The only evacuating I did was to the gas station because I was already below “E”. Guess what? Laredoans are crazy – every media story tells people to stay away from the river but… This was Santa Maria by the gas station (enlarge it to see how far this line goes):
An hour earlier, it was bumper to bumper AWAY from downtown and now it is bumper to bumper TOWARDS downtown. Why go the opposite direction? You can’t say it is to cross into Mexico because people know Bridge #1 is closed. So it is to GAWK – so I went to kind of do the same except I had a destination.
After the gas station I went to the almost in-laws over in El Tonto (aka El Rincon del Diablo behind LCC). They are fine but their neighbors are not. This was the end of Ventura Street:
I didn’t leave my house because (soy TERCA) I need to hear it from the horse’s mouth before I leave – plus I think I am too far and too high. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t chaos in the downtown area. My friend at the emergency call center called and told me that the river was going to rise only a bit more and that I shouldn’t worry. My yard has a new pool, though – who would have thought? My poor dogs don’t have anywhere to go but the porch.
It is devastating for those who are flooded out. There will be much to do as volunteers and people who are in a better situation.
My advice as a long-time volunteer: put your name on lists of organizations that provide assistance but DO NOT show up at shelters or inadvertently hinder groups that are providing services. There are emergency plans in place and you can best help your neighbor and family to shelter them but let emergency groups call on volunteers with specific skills AS NEEDED. I am still on-call for one particular group but I know that if I were to show up, I would be adding to the chaos.
In all the mess, though, I did find out something new. Maybe because it had been sometime that I had gone to a gas station (hence the driving on fumes) but the downtown Valero limits the gas I can buy with my credit card! I know it is for our own safety but it just sounds weird that a store won’t let you buy more of what you want and what they have – As my dad would say,“Es pa’ que no nos friegen pero salimos fregados de todos modos.”