Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here comes Hurricane Chris

Exactly 317 days ago, we watched then-Tropical Storm Rita shoot through the Florida Straits, fearing the worst only three weeks after the horrific Hurricane Katrina. We didn't know Hurricane Rita would slam into Southeast Texas dead-on five days later and send us tumbling on a 10-month recovery that hasn't yet ended.

Today, Tropical Storm Chris -- he should be Hurricane Chris later tomorrow -- is lining up to shoot the Florida Straits, just as Hurricane Rita did 10 months and 13 days ago. On that day, I wrote in this blog:
"The Gulf Coast is jittery, as you might imagine. The storm is still distant, but nobody is waiting until the last minute. People are already talking -- quietly, for now -- about evacuation plans, hurricane survival kits, boarding windows. Here at the paper, we've already taken steps to print our paper in a nearby city -- or to print that city's paper should the storm hit there. Today, we begin girding for the possibility of a catastrophic event that affects our readers, preparing to provide as much information as we can in creative ways while also taking steps to prepare ourselves and our families for the coming storm. ... Katrina is still front-page news here, a testament to the storm's devastation. Many of Katrina's survivors still live among us. I imagine that while we anxiously watch Rita's slow roll across the Gulf, these people must be horrified. "

Today, in 2006, a new storm rises on the horizon and Southeast Texas is jittery. It's still to early to commit to uprooting people to safer places, but not too early to consider what we will do as Hurricane Chris rumbles into the Gulf. We learned much from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, including the idiocy of storm apathy. So we watch.


gohuskers said...

Fingers are crossed here in Nebraska!

SingingSkies said...

But perhaps it's not too early to become proactive. My current suggestion is that everyone along the entire Gulf Coast dump the ice from their freezers into the Gulf and drop the temperature a few degrees! Maybe that'd send ol' Chris apacking!

Otherwise, it's a matter of doing what I've always done - keep one eye on the weather reports and continue doing what needs to be done until action is needed or the whole thing fizzles out or heads elsewhere (preferably where no people are involved).

Ron Franscell said...

Hey, that's not a bad idea! Maybe we could get everybody to line up on the beach and blow simultaneously out to sea! After all, we're Texans!

But I'm with you ... we can't manage the storm's actions, but we can be deliberate about our own. Preparation can't hurt, and neither can prayer.

SingingSkies said...

Ummmm...I'd thought of that and then decided that we might blow too much hot air and just end up strengthening the tropical blow. *chuckle*