Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: natural disaster

Hurricane Rita After Action Review

Barricaded store before hurricane makes landfall

When Hurricane Rita made landfall it was the fourth-most intense Atlantic Hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. After Rita made landfall in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, the storm caused $11.3 billion in damage.

The following story is my personal account of the days right before Rita made landfall, lessons learned, the actual landfall and the following days.

Wednesday morning it looked like Rita might hit Houston so my ex wife brought my youngest kids ages 9 and 11 to Bridge City Texas where my parents live, from there they (my kids and parents, not exwife) were going to evacuate to Jasper – to my house. Wednesday noon my 16 year old calls me, ask me to drive to Houston to get him out, my ex did not ask him if he wanted to leave before she left with the youngest children. At this time there was a voluntary evacuation of parts of lower Houston, Galveston area. So I left Jasper, drove to Houston, really the Bay town area to get my son.

1st lesson, have a full tank of gas going in and a plan for getting out.

Going into Houston was easy, everyone was going north – I was one of the few idiots going south. I was on HWY 96 headed south through Lumberton. Traffic was backed up through the entire city of Lumberton – 3 miles or so and 4 red lights. At this point I knew I was not going to be able to get back on HWY 96 north. I got on the phone with my wife, asked her to get on the internet – map quest, yahoo maps anything, and call her friends to see if they knew a way out of Houston using the back roads – she had about 2 hours till I needed the information. Going through Beaumont where 69-96 joins I-10, traffic was backed up for miles.

80 years Old and Starting Over

Hurricane ike flooding

80 years old and starting over, that was the sad reality of the facts. There was no denying that around 5 feet of flood water had gotten into the house and there was no denying that the couple did not have flood insurance. The hard wood flooring that everyone had liked so much, after the water went down the flooring swelled and split the walls. There was so much pressure generated from the swelling wood floors, that not only did the walls split, but some of them were pushed off the concert slab.

Having lived in Bridge City for most of their lives, neither the husband nor the wife had ever heard of the type of flooding that was on the way. Hurricane Ike was like a dark cloud in the distance, almost like a bad dream, but this dream was real. For decades Southeast Texas had avoided the critical strike of a major Hurricane.

In 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew was working its way towards Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. But the wind currents turned Andrew to the North, and Andrew Made landfall around Morgan City, Louisiana.

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the New Orleans area.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018