Rita had a change of plans

She’s still pushing farther off to the east and our forecast for tomorrow looks like this:

A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high around 92. North northwest wind around 20 mph.

People are still panicking though. The three gas stations I passed on the way home from work yesterday were out of gas. A friend’s wife reported that their local grocery store was completely out of meat. Again, the stupidity of some people amazes me.

Our forecast is a whole lot better than what were expecting as of Wednesday, so it looks like we’re in good shape. If we get anything interesting, I’ll get some video.

Rita, Thursday Afternoon

The latest NOAA updates on Mrs. Rita have been posted and it’s looking much better for Austin. She’s tracking more to the east now and we’re only forecast to get 20mph winds along with rain and thunderstorms. It even looks like Houston is going to get the weaker west side of the storm instead of a head-on blast.

Hopefully it’ll stay this way and it’ll be an uneventful wet weekend in Austin.

Shopping Before the Storm

Just got back from the grocery store here in Austin. That was THE busiest I’ve ever seen it. The checker said it’s been a madhouse since 11am.

We were just doing our normal weekly shopping and only picked up a few extra canned and dry goods. The following items were completely gone: bread, bottled water, eggs, bananas, eggs, C and D batteries, and of all things, lettuce. Figure that one out. I also noticed that the following were well picked over and getting low: any canned food (especially soup), milk, crackers, soda, peanut butter and bleach.

It’s curious watching the semi-panic of some folks. The people in front of us had a lot of canned food, plus a LOT of caffeinated soda, which would be the last thing I’d want to drink in an emergency. Caffeine will dehydrate you, putting you in an even worse situation. Surprisingly, I still saw a lot of Gatorade and similar sports drinks on the shelves. My wife saw one guy that had five packs of cheese.

It’s also curious to watch the complete oblivion of other folks. One guy had three large cartons of ice cream in his cart. Now, seeing that we’re expected to have widespread power outages, frozen food would not be a wise thing to buy right now. We put off all our frozen food purchases until next week.

Unfortunately, I would like to have picked up some C-cell batteries for one of our Mag Lites, but they were all out. We have plenty of D-cell and AAA, so it’s only a minor issue.

The latest NOAA update has moved Rita’s track further to the east, so hopefully it’ll lessen the impact in Austin. We’re still forecast to get 45-50mph winds gusting to 70mph.

Rita’s Coming to Visit

I am a hurricane news junkie.

However, it’s for good reason. We’re located in Austin, Texas and current reports show that Hurricane Rita will be passing nearby. The National Weather Service is currently forecasting 45-50mph winds gusting to 70mph. While not hurricane force yet, it’s nothing to sneeze at.

Because of this, I’ve been watching the news and .gov weather sites for hurricane updates. All day. Tabbing between writing code and refreshing images and reports. It’s getting a bit distracting. Katrina was doing the same thing to me. I’m trying to cut back.

I started stocking up on non-perishable food and water after Katrina stopped in on New Orleans. At the time it wasn’t urgent, so I’d pick up a little bit here and there. Now with the possibility of lengthy power outages, the need is a bit more pressing. We’ll be hitting the store tonight to pad our supplies. I wanted to have at least seven days worth of supplies and we’re sitting around five right now.

Anyway, back to coding….