Friday, September 23, 2005


(Scroll down for updates)

I just got this e-mail from my mom's sister, my cousin lives between Houston and Galveston and is basically trapped there. Please pray that he and his family can find a way out!
Tina, Scott, Andrew, Ashli and Erica are stranded in Clear Lake, south of Houston. No money to leave, and a car that won't go. The two little girls went with friends of Tina's to Dallas, if they ever make it in the traffic. All the Walgreen's (where Tina works) are closed, and they were unable to get their pay checks before they closed down. So they have nothing to leave with. Please pray for their safety. They will need all the prayers they can get. I can't even send them any money, 'cause they have no way to go pick it up. I am so very worried.
These hurricanes seem so awful, even when viewed on television, with all the devastation, but it is just so much more so when you have a personal connection!

Update #1 (expect lots): My mom's cousin Edwinna lives in Houston, they're getting ready to leave as well:
Hi Sherry. Yeah, pretty much all of Houston from downtown South, Pasadena, Friendswood, Pearland, Alvin and everyplace going on down to the coast is having mandatory evacuation. We plan on leaving later tonight for Jan's, I think, with Mom. Right now, all we could do is sit still in traffic if we left. Stephen and Amy left here about 3 and made, maybe, 3 miles in 3 and a half hours. It's not pretty. The traffic on all the major freeways is moving about 10 mph.
Anyway, thanks for checking. We love all of you and we'll keep you posted. Hopefully, we'll have a home to come home to. It's doubtful that Paul and Heather will since they have a mobile home. But, hopefully, everyone will be safe. There are no rooms to be had in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas or any of the surrounding cities.
We haven't seen any of these cousins in a few years, so it still seems a bit unreal, but it's getting more real by the minute.

Update #2: Looks like that was yesterday's e-mail from Cousin Edwinna, they're on the road now. This is from another cousin further north they're trying to get to:
Well, Lynn and Edwina, Mom and Doug and the rest of the family are still outthere on the road since 2:15 this morning and before. I'm really worried about the oldest and youngest of them. I haven't been able to get in contact with them on their cell phones for various reasons. I talked to Edwina's sis-in-law, Mary, who lives here in Wiley (some family members were on their way to her house), and she filled me in on who was going where, but neither of us has been able to talk to any of them since they left. Heather and Paul were coming to Garland to stay with his cousin. They can't just stop and get a room somewhere because just about everything from the Coast to Oklahoma has been rented and the gas supply is very low in most stations.
I'm afraid they might have been better off to try and ride out the storm the way it's going. Will let you know if I hear anything. Jan

Then another from Jan, with info from Holly (Edwinna's daughter). Confused yet?
Just talked to Holly and she said she finally got Edwina on the phone and they haven't even gotten out of Houston yet. They have been on the road since a little after two this morning. She said Edwina was fuming because she didn't want to leave the Houston area in the first place. Holly told her if they could get to a turn off that heads to Ginger's house (where Holly and Jeff are going to stay in north Houston) to just go there rather than try to make it to Dallas. I'm just on pins and needles and can't do anything about anything.

Another thing I just remembered, my Great-Aunt LaVerna is diabetic. I hope they have plenty of snacks and her insulin to keep them going. I just heard from another family member that it's taking about 18 hours to get from Houston to Dallas and they have another 4 hrs to go. That can really mess up a diabetic's scedule even if they were expecting it to be longer than the normal 5 or so hours. All we can do from here is pray. It's hard to be so far away and so helpless, but harder still to be in the middle of it! We still haven't heard anything from Scott and his family in Houston.

Update #3: The lastest from the Houston relatives. We STILL haven't heard from Scott in Clear Lake (southern Houston suburb, not too far from Galveston. I guess they aren't having mandatory evactuations there yet, so they can't come get them yet.

Well, things change by the hour. Stephen and Amy and the girls are cominghere. Doug, Lynn,Edwina and Mom have all gone back home. They gave up after at least 18 hours on the road and were hearing it would take about 9 or 10 more hours to get to Dallas. They were out of fuel and couldn't get more. Stephen was lucky to get some gas. I bet he had to wait a long time to get it. Erika called from Buffalo, about 60 miles south of the Dallas cutoff to get directions. I told her to call again if they had any trouble. They have all been here before, so they will probably remember when they get a little closer to Dallas. The remedies the government offered were all too late for most everyone who had been on the highway for hours and hours. They finally opened both sides of the freeway near Dallas to the north and said there were gas tankers coming to the rescue, but the situation was already pathetic. Doug said he was so glad to get home that he forgot how tired he was. They will probably regroup and maybe go to the far northwest part of Houston if they see that the hurricane will hit them as hard as was first thought. Sherry, I've talked on the phone so much that I'm hoarse. I've kind of been a middleman relaying messages to everyone who called. Anyway, I'm relieved that everyone is finally off the road for the most part. Now, if Stephen and them don't get lost, everything will be ok with us. Jan

Update #4: Looks like the Houston younger cousins finally mad it to Dallas. The rest have decided to stay there in Houston, and we STILL don't know about Scott's group in Clear Lake.
Well, Stephen, Amy, the girls and Texas the cat arrived here a little after
2:00 this morning. They were exhausted, frustrated, and any other
description you might want to use. They first contacted me at about 10:00
just outside of Buffalo, Texas and I gave them directions to my house.
After my thinking the worst, or at the least they were lost, they finally
arrived. It took them another four hours to go about 60 miles. Everyone
took their bath (that includes Texas) and that helped to restore sanity.
After unpacking a lot of their worldly possessions and some visiting, we
sacked out. Everyone is still asleep and I don't have the nerve to start
breakfast this early. Texas has pretty much explored the house and my cat,
Fancy, is hiding under the bed wondering what is going on. I sat down to
pay some bills and decided to write a note while here. My take on all of
this is: it will be a cold day in you know where before any of us decides to
evacuate our home that way again. I sent so many emails and talked on the
phone so much passing on information (most of it false, as it turned out)
that I was actually hoarse from talking on the phone. I think this event
has actually aged all of us at least a year. I was fortunate enough not to
have had to leave my home and get out on the highway in stop-and-go traffic
for hours and hours, but I was beside myself with worry about everyone until
I found out where they all wound up. And the worst part is, the hurricane
hasn't even gotten here yet and Lynn, Edwina and Doug thought it made more
sense to just go back home. Please pass this note along to those
Love, Jan