We figured a minimal Level 1 Hurricane wouldn't be that big of a deal. No one seemed that worried about it when we told them on Monday and the pilots and flight attendants certainly weren't mentioning it on our flights into San Antonio.
Then we got on the shuttle to pick up our rental car. A woman got on with 3 way over-stuffed backpacks and duffle bags. I could also see from the corner of her eye that she had a polo shirt on with her company's logo and some motivational phrase on it. Bless her heart, I thought. There's liking where you work and then there's being overly involved in your work. Wearing your shirt at the company picnic is one thing; wearing it on a trip is quite another.
Then I saw her FEMA identification tag. And then I read the insignia which was for the US Urban Search and Rescue Response Team. I looked at Dave. He looked at me.
Then we got on the road for the incredibly long drive from San Antonio to the path of Hurricane Dolly, between Brownsville and McAllen, TX. And we saw all the traffic signs that said "Hurricane Warning for Brownsville.....(blink, blink, blink)....Avoid travel to that area."
Then we passed all the Verizon Emergency Team trucks on the highway heading the same way we were.
At least we're going to where all the fun is.
When we got to the hotel, the manager was responding to call after call from people looking for a safe place to stay. This hotel is full. And the people we've seen arriving are coming in with more than just traditional tourist luggage. People look like they have left just their homes with everything they could put in there.
Still it didn't turn into a Level 1 Hurricane until we were driving to the hotel. How could it be that bad? Now, it's one mph from becoming a Level 2 and 1 and 1/2 hours from hitting shore. Our county, Hidalgo, wasn't worried about Hurricane Dolly because it wasn't expected to become a Level 2. Whoops!
This morning, Dave met a man who had been kicked out his original hotel because the National Guard took over. We looked in our parking lot and saw 6 ambulances from all over southern Texas on stand by for an emergency. We also saw more company insignias from more emergency response teams from around Texas.
So we came down early to the wedding to go to South Padre Island, a very famous and very nice resort town on the southen coast of Texas. That's pretty much where Dolly is making landfall first, so we have opted not to go there. Instead, we're going to be staying in our hotel room pretty much all day today.
Some families take their children to Disney Land for vacation. We take our child to the eye of a Level 2 hurricane.
Check us out.
UPDATE: Dolly is now Level 2 and all the ambulances have left the parking lot, we assume to be closer to landfall.