Monday, August 04, 2008

Tropical Storm Retardo

It's amazing what watching the undoing of a city at the hands of a hurricane can do to the sanity of a neighboring city.

Back when Katrina exposed once and for the near total lack of competent leadership in the federal government, and the central Gulf Coast suffered the worst natural disaster in its recorded history, something happened to the psyche of Houstonians. We saw the abandonment and inundation of New Orleans as a potential worst case scenario here as well. Never mind that we don't live in a virtual cereal bowl, every day losing valuable natural protection to the willful destruction of surrounding wetlands in the name of profits and at the expense of civil safety. Never mind all that. When we panic here in Houston, we do it right.

Luckily for us, hot on the heels of the Katrina debacle came Hurricane Rita, which was the most powerful storm ever if you measure it by barometric pressure (which only weather people actually do).

Had the Houston/Galveston area sustained a direct category 5 hit like it was appearing a day or two before landfall, things would have been pretty ugly here.

The ensuing flood (and only flood) of residents heading for safer locales ended up being a crisis unto itself as literally hundreds of thousands of area residents were trapped in a bumper-to-bumper nightmare in the Houston freeways.

A whole busload of elderly people being shipped to 'safer' ground was basically burned to death thanks to a fire that got out of hand very quickly.

Since that near miss we really haven't had much to talk about in the tropical arena here in Houston.

Tonight, Tropical Storm Edouardo is threatening to become a category 1 hurricane overnight and then make landfall directly on Galveston Beach before heading for Houston.

This means that if it even becomes a hurricane at all, the highest sustained winds would be around 74 miles per hour. If it happens at all, by the time it reaches Houston things will have died down somewhat. Basically we will see loose items blow around, some dead trees and limbs break, and probably a hell of a lot of rain. That's most likely it.

Thing is, on our way home tonight we stopped at the local yup-mart to grab some stuff for dinner and the fucking place was a mob scene.

Even the fucking local news was on hand to capture the lunatic frenzy. You'd think something important was about to happen the way folks were clamoring for bread, water, and of course beer.

I think, in retrospect, that since so many people will be off tomorrow, and since the stores may well be closed (not mine of course), they might as well stock up and stay at home and get bombed.

Now that is America at its finest.


stacey said...

god that sounds like a great idea

Chris said...

I gotta admit it strikes me as just a bit creepy that this thing hit just after we left. And I wanted to say thanks for the very nice shout out on your ATG post on the NAP. I will have more details about the new digs and the move soon. There are so many boxes. I'm hoping I find someone to take them who is moving to Houston, and then I'll try and get that person to bring them back to you! The circle will be complete!