This past Tuesday evening was our meeting of the Katy Spinners. It's a group of spinners that meets once a month at Peggy's house for spinning and chatting and laughing and mutual support of our spinning addictions.
This meeting was a smaller group than normal because of the expected bad storms that evening. We usually meet from about 6pm to about 8pm although the times can start earlier or later and finish earlier or later depending on how much fun we're having. The storms were predicted to hit out in Katy during that exact time. And they did.
The winds picked up and the rains started about 7pm. The thunder boomed and the winds howled. It really was a storm. We were checking the radar during that time and when I left at 9pm the storm had blown through so that my drive west from Katy was clear of bad weather. It is a 40 minute drive door to door from Peggy's house to mine. Tuesday night it took me 3 hours and 22 minutes. Not that I was paying attention to exactly how long it took.
I was moving nicely on I-10 all the way from Mason Road out to Frydek. That's about half the distance home for me. Then I hit (not literally) a wall of stopped traffic. It was me and a few other people in small cars and thousands of huge trucks. Tractor trailer rigs are pretty big in normal traffic but when you are sitting at a dead stop among them for hours in the dark you realize just how immense they are.
The problem was a tornado that blew through Sealy, TX knocking at least one big 18 wheeler over on it's side and dropping power lines across I-10. Yikes. They shut down the freeway and pulled all of us off at the Highway 36 exit in Sealy. They routed all the traffic through town and onto the frontage road west of town. The policeman I asked said the road was closed for about 4 miles. By that point it had taken me nearly 3 hours to negotiate the 3.4 miles from Frydek to Sealy. The idea of spending another couple of hours with all those trucks on the frontage road didn't seem like a good idea to me. Besides, I'm familiar enough with the roads to know the back way. I darted through town, mostly dark from the downed power lines but fortunately with functioning stop lights, and got over to FM 1094. Then 1094 over to FM 949 and down to New Ulm Road and home. That 20 miles took me about 25 minutes. Somewhat faster than the 3.4 miles that took me 3 hours.
Here we are nearly 48 hours after the storm and much of Sealy is still without power. Thankfully we are having moderate temperatures. Yes, it's up to 90 degrees today but with a bright wind and low humidity. It could be so much worse for everyone.
I would like to point out that nearly everyone on the road with me Tuesday night was polite and behaved nicely. Yes, here were a couple of trucks other than emergency vehicles that barreled down the shoulder but generally it seemed like a "well, we are all in this together, people" kind of an attitude. Turn signals were used. Large spaces were left between vehicles for changing lanes. I could have given all those truck drivers a big hug.
We had no damage at my house. We had had about an inch of rain and the ground was littered with leaves and small branches but no significant limbs down and no damage at all to the livestock or the buildings. Thank goodness.