Coming home from work today was weird. All of the traffic out of
town was clogged and just an awful mess. Going in to town
was like there was no one alive. My trip usually takes about 25
minutes, but this time it took under 15. I always get off the
freeway on an earlier exit and then take the side-streets around
the mess (the exit ramp that is closest to me is the worst), but
this time, there was---literally---no cars on the ramp at all.
Later, I passed 7 gas stations on the way back from guitar
3 of them had long lines, stretching into the street, blocking
traffic. No one seemed out of control, just everyone was trying to
get their gas and go on their way.
4 of them -- all Shell stations -- were sold out. Some had
plastic bags over their pump nozzles, others had some kind of red
plastic placard locked onto the nozzle. Many people kept driving
into these stations, probably because they figured they'd found the
ONE station in all of Houston that didn't have lines, but they
quickly drove on when it was obvious that there was no fuel to be
The banks have all but shut down. A co-worker's husband was
unable to get cash this afternoon. They live on the west side of
town--Katy--where everyone who is leaving to San Antonio or Austin
will pass through.
My SO was able to get cash, though. She told me that the manager
at the branch she went to wasn't letting any teller swap money
(i.e., trading another teller a hundred-dollar bill for four
twenties), so what you got was what you got. By the time she left
the bank, all but one window was closed (the other tellers ran out
of cash). I think all the ATMs are dry as well.
I don't believe you can buy water here, unless you are very
lucky and time your visit to when the delivery truck arrives at the
store. On the way to guitar practice, I stopped by a "high end"
supermarket (Eatzi's) to get a
snack, and I noticed that all their water was gone. This isn't some
cheap old Ozarka or whatever; these waters easily cost more than
$1.50 for a bottle ("designer water").