky; I just left Houston almost exactly one month ago. Today, my family left as well. I'm hopiong that it won't be for good.

Oh, the irony.

Katrina slammed Louisiana and Mississippi. My grandmother's house, just six blocks from the beach in Biloxi, was badly flooded and damaged, but not totally destroyed by the storm. My mother and sister drove out to pick her up as soon as the roads were opened, and brought her home.

Now, where do my mother and sister live? Yup. Galveston and Santa Fe, Texas, respectively.(Santa Fe is a small town situated roughly halfway between Galveston and Houston.) They cleared out this afternoon, but still. Damn. I'm just hoping they have homes left to go back to. Galveston is far better prepared to deal with a major storm surge than Biloxi or New Orleans, but still, Rita is a category 5 storm. I don't think any more needs to be said on that score. As mentioned above, storm surges and flooding are the biggest threats from a hurricane, and Galveston has the Seawall and truly excellent frainage, so I do have a lot of hope for my mother's house, at least.

Bah! Bad Kirath! Spell check, son! Sorry for the typos.

My boyfriend lives in Houston.

The same guy who was here for two weeks - two wonderful, glorious weeks - just this July. The guy who is currently not speaking to me because I like to play City of Heroes too much and he doesn't like the game.

Kinda puts all the relationship troubles in perspective.

Well, one thing to factor into how much damage a hurricane can do is how quickly it can move to cause more damage. I remember Hurricane Hugo making landfall in New Jersey when I was younger. It was only a Category 1 hurricane at the time, but because it hit an area not usually prepared for a hurricane, it was brutal there.

Texas' best hope is that Rita hits a huge patch of empty land on its route.

I grew up on the Atlantic coast but had never considered hurricanes to be anything but a nuisance, a source of broken branches and flooded gutters. Back when hurricane Hugo made landfall in Virginia, I was in college in Blacksburg in the Appalachians. 200 miles inland. 2133 ft elevation. Although the surrounding counties had flash flood warnings and some actually did flood, the students had hurricane parties.


I learned recently that an old college friend lived with his wife and two small boys outside Madisonville, Louisiana, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. He had three sail boats for lease. While he and his family evacuated safely, their house flooded. After Katrina, his boats are likely adrift, damaged or destroyed. His employment is gone, his home unlivable. His family will be required to start over, but at least they are alive.


There are thousands of similar stories and more than a few worse.


To all of you who have donated to those affected by this disaster, my thanks and the thanks of those strangers your generosity has helped.

Well my uncle in New Orleans got out in time for Katrina, and was one of those who recently went back (house didn't get flooded) and is now being sent out again. Where did he stay during Katrina? With my uncle in Houston. Well at least my aunt is currently in Wisconsin, so she's unlikely to get hit by a hurricane.

On the plus side, Rita has dropped back down to a Category 4 for the moment.

There was an article I saw in Yahoo News saying that they may run out of storm names this season and go into greek letters.

I think since they started naming hurricanes, they've reached the T only like 8 times ever, the last time being in 1995 with Hurricane Tanya.

They might do that. What they might also do is to start over with next year's list, or borrow names from other named hurricane conventions from other parts of the world.

The good news is that statistically, hurricane generation dies down really quick after Fall starts. The bad news is that statistics are usually generalizations based on decades of extremes.

I love my profession, until the Hurricane hits land. Then I wish I was searching for a job in some other profession.

You know, if this site needed another tagline, I think a good one would be "Websnark: Also, we have a meteorologist!"
I just find it awesome.

Well, the good news is that it's only a Category 3 right now. Still scary, but not quite as catastrophic.

However, I note that Blank Label is down right now. Good luck and Godspeed, guys.

Another note:

The last message on Jin's website says that she's decided not to evacuate, since traffic is so bad getting out of town. Hopefully she checks in soon.

Well, though most people probably know this by now, at least in Houston, it wasn't much of a problem in terms of actual destruction. Some power will be out for a while, and there's some relatively minor road flooding, but my understanding is that there was very little permanent property damage or injury.

Now, this is not to say that all is well and good... quite a few people (I don't have the numbers, but it's in the hundreds of thousands at least, if memory serves) left, and they can't really get back in, due to said minor road flooding and fuel shortages... but that falls under "major inconvenience" not "disaster", which lets me breathe a little easier.

There's now a newspost at Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break announcing that Jin and her family are home and safe.

I live in Houston, and am learning to trust my own damn instincts, really I am.

See, I knew, on a gut level, that Houston wasn't going to get smacked - the same gut feeling I had when I told my fella two days before Katrina hit that New Orleans was toast. I just know these things darnit. Like the time I turned to a co-worker and said "Chris isn't coming in today because he was in a car accident."... and his mom called two minutes later to say he was in the hospital. I don't know where it comes from. It's weird. ANYHOW.

I didn't listen to my gut, but instead packed up my house, and my cats, and my child, and spent 26 hours getting out of Houston on Thursday. That's right, 26 hours from Houston to Shirley, Arkansas, from 12:45 AM Thursday morning to 2:45 AM Friday morning. Without air conditioning, with a couple of pissed off cats and a kid with a sinus infection and a fever. Fun. fun fun fun.

And for what? my house didn't even lose power. grrrrr! I've missed a whole freakin' week of Narbonic! and the first page of Digger in the new chapter! AUGH! And look at all the snarks I've missed! AUUUUUUUUGH! Now, all my comments and stuff will be blah blah blah, instead of hot-on-the-topic! blargh

Still.. all the people who were worried about the Houstonians were sweet to be concerned. You guys are the coolest.

The hurricane Katrina relief Webcomic Telethon book is now available. The Websnark community is well represented, including Eric's Gossamer Commons strip. All proceeds go to the Red Cross.

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