Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Harvey Is A Real Jerk

This past weekend the great state of Texas was visited by a weather system named Harvey.  Harvey was a hurricane, a Category 4 at landfall. We had a long time to watch him coming.  All the weather reports for the entire week prior to landfall were grim; Harvey was going to do some damage to my part of the state. It was expected to stall a bit north of Victoria after coming on shore at Corpus Christi, and then sit there for a bit. The rain predictions for my town, San Antonio, were for anywhere from 3 to 13 inches--they just couldn't say for sure.  Houston wasn't supposed to be hit as hard, as it would be east of the majority of the storm.

The entire city of San Antonio, and Bexar county as well, whipped into action like this was old hat, establishing emergency operations, gathering the needed supplies for the situation, opening shelters to welcome those evacuating from the coast, etc. Schools were closed early on Friday, employees were sent home, businesses closed.  Even SeaWorld and Six Flags closed for the weekend.  We all put on our big girl panties to deal with Harvey in an orderly fashion, purchasing food and water for the weekend, just in case.  And when Harvey hit the coast, San Antonio's invitation to visit was waiting.  We were ready.

When you are prepared for an event, almost everything you were worried about never occurs. Hurricanes are unpredictable, and Harvey was predictable in at least that regard.  And as prepared as the entire state was, nobody seemed to be prepared for the storm to hit Houston instead of San Antonio.  San Antonio had some rain, and gusts of wind.  I kept an eye on the skies, and an ear to the weather reports. Like you do  We got three inches of rain in the gauge, total.  I went to bed thinking that Harvey was just being coy, and would move into our area that night or the next day.

Instead of heading west,however, Harvey staggered east, right into Houston.  San Antonio was ready; Houston was not, I thought.  But FORTY inches of rain?  The only people who might even be remotely prepared for the amount of rain that fell in Houston would be those related to Noah.  Most of the fourth largest city in America is underwater. 

People have been displaced from their homes by the thousands.  The ones who were lucky enough not to have flooded, like some of my family members, are surrounded by water, and are trapped. Refineries and other essential businesses are surrounded.  And the water may not recede for weeks.  WEEKS, people.  Houston is essentially a lake right now, and the true destruction costs won't be known for at least that long.  Not cool, Harvey. You're not only a jerk, you bought the lobster dinner, and stuck Texas with the bill.

There are lots of agencies that are heading to Houston, and the coast, to help Texas clean up.  Everyone in America will do what they can to help, either by volunteering or by donating money.  We all seem to come together when catastrophes happen. Some people are saying not to give money to organizations like the Red Cross or the Humane Societies, because they pay their CEOs lots of money.  However, large organizations like the Red Cross have mobile response units at the ready and are likely already helping out in the Houston area. Give to the organization you feel comfortable with. If you want to donate items, buy dry socks and underthings. A variety of sizes. Wet socks and underpants cause chafing and rot, and nobody likes that. This isn't going to be a short rescue, and things are going to be messy.  Like Katrina, it may take years for the Houston area to arrive back at some sort of normal.  But get back to normal they will. We're not about to let some hurricane bring us down for long. 

Harvey is moving along, like jerks always do.

Stay safe, everyone.

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