Hurricane Harvey Hits Austin

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the damage and destruction that Hurricane Harvey has done to Texas. Fortunately, where I live in Austin has fared pretty well and it’s almost back to business as usual (minus the gas shortages). Other parts of the state have not been as fortunate and are still recovering. I’m really hoping for the best for these areas. This blog entry will go over what I experienced in Austin and I’ll probably continue to have updates, as this is definitely an ongoing situation.

The following is a video of the progression of the storm from Friday August 25th to Monday August 28.

On Friday August 25th, we were let out of work at 3:00PM due to the weather. That meant I got to get out of work an hour early, but I made it home just in time for it to start to pour.

The weather did not look good on my phone.

I decided it would be smart to go to HEB and get some bottled water in case the water at the apartment went out. I see as lot of other people had the same idea, as I could barely find a parking spot.

They actually put pallets of water in the aisles and were rationing it to make sure everyone got some.

The lines were very long and they had every register open.

I got through the line and then got my water home.

Victoria came home and we went to Costco to get more water and other supplies. The weather wasn’t too bad at the time. Costco actually sold out of water (well they had some really expensive brand name stuff, but beyond that no other water).

I knew Dollar Tree would have some water, so we went there and they actually did have a bunch of it. They also had extra batteries and things we needed in case the power went out. I guess people don’t think of Dollar Tree as a place to stock up on hurricane supplies. One thing you don’t have to worry about price gouging there since everything is a dollar and the price is clearly in their name.

After Dollar Tree, we got home and had enough water to last us a week if we really needed to go that long.

It did look like the storm was ready to hammer down on us when we were sitting at home. Luckily, we were fully prepared to sit it out for a while.

The next morning, it wasn’t raining too bad, but the storm was getting closer.

We decided to brave the storm and go to Taco Cabana to get something to eat. It wasn’t raining super hard, but it was hard enough that you couldn’t really see the writing on the sign in the picture I took. The light up sign was saying not to go to the Texas coast and to watch for flooding.

When we made it home, there were a lot of leaves on the ground and the radar was still saying we had a lot of storm left.

Eventually, the power started to flicker on and off and we fully lost power for 30 minutes. We played Uno in the meantime.

During the middle of the night, I was awoken by a flash flood warning. I guess they do do a good job with the phones alerting everything. The power also went on and off a few times throughout the night. Overall, I slept alright.

The next morning on Sunday, it did rain a decent amount, but it wasn’t horrible. We ended up braving it to go to Whole Foods to pick up some food for the week. Whole Foods is less than half a mile from my apartment, so it was a close trip there.

It didn’t seem too bad in our area of town, but it was definitely still cloudy and you never knew what could happen. We made it home and stayed put the rest of the night.

By morning, it looked like everything was past us. It looked like Houston was still going to get hammered for a while, but it was business as usual in Austin. They did open the office at 10am, so I got a late start there, but beyond that you could tell it was starting to clear up a bit.

What surprised me when I got to work was the fact that there were only 2 offices down from a network connectivity perspective. We had a bunch of offices around Houston closed, but our monitoring system only showed 2 down. 1 office was Victoria and it appears the whole Victoria area was without internet.

When I got home from work, there were blue skies! The temperatures were also pretty reasonable, so it actually felt pretty nice.

Overall, Austin got spared from this storm. We were extremely fortunate that we only got about 10-12 inches of rain and had some winds, but didn’t see the massive flooding or damage other parts of the state did. It really sucks seeing places like Houston that were completely devastated by the storms. I’m hoping everything can get back to normal as soon as possible. I think it might be a while.

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