Sunday, 25 September, 2005

Hurricane Rita no-show in Central Texas

Rita came ashore as a category three hurricane early Saturday morning near the Texas/Louisiana border.  You can read about the effects from one of the many news sites.  The news here is that we got exactly zero inches of rain out of the storm.  The wind picked up a bit on Saturday with gusts around 25 MPH, but that's about the only effect we saw.  The skies were clear and the temperature topped 100 degrees today while Rita was dumping its load of rain far to the east.

If you believe the news reports, somewhere between two million and three million people headed inland from the coast as Rita approached.  Traffic jams, fuel shortages, lack of accommodations, and general frustration seemed to be the order of the day as nearly every hotel room in the entire state of Texas was filled.  My neighbors next door had about 20 extended family members staying for a couple of days.

Our Amateur Radio Emergency Services group provided communications at the local emergency operations centers and also at some area hospitals that were very busy taking care of those evacuees who needed medical attention.  I won't say that things went off without a hitch, but they went smoothly.  In fact, despite the traffic jams and a few relatively minor problems, I'd say that the entire evacuation of the coast went much better than expected.  Moving two million people in just a couple of days is a difficult proposition.

I've seen some commentary on the Web that I find somewhat humorous.  People are ranting about others complaining that the evacuation was unnecessary.  I could understand the rant except that I haven't seen anybody seriously claim that the evacuation was uncalled for.  So what we have is a bunch of crazies ranting about something they think others will say.  Some people have way too much time on their hands.