OOIDA member Gary Coe lives in Baytown, TX, about four miles from the Gulf Coast. While many in his community were evacuating on Thursday afternoon, he and his wife and four Yorkies were getting ready to ride out the storm.
“Right now, we’re putting everything up. The truck is here, parked. We’ve got plenty of food, water, ammunition; we’ll make it,” he said. “During Rita, we evacuated and it about killed us. Cars all over broke down, a bunch stranded, out of gas. It took 26 hours for us to go what usually takes an hour and half; we’re not doing that again.”
While Coe, his wife and dogs hunker down in Baytown, many Texas OOIDA members are on the road trucking, cell phones in hand and an ear to the weather.
“Right now I am in North Dakota trucking,” Kenneth Becker told Land Line. “So I’ll be tracking the storm from here, probably from the cab of my truck.”
Becker’s family is home in Montgomery, TX, north of Houston, getting ready for the storm.
“I just got off the phone with my wife, Elizabeth. She went to the Wal-Mart and said it was a madhouse,” Becker said. “All the batteries gone, no bread on the shelf.”
With his laptop and satellite, Becker said he was scrutinizing Hurricane Ike as it barreled down on Texas via wunderground.com.
“It’s a good weather Web site – and for Montgomery, TX, I’ve got 19 different screens I can watch,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Corpus Christi, OOIDA member Zhonzie Gering, was also keeping a close eye on Ike, but mainly it was business as usual for Gering Transportation. Gering echoes what other truckers have reported: “Times are tough.” Hurricane or not, he was working.
On Wednesday, forecasters thought the Corpus Christi area would be where Ike would make landfall, but now they’re projecting landfall somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston.
Gering said that, as of Thursday, his family was staying put. “There are a lot of people that get scared when you say hurricane, but I kinda stick around until the last minute.”
– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor