For the last 48 hours we have witnessed "on the scene" reporters pointing all the drastic changes that are starting to happen. Tides that would normally be at a certain level are already 3 maybe 4 inches higher than normal. With 105 mph winds this has become a "strong and dangerous" storm as over the last 48 hours the winds have increased by 5 MPH! We have been reminded over and over and over and over again what a Cat 5 storm could do although this one is barely a Cat 2 and expected to be a Cat 1 at land fall. It could however magically be a CAT 4 if the media's wishes come true. Hell, we are way behind everyone else in number of storms, we need a bad one, we are due and we want what is due us. Oh!... back to reality.
I cannot tell you how informative it is to see lines of people waiting for buses to evacuate from Galveston Island. The news coverage there is shockingly thorough. I have learned what a couple of teen age girls think of the whole situation and that they are more behaved than the reporters kids. I have learned just how important it is that a 10 year old boy can take his little dog on the bus ride also. When asked for the 3rd or 4th time how important it was for him to be able to take his pooch he finally came up with, "A Lot". And it only took 5 minutes to get the answer that the reporter was apparently looking for.
Another exciting scene was from a street corner in Galveston where we all witnessed cars going down the street in lighter than normal traffic. Across the street we saw a boarded up fast food place and on our side of the street we saw a Sonic that was open for business. An Exxon station had cars filling up with gas! Oh! Be still my Heart!
If you were wondering, Home Depot has wood and generators, Good to know and well worthy of round the clock coverage. I think I will run out to Home Depot in a few minutes to pick up some stain and get in line.
Countless references and comparisons have been made of this storm to Carla. Carla had its strong effects here 47 years ago and occasionally there is a reference to the most recent storm Alicia, which hit here in 1983. To be honest with you I think we get snow more often than hurricanes. Darn!
I know that soon we will have the relief of seeing our local reporters changing over into their Kmart approved Alaskan King Crab fisherman gear to weather the first sprinkles of precipitation preceding the storm. It goes with out saying that all of them will be go out to the water to stand ankle deep in water and describe how "treacherous" the water is. They will point out that the water goes up and down the coast line as far as the eye can see. As the storm nears the reporters will seamlessly go in to "wind reporting mode". Your apparently cannot really get a grasp of how windy it is unless you watch a reporter do his thing, or go outside your self. Yes the reporters put on a good show and it keeps your attention as you look for the remote to find another channel. "Its really beginning to pick up" yells the reporter, I can hardly stand up in the wind, watch me squat and lean in to the breeze that is hardly strong enough to blow my pony tails or my loose fitting cap. During this interesting display you see a family of 4 from Oklahoma enjoying the beach in the back ground. And for those of you that don't get out much there are countless shots of boats tied up at the docks. I was surprised to notice that there were no cars tied up at the docks.
ANY WAY...... I have personally been through 4 hurricanes in my 54 years, my first 3 were in Corpus Christi before I was 15 years old. Houston has had 1 storm since, and I was in it also. My third storm in Corpus Christi started out as a lot of fun as I leaned at an angle into the early winds in our front yard, 3 hours later I believed that my family and I would be killed. As we stick our heads out the front door for the first time there was nothing quite like seeing an entire complete roof sitting in our front yard and blocking the street. It came from the house across the street . Looking to the left the apartment complex 1 block away is all but gone. Looking right and 3 houses down more houses with walls but no roofs. All of these homes and the apartment complex were less than 6 years old. That was 38 years ago and it still seems like yesterday. Typically a hurricane brings a lot of wide spread and varying degree of destruction and for probably 90% of the people that experience one there is not much to talk about except the reporters on TV. The loss of electricity is typically the biggest problem to the majority. Occasionally a storm is terrible beyond a reporters wildest expectations. More often a storm is built up to be more terrible that it turns out to be. IMHO reporters basically do a disservice to the community. They let their excitement get in the way of facts. They scare most into a panic with exaggerated adjectives that simply are not true. If the reporters were to ever once experience a storm that is terrible I highly suspect that they would cover their next storm from a few hundred miles inland.