I have been evacuated once before because of an explosion, and put up in a hotel by the Red Cross another time because of a house fire.
Monday last, both were able to be combined when a gas leak of Butane forced us to be evacuated just after supper, and the Red Cross found us fine hotel accommodations for (so far) two nights. Not only is there a pool with a water slide attached, but I’ve had the best waffles for breakfast that I’ve had for years. Now, if the neighbourhood doesn’t blow up (which looks less and less like happening) it will be quite the adventure.
Oddly, two days of unexpected hotel life seems like a week. I’m not sure why, because although the actual evacuation occurred in the relative haste of ten minutes, it is not as if we had not been forewarned and thus prepared. With bags and backpacks of provisions and clothes (and computers) we followed the instructions of three burly firemen and left. We did stand in lines in the hotel, and filled in forms and such, but it was not very arduous. Comfy beds awaited. If we have such stress in this situation, I might get some distant glimpse of what folk in dire straits must feel.
The Emergency Situation first began around 11:00 Monday morning. when I noticed hosts of emergency vehicles by their flashing lights, closing the major highways to our area. I actually got better views of our neighbourhood from news outlets and twitter accounts. I watched film crews at their work, and stand up reporters giving their reports across the street. Then, over the course of the afternoon, men in bulky uniforms and helmets started wandering along the street and across the fields. I went out to query them, and they were using their magic wands to sniff out Butane on the air. All seemed well for hours.
But then – as was fully explained in the next-day briefing – the wind shifted and the Butane (though apparently not dangerously concentrated) began in earnest to move toward the residential area, and away we all went.
The next briefing is in an hour.
And although two days of writing have been disturbed, today I returned to my current endeavours, where I follow Alison Alexandra through sundry places. It appears she will find that she (in her own way) will have to deal with a somewhat similar situation.
But she can take care of herself.