Well, I'm sure a lot of people are red-in-the-face now, myself included. In my defense though, I panicked because it was a category 5 hurricane headed straight for Galveston, which would have been apocalyptic, to say the least. That's what everyone thought as evidenced by the mass exodus. It was the right thing to do considering what we thought was headed our way, but I'm afraid that this experience will cause people to hesitate the next time there is an evacuation order. The mayor that cried "wolf." And we can't forget that people died trying to get away, that horrific bus fire of nursing home residents and at least one elderly woman that I have heard about that died of dehydration while stuck in traffic. Heads will roll over this one.
My parents are up in Lufkin with my brother's family, feeling some of the effects of the hurricane now. When I called, they were eating breakfast by candle light. Heavy winds and rain are outside, but nothing too serious. My mom was about to leave for work early this morning (she's a nurse and her nursing home residents were evacuated there) when she heard a large branch crash onto the roof. She waited to see if it would get better so she could leave, but then just settled in for the worst of it. It would have been too dangerous to drive in that weather.
I'm not sure of what the condition is in Texas City. I can't seem to find any news about it but I'm sure, if anything, there is just some wind damage. I told my mom that I wanted to head back when they did to help with any clean-up, but she wanted to assess the damage first. It will be difficult for anyone to get back with all of the evacuees returning and the gas shortage.
Watching the weather channel, I love that the newscasters are still trying to make this into an event. They were showing their "amazing" (their word, not mine) footage from Sulpher, La. of signs that had blown down and a few small-ish trees that had been uprooted. Big deal. That happens every other week during the rainy season here. I'm really angry at the authority figures in the affected areas though, using their fear tactics to bully people into leaving. I read a story of the Louisiana governor telling people that decided to stay in the area that they needed to write their social security numbers in indelible ink onto their arms so that their bodies could be identified. What the hell is that? This fearmongering is not helpful to an already scared people.
I'm relieved that this hurricane turned out to be hugely over-rated and I hope that next time, and there will be a next time, people will be more prepared. Things could have been handled much better than they were.