Well, it appears more and more likely that Hurricane Ike will land near enough to Houston sometime around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning to have a significant negative impact on the city and its suburbs. Even though I live about 25 miles due north of downtown Houston, it is not at all unlikely that hurricane force winds will make it up here. What is much more likely, though, is that lesser winds will hit the area around me but still knock out electrical power. When that happens the outage tends to last from several hours to two or three weeks, depending on the actual damage done. Houston is a very green city and the problem we have in storms like this one is all the falling trees that land in exactly the wrong spots - on top of electrical lines or homes.
Anyway, I'm mentioning this just in case the worst happens and I disappear for a few days. I've spent the last several hours bringing all the patio furniture, flower pots, etc. into the garage and trying to figure out how to still get both cars inside. Much of the area just a few miles south of me is under a mandatory evacuation order at this point so all roads heading north are pretty jammed up. Luckily, we did not plan to evacuate anyway and have taken in a goodly supply of groceries, batteries, water, and the like, and we are ready to see what happens.
Houston has not experienced a direct hit from a hurricane in almost exactly 25 years but the city planners seem to be pretty well prepared for this one as a result of the evacuation for Hurricane Rita we experienced three years ago and the experience of taking in well over 100,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans only a month before that (many thousands of whom are still here, by the way).
I'm hoping that any power outage will be short, especially since there will be no place to go and I'll have all this free time to read and blog. We'll see what happens.