Thursday, September 22, 2005

Houston Hides From Rita

We just came back from driving around. This place is a ghost town! Everything is closed.
we found a Godfathers Pizza open so we went in for some food. It was only about half full, but the people were hungry. The only offering was pizza buffet with all you can eat of whats left of the very soggy salad bar. They were cooking the pizzas as fast as they could but it was not fast enough. When they brought them out people would push and grab as much as they could. A lady with a family had a plate stacked with slices of pizza on her table. It didn't even look like they were going to eat them all.
Others were hoarding as they got a chance.

Jeremy observed how quickly civil society breaks down. It is a very small thing, but people were suddenly becoming very rude for crappy pizza.
While we were still there, they closed the place and wouldn't let anyone else in. It was the only place open for miles. The pizza was delicious - tasted like old canned tomato sauce on dry cracker crust. I never knew such food could be so satisfying.

On our way we saw a KFC that was packed. The parking lot was full, cars spilling out onto the main road. We later realized that it was the only place open. On our way back by an hour later it was closed.

Walmart and Sams were closed. It looked like Walmart was open at first because there was so much traffic in and out of the parking lot. So we drove in. It was closed. The traffic was everyone driving in to see if it was open. In an empty lot near the Walmart exit there were some people selling bottled water out of the back of a car. Their sign had hand painted, "WATER," but no price. We went by again later and there was no water but two cop cars sitting there. The profiteers may have been busted.

We finally stopped at the Walgreens right near the apartment that I mentioned this morning.

There were big crowds and long lines. We are set with what we need but we were looking for more batteries for a battery operated tv and maybe more candles and water. They had none - only AAA batteries, no water, no candles. We bought Halloween candy and Gatorade instead. While we were there they closed the place, at 5 PM. They turned away people at the door one after another. The cashier said that they were planning to open tomorrow at 9 in the morning to stay open as long as they could. Hurricane Rita is expected in more than 24 hours from now. The weatherman says that we will probably start getting rain around noon tomorrow.


At 9/22/2005 06:37:00 PM, Anonymous A concerned TV viewer said...

It seems like the news is confusing people by saying (or at least implying) that Houston is evacuating. Is it not true that most of Houston is relatively safe from hurricanes and only those on the coast and in low lying areas should be evacuating? I worry that people seeing these traffic jams on TV will think that everyone is leaving and try to leave too thereby exacerbating the situation. Hopefully those in the danger zones aren't stuck there because the roads are clogged with people who could and should be at home chillaxing.

At 9/22/2005 07:55:00 PM, Blogger Prospector said...

I don't think any place in Houston is entirely safe. I believe that if people feel like they are in danger then they should leave. There are many parts of town that flood all the time. Also, many people are leaving because tehy do not want to face life without electricity. It is very hot here. After Alicia in 1983 the power was out for two weeks.
The mandatory areas were identified by their zip code. It probably does include a million people.

I do not think that anyone in particular is causing the clogged roads - even though there is a generous supply of idiots.
Fact is, this is probably the largest migration of humans at one time ever in the history of the human race. People are confused even without the help of television.
Thanks for the question.

At 9/23/2005 06:30:00 AM, Anonymous Cristobal said...

Houston has big wide freeways and roads everywhere and they have traffic problems. Just makes me think if they ever had to evacuate New York City in a timely manner...fuhgeddaboudit.


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