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Monday, September 26, 2005

Greetings from NE Arkansas.

after leaving houston with the cats (3) and dogs (2) at 9 p.m. thursday, i arrived at my dad and stepmother's house in batesville, arkansas, at ~12:30 a.m. saturday. what is normally about a ten hour drive (including generous refueling/dogwalking/restroom breaks) took almost 28 hours as we evacuated. but it was the first 120 miles to nacogdoches that took the longest--19 and a half hours. at that point i realized i still had at least seven hours ahead of me, so i took my dad and stepmother up on their offer to meet me in texarkana. from there, my dad drove my equinox full of animals and i slept in my stepmother's vehicle.

i spoke to darin later saturday--he and the house are fine. power was briefly out, but back on by the time i called. minor tree debris scattered about the yard, but nothing too large. the greatest inconvenience was that the cable (and internet) was out until sunday.

the cats and dogs were real troopers for the ride to arkansas. i wasn't too surprised about the dogs because they love going for rides and have gone to arkansas with us before. i can't say the cats enjoyed the trip, but they did stop yowling after the first two hours and from then on only occasionally piped up to remind me of their displeasure. getting them into their carriers for the return trip tomorrow might be a bit challenging.

Pines20050922as i told my sister at around hour 15, "someday i'll be able to laugh when i tell my kids about taking part in the largest mass evacuation in u.s. history. just not today." i'm not sorry to have gone; if i'd waited until we were certain where the hurricane would make landfall it would have been too late to go. and i'm pretty frustrated with the whole "if you aren't in danger of flooding, shelter in place" line (which started shortly after i got on the road). sheltering in place would have been fine if i had an underground concrete bunker. but i have a 65 year old house surrounded by 60+ year old pine trees. if those things come down, they're taking the house too.

lessons i learned: don't leave home without a full tank of gas (thankfully, i had a full tank); get a car charger for the cell phone (my battery didn't run out, but i had to be very frugal); take advantage of every possible bathroom break.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Weather | Permalink


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