Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hullo, Dean...where's the rest of the Rat Pack?


As of this morning, Dean had strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, with some unusual properties such as hail in the leading edge.

Unusual properties + hurricane heading for Gulf of Mexico = Very Bad Thing

So far they have it heading straight at us. WOO HOO!

This story is slightly out of date for Dean (you know how dynamic hurricanes are), but: "Gulf States Mop Up After Erin, Ramp Up for Hurricane Dean"

National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Mooreland said Erin dumped the most rain on south and southeast Houston, where nearly nine inches were recorded at Hunting Bayou and Lockwood.

Hey! We got the most rain! An award! An award!
Texas Governor Rick Perry Friday declared Hurricane Dean an imminent threat to Texas, initiating full-scale state hurricane preparedness efforts.

I'm just surprised and impressed that Perry knows how to say the word 'imminent' much less what it means!

If politics was a frat party, Perry is Bush's slightly less intelligent, slightly less good-looking sidekick who nevertheless knows the ace he has in his more charismatic buddy, so rides his coattails for success...of a sort.
The Texas fuel industry has begun surging fuel loads to all coastal counties to ensure adequate fuel supply, the governor said, and the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, is displaying public service announcements in coastal counties, advising residents to keep their gas tanks full in case evacuations become necessary.

Tank full, bottles of water and packaged food on hand. Important papers gathered. House filmed for insurance. Toiletry bag already packed. Pillows and blankets collected. Now, emergency preparedness teams...WILL YOU FAIL US AGAIN LIKE IN 2005?

Or can we count on you to BE THERE TO SUPPORT AFFECTED COASTAL RESIDENTS?

It took us TWO DAYS to evacuate inland. TWO DAYS IN A CAR in RECORD HEAT using no A/C to save on gas because NO FUEL TRUCKS COULD GET HERE and the service stations ALL CLOSED.

Our car broke down about 100 miles outside Houston, along with THOUSANDS of other evacuees and what did the emergency personnel tell us?

RIDE OUT THE HURRICANE IN OUR CARS.

WITH OUR TWO BABIES.

IN THE HEAT.

My favorite parts?

Watching overheated people packed into the backs of trucks vomit onto the highway in front of me. EXPLAINING THE DEAD to my FOUR YEAR OLD. Getting my baby well after she got so sick from the evacuation. CRYING IN THE CAR when the lady in the broken down car next to us---a chemotherapy patient with cancer---said to QUIT CALLING 911 on her behalf because she was okay with DYING. The 911 operator saying they couldn't get an ambulance through (although other cars---including our rescuers---managed just fine) and the police telling us, "You evacuees...you guys aren't our town's problem." The FEMA guy who swore me to secrecy but told me, "Yeah, they are lying to you guys to keep from a panic or riot but they aren't sending buses or fuel trucks or any kind of help to you."

YEAH SURE FEMA and emergency response teams...like we have faith in YOU.

If you've ever wondered why people don't evacuate? This is why. The evacuation can be as dangerous as the storm itself. (The death toll from the evacuation? 107 people. That wasn't much reported. When I cite that number, a lot of people are surprised. They thought the only deaths were from the hurricane.)

If they expect a storm surge, okay, we'll probably go.

But if not? We'll ride it out. Thanks. I'll take my chances with nature...it's a little more reliable than the governmental agencies I have to count on.

But I'm not like bitter or anything.

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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9 comments:

Emily said...

Oh. Yuck.

I'm thinking of you!

jen said...

i am thinking of you and everyone in that direction and hoping he mellows out.

Kyla said...

I need this thing to turn south. I do not want to let this EEG appointment go, but if Josh has to evacuate then we probably will have to. This is the best time we could possibly have this EEG and to give it up would kill me.

TURN DEAN. Please?

slouching mom said...

Oh, Julie. I just read that description of the evacuation to my husband. So terrible.

I hope that Dean settles down. For you, for Kyla, and for everyone in the area.

Sigh. Be well.

Mary-LUE said...

Yowsa! I remember when you wrote about evacuating once before. It sounds so scary.

It's a couple of days drive but you're all welcome to sleep in my bonus room. Of course, you'd probably have to help me clean and straighten up the house first! ;)

Seriously, I hope Dean dissipates, turns around, something.

flutter said...

want I should come and kick Dean's ass?

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh, babe. I hope it doesn't come to that. And I hear you about evacuations. That's why it makes me want to throttle someone when they start making ignorant comments about people who don't evacuate getting what they deserve, etc... You know what I mean.

Cathy said...

Oh, ugh.

I lived in Beaumont for two years and wrote several stories back then on the horrors of the evacuation route.

People stuck in stalled traffic all day. Screaming children. Congregating, angry crowds at gas stations. Barking dogs.

I cannot even imagine. Especially now that I have kids.

kim said...

I really don't know how you survive the anxiety. I've thought of you and the storm all week-end.