Friday, September 23, 2005


While it isn't certain, there is a higher degree of certainty in the prediction for the landfall of hurricane Rita. That landfall has shifted East of Galveston to closer to the Texas-Louisiana border. This doesn't mean that Galveston and Houston are in the clear. It just means that they will not take the brunt of the storm head on and they will not be on the "wet" side of the storm. Still, Houston and Galveston will be hit by Hurricane Rita before this time tomorrow.

Yesterday we watched the lines of traffic on TV as people evacuated North. In the afternoon I was incredulous as the newscasters talked about the people on the highway in the heat with no water. NO WATER? Where have these people been for the last three weeks? Didn't they see the suffering of the people in New Orleans because of heat and NO WATER. Haven't they heard the endless news over and over and over about having at least 3 days supplies of water and food. For the last three days, the TV has been showing bumper to bumper traffic of people evacuating and giving statistics on how slow the traffic was moving. So why when they were loading the family in the car didn't they put in gallon jugs of water. It isn't even like they had to go to the store and buy it. They could get it from their tap before they left home. My heart goes out to all the people who have no control over the devastation this storm is making in their lives but I can't muster up a lot of sympathy for the people who started out on the highway without any water in the car.

Another thing that left me shaking my head, a newscaster was talking by cell phone with someone in the creeping traffic on I-45. The driver was reporting on how slow the traffic was moving. Right at the end of the conversation the newscaster asked him, where is your house? Where did you start from? The driver named a town that is 75 or 80 miles from the coast. Here he is slowing the traffic with his car when there are people who are truly evacuating from a 20+ foot storm surge that will in all probability take their life and completely destroy their homes if they can't get out of the way of Rita.

I'm proud of my State and my city. Proud of them for taking on a large portion of the evacuees from Louisiana and proud of the way they have handled the preparation for Rita. The news people are saying that "we" learned the lessons from Katrina. I think that this level of planning was in place in Texas long before Katrina. Houston and Texas can just get things done when the going gets tough. After tropical storm Allison in 2001 when the Houston Medical Center was put out of commission by flooding, plans were put in place and the money was spent to not ever be in that situation again. There appears to be a high level of cooperation between all the State emergency and government agencies. If President Bush can get the Federal response teams to be a help and not a hindrance, I think things will be handled as well as they can be under the circumstances. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Yesterday, Son Michael went to our house in Houston and moved in all the garden furniture and pot plants and tried to tie down everything else. He plastic bagged and tied up all of my many, many 3-ring binders of negatives and put them in the darkroom where there are no windows to break. Bless his heart. It was 100 sultry degrees while he was doing that.

The neighborhood where we live in Houston, the Old Sixth Ward, is an old inner city neighborhood with some of the oldest houses in Houston. Some have been maintained and some very nicely remodeled but some of them are in poor repair. Many of the neighbors have boarded up and they are staying. My prayers are with them.

Two of our sons, Gary and Mike and his family who live in Houston are staying put.

Pray for the safety of all our citizens along the Gulf Coast of the United States of America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Houston metro is only expected to get winds to 70 mph and no higher (unless something changes). With any luck, the neighborhood will get no more damage than a bit of wet debris. Most of us are here riding it out, and we'll let you know if anything bad happens (as soon as email/electricity are back up if they should go out). I wouldn't worry much. In theory this should be no harder on the OSW than Alison was.