It looks like I will be talking to Michael Graham, of KFYI Phoenix, again tonight at about 9:10 central time. You can listen to an audio stream here.
Well I just found out why the media was in my parking garage. Looters struck last night and trashed 12 cars. We usually have very tight security but the gates were left open by management due to fears of power outages. I need to go check my car now.
My car is fine but the mood in the area is tense. I ran across two neighbors carrying hunting rifles (or a rifle and a shotgun to be exact) who were actively searching for a guy they suspected of breaking into more cars. They agreed to let me photograph them from the neck down. Hopefully, HPD will send one or more officers to our neighborhood. I think there is risk of additional looting or worse.
Quite a few HPD cars in the area now. It’s going to be an interesting night.
I’m hearing more looter calls on the HPD scanner frequencies. This doesn’t seem to approach the level that we saw in New Orleans but I’m worried about this evening.
Update IV 6:33pm CST:
Via the police scanner: Looting in progress at South Gessner and Belfort – A Wal-Mart Store.
Update V 6:55pm CST:
The property management finally closed the security gates. I think we can all rest a little easier. The security here is solid as long as it’s in place. I was also told that HPD is working the issue in a pretty creative way but I won’t discuss the specifics. We should be safe here tonight as long as we don’t venture past the gates. There’s some pretty sketchy characters wondering around out there right now though.
Update VI 7:40pm CST:
Winds are picking up and theres light rain now. Some of the gusts are quite strong. I walked over to the convenience store in the building and chatted with some of my neighbors for a while. HPD pulled up and parked on the street in front of the store. That provided some relief. We’re all worried about looters and the store owner plans to spend the night there to ward them off. If we lose power or if the weather isn’t too bad then we’re worried that they’ll have a field day. HPD is doing a pretty good job with patrols. I just worry about them being pulled out for emergencies. I’m tired but I expect I’ll spend a lot of time watching the retail spots on our ground floor.
Update VII 7:55pm CST:
Yeah I’m kicking myself for selling my SA-85M a few months ago. With an SA-85M on your back there’s no such thing as a looter problem.
Update VIII 8:33pm CST:
I was watching the convenience store in our building and there were lots of shady characters scoping it out. I went in to talk to the owner and we both agreed that it was time for him to lock up and leave. He was in a very dangerous position and there are no legitimate customers on the streets anyway. The two of us will be watching the retail section from the safety of our balconies. Unfortunately I went into this storm thinking that Houston would avoid much looting (we have in the past) but I’m pretty pessimistic about what will happen later tonight.
It’s windy out there. The gusts are infrequent but strong enough to whip the trees around and lift the dirt off the streets and parking lots. A couple of banners on neighboring businesses looked like they were about to come down. I took a few extra photos and will try to take more from the safety of my hallway when things kick up a few notches.
I ran up to the roof of the parking garage and found some local media on the fourth level there. I promptly ran in the opposite direction.