11:05 p.m. Dust storm? My wife and I walked to our backyard, just east of the sandy, grated proposed site of a future VISD high school, and we looked north to what looked like a blurry, cloudy sky. As winds are picking up, so are the sands from north of John Stockbauer Drive. We let our dogs run around outside for a bit and ate a teaspoon of sand. Winds are becoming stronger here. What are you seeing?
8:10 p.m. As bella7 mentioned, I've seen a lot of neighbors out, too -- folks talking, kids playing. It's hard to imagine a hurricane is whirring just an hour and a half up the road. We walked outside at sunset. I posted a new pic of that sunset, but I snapped the photo with my cell phone so please forgive the quality. In the meantime, we are a bit surprised that the winds have progressively died down throughout the day. I figured they'd pick up. What stories and photos do you have to share?
5:45 p.m. I walked through my neighborhood to snap pics on my phone of some clever and funny writings on the plywood homeowners used to protect against Ike. While I'm new to the neighborhood, I can already tell I have some fun neighbors. Check the pics out and tell us which one you like most and why.
4:45 p.m. I'll be blogging from northeast Victoria -- just north of John Stockbauer Drive -- off and on this afternoon, tonight and early Saturday morning.
I'm at home with my wife, sister-in-law and her boyfriend.
So far, I'm sure our experience is the same as yours: Small gusts every now and again and small trees getting tossed about at times.
I played basketball outside at DeLeon Elementary. I'm blaming the wind on my poor performance from the free throw line. :)
We went to Wal-Mart just before 2 p.m. today. The parking lot was packed. The lines at the registers were long. As we walked in, a woman over the loudspeaker said we all had 10 minutes to check out. Still, dozens of shoppers poured in the doors.
Wal-Mart employees were busy placing large, long tarps and chunks of plastic over the store's food shelves and over much of the electronics.
Other than that, we're just tuned into the Advocate's coverage of the approaching storm and following the story about the 20 people stuck out in the Gulf on a freighter. In Galveston, the surge, which is spilling over the 10-foot seawall, looks pretty ominous.
What have you seen, done or witnessed today? I'm curious to hear your stories and see your pictures.
Gabe Semenza/Advocate public service editor
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