Sunday, September 14, 2008


When I walked in, the sky was blue, and the sun was shining. When I walked out, bands of dark clouds filled the sky and were rolling in from the northeast. Ike was on the way to Houston, and its arms reached all the way to the edge of the Hill Country.

In Houston, before the rains even began to fall, the high tide and the superimposed storm surge pushed water out of the bayous and into the streets and into people's homes. Before the rains, the floods began.

And when the swirling storm pounded the western shore of Galveston Bay, the force of the surging water pushed great concrete slabs and breakwaters into the streets. Boats and yachts and floating debris bashed into homes and smashed into bridges. And houses burned to the ground.

Ike hit Galveston dead-on and went right up the bay. But the surge was not as bad as it might have been, and people took the warnings of "certain death" mostly to heart. There were three extra bodies sleeping here last night and one extra little black dog.

Austin needs rain badly. Our barrels are empty. The grass is pale and dry. I confess, we looked up at those sweeping black bands with some hope and listened to the 100% chance of rain predictions with some anticipation. But the rains never reached us -- a blessing not so much in disguise.

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