Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricanes, cancelled flights, and evacuation routes

As Hurricane Ike approached the Texas coast, it became apparent that our flight scheduled for Saturday, September 13, was going to be cancelled.  I called Continental Airlines Thursday morning, and changed our flight to that afternoon.   It was a good thing that we did - they ended up closing down the airport that evening and are not supposed to open it up fully until Tuesday.  With the packers coming on the 20th, we need all the time we can get to prepare.  

By the time we left Liberty for the airport, the local officials were already closing roads and diverting traffic to the established evacuation routes.  We got out of Liberty okay, but once we got to Dayton, we noticed that Highway 90 to Houston was closed, Highway 146 to Baytown was closed, and all the traffic was being sent up Highway 321 towards Cleveland.  I managed to head toward Atascosita on FM 1960, but not without a struggle.  The rest of the journey was fine until we were almost at the airport and found that cones were being set up along the road we were on.  Fortunately, it was in-progress, so we just went around.  My Nini took us to the airport, and made it back to Liberty without too much trouble.  She encountered a bunch of traffic once she got back to Dayton, but managed through it to get back home.   

I was only able to change our Continental flight to London, not the Qatar airways flight to Doha.  That meant that we were forced to stay a few nights in London until our flight home.  I know, poor us.  We just felt so lucky to get out when we did!  Upon arriving at our hotel, there was a couple that was trying to get to Houston, and that is when we learned that the airport closed shortly after our departure.  Phew!

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