Granddad and Dolly

I’ve done floods. And blizzards. And earthquakes. All were fun in their own way.

I just got an e-mail from my grandfather who is preparing for Hurricane Dolly. Dolly just made landfall in South Padre Island, Texas. When I was in the eighth grade, we went to South Padre Island to visit my grandfather for Christmas. It was very cold there that year. Grandad sold the island condo several years ago and moved to Harlingen, Texas, which will be in Dolly’s path.

Grandad is in his 80s. He owns an apartment building in Harlingen and still does a lot of the maintenance himself. In his e-mail, he talks about boarding up and caulking doors and windows at his girlfriend’s and the apartment — he did that himself. His e-mail:

Hi Y’all

Hurricane “Dolly” is just about to make landfall at Brownsville TX. Lina & I are settled in at my place prepared to ride it out. We spent all day yesterday buttoning everything down. I waited an hour and a half in line for sand bags. We boarded up Lina’s house in Sebastian and spent the rest of the day getting the apartments ready. Winds are reported to be just under 100 miles per hour. We will have 2 problems.

Problem 1. I am all electric and the power will without a doubt be off, maybe for several days. My freezer is full. I hope it doesn’t all spoil. I was so busy with everything else I didn’t have the foresight to buy a small camp stove. We have plenty of canned goods & water but we may be eating cold pork & beans out of the can. Weather will be mild so no air conditioning won’t be a big problem.

Problem 2. We are expecting a lot of rain. Harlingen is very flat and only a few feet above sea level. When there is a 3 or 4 inch rain businesses close and schools send the kids home because there is extreme flooding. We had a 17 inch rain a few years ago and I lost a new van to the water. My insurance Co. paid me a total loss on it. I have installed plywood panels in the doorways of my building and caulked them in. I hope they will keep the water from flooding the ground floor of my building.

Other than that we are just waiting for the big blow. I do not believe that we will have any major problems. (perhaps famous last words) My building built 4 years ago was well constructed to withstand hurricane force. 100 M.P.H. winds are strong but some hurricanes pack 150 M.P.H. winds.

I’m kind of looking forward to the experience and will let you know how we come out. Wish me luck.


It must run in the family — I kinda what to know what it’d be like to go through a hurricane too.