I love the blog Mudflats, which is so funny that it actually manages to distract me from my concern about Hurricane Ike. I love the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, especially forecasters AVILA and BEVEN, but their forecasts on Hurricane Ike have been making me nervous.
Hurricane Ike made landfall in northeastern Cuba around 11 PM Sunday at Category 3. Now he is in the water just south of Cuba at Category 1. He is going to make landfall again and go to Havana, and then to the central Texas coast where he is scheduled to arrive Saturday at 1 PM. All of this is terrible, and Havana may be destroyed. At the same time New Orleans may not be, and I may not have to evacuate.
I am not on the coast, so I am unlikely to drown, melt, or be picked up and transported to the Land of Oz. For many reasons the cheapest and easiest thing for me to do is to stay. But if there is mandatory evacuation now or later in the season, where should I go, and should it be by car or by plane? Plane reservations would normally be too expensive at such short notice, but I have learned that if you make a reservation with frequent flyer miles and then decide not to use it, you can change the dates. This means you spend no money, and lose no miles.
By car, I am thinking I could evacuate to NEW MEXICO or ILLINOIS. Each is about a thousand miles away, which is a long way. One needs to get beyond Texas if going west (Austin and San Antonio will be very crowded, and New Mexico is the next viable place). Memphis will also be very crowded, so one might as well aim for the library at UIUC, a very solid building. Interstate 49 leads right to Arkansas, so Hot Springs, Little Rock, and Fayetteville will be full. I also expect southern and central Arkansas to get rain and tornadoes as well during hurricanes. Maybe I should go up to the Ozarks and get a cabin, or a campsite in one of the national forests near Fort Smith.
The only interesting, closer place I can think of is GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI. When you ride down from Chicago to New Orleans on the train, Greenwood is the second to last stop. Before that is Memphis, where there is a theoretical transition to blues country, but a lot of people on the train are actually bound for Greenwood. That is why, when the conductor shouts “Greenwood, Mississippi!” I, too, can tell I am almost home. Greenwood has art, blues, food, and famous native sons and daughters. And I can drive there on non-freeways, a great advantage.
By plane, I am thinking of CALIFORNIA. I thought of other places including MEXICO CITY (a creative idea, with cheaper food and lodging than U.S. destinations, and there are lots of flights), but I was planning to go to California soon anyway. And having an evacuation plan is a preparedness issue. What do you think of my ideas? Do you have other ideas? How do you vote?