Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hurricane Humberto:
It was a dark and stormy night

Madena Picard blocks off a flooded underpass in Vidor, Texas, this morning
(Beaumont Enterprise / Tammy McKinley)

Humberto was a hurricane, sure, but as hurricanes go, he was definitely on the "wet-willie" end of the spectrum.

Tragically, an 83-year-old Bridge City man was killed when his carport collapsed on him near the tail-end of the storm, but other reports of damage are modest. We have some damaged homes and businesses, schools are closed, some trees have been "pruned," and some streets and highways remain waterlogged this morning.

Humberto is gone now. He's somewhere over Louisiana, past middle-age and eroding rapidly. He only has a couple days to live and he's frittering away. Good riddance.

I didn't sleep much last night, but why sleep through a big story? Besides, the drip-drip-drip of water on the top of my car through the parking-garage roof was worse than torture. This time, our Newsroom held up against Nature and the staff gained some valuable experience in preparation and reaction time. If you're gonna get rocked by a hurricane, this is the kind of hurricane you want.

In 11 days, we'll mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Rita, whose marks here were more indelible. But Humberto reminds us of the vulnerability of the Gulf Coast and the need to be prepared on a day's notice. And he made his point loud and clear: Believing the odds of getting hit twice are astronomically slim is a fool's bet.


Ivy said...

You are right.. This is the kind you want if you have to get them. I'm not ready for the anniversary of Rita..LOL.. I'm just not. Its still hard to think about. My kids flipped out about this one.. The school told them about hte storm and my kids flipped. They remember Rita too well.. The questions started flying really fast.. They didnt want to go to sleep (I didnt go to sleep I was up all night) But they were terrified. Its impossible to explain to a 4,6, & 8 year old that this storm isnt as big or powerful as the last one.. They dont care.. They hear tropical storm or hurricane they want to run and wnat to know if they can take their house and toys and clothes and lets just move away fromm here..

SingingSkies said...

Yep! And Humberto blew to smithereens my hope that I'd be able to sleep in my own bed before the next "tropical event" hit the area. Although, I probably would have slept through the whole thing if my dog hadn't decided to crawl into bed with me for consoling.

I'm incredibly grateful that this experience was nowhere near as devastating as Her Horribleness was. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is our last brush with anything tropical for quite a long while.

Jana said...

Glad that you made it safe out of the storm and no water dripped on the computers. Thankful as HECK that Humberto is frittering out.
I was concerned to know you were sleeping in a parking garage though, didn't sound very safe to me, especially after hearing of the man's carport dropping on his head. Sad.

Love, Rita said...

I was in shock and disbelief the next morning when my supervisor called to tell me not to come in until later in the day. "Why?", I asked.

That Humberto had become a hurricane didn't really sink in until around 10 a.m., when what was left of the eye passed over our area, dumping 10 inches of rain.

Have I become numb to the devastation a hurricane could bring, or did this one just reach out and touch us REALLY FAST???

Ron Franscell said...

It's not your imagination, Rita. Humberto was the fastest developing hurricane on record. In effect, he went from 0-60 in record time! Humberto caught a lot of people hoping/expecting he would be a little less aggressive than he was. Sorta like Marv Albert.