It doesn’t seem real. Texas is so far away. So we sit back, watch a city flood, and view the twisted steel remains of what were condos. Knowing it’s not going to have any real effect on our lives other than drive the price of gasoline through the roof, we go about our business, because it’s not tangible when you live a 1000 miles away.
Except the world is growing smaller, thanks to cell phones and places like Facebook and Snapchat. As Harvey is wrecking havoc on Houston, we’re virtually watching it as it happens. Seeing the video of my friend’s son whose street is already flooded and slowly the water is getting closer to the house. His brand new house that they just bought a few months ago. And he’s in an area that wasn’t supposed to flood.
To be honest, I didn’t even know there was a hurricane until late Sunday night. When I discovered it, it was simply just another hurricane in the Gulf. “Uh-oh, here goes Louisiana again.”
But then it was headed into Texas and the storm didn’t look too big, there wasn’t much of an eye. What? A Cat 4? This was no ordinary hurricane. We don’t get many Cat 4’s hitting the USA. Then I watched it. OMG!
The devastation is unreal. Still it’s far away. But when you live in an area where hurricanes hit, you pay attention to them. And when your friend’s young son lives near Houston with his wife and baby… And when another friend lives in the downtown Houston, and the list goes on and includes authors and other friends. The whole thing seems worse with cell phones recording the rising water or the house that has tumbled to the ground. There is no question in my mind what a Cat 4 can do, I know how bad a hurricane can be. I know what a tropical storm can do, and I know how fast a tropical depression can change into a full-fledged hurricane.
Harvey has made me rethink what I would do if the call came to evacuate. Even an early warning to evacuate has made me alter my thinking. Yes, I’m on high ground. And my house has stood for probably 200 years or more. What’s the worse that would happen? That darn pecan tree that is owned by the neighbors that sways over my house could fall and severely damage the back end of my house. Or maybe that illegal aluminum siding that someone managed to put on the house about 40 years ago might be ripped off in a good blast of wind. Certainly I could sustain the force of a hurricane. “Give me that marker because I’m more than willing to write my social security number on my arm. Nothing will happen to me! This house can withstand a storm.”
After watching what has happened in Texas, I’ve decided I’m the biggest chicken to ever live. Want to see how fast I can pack and get out of town? I’ll toss my external hard disk in the car, along with my laptop, a handful of family photos, all the insurance stuff, and other important papers. I’ve seen enough. I’m not going to hang around for anything greater than a Cat 1, and I might not take my chances on that. I’ll be one of the first ones to pull out.
And why are they calling them cyclones? That’s the new word for what, a hurricane or tropical depression? And we have “something” dumping a ton of water on us. What? We’ve got a “cyclone” sitting off our Eastern coastline. When did that happen? I’ve been watching Harvey. I had no idea until this thing was about to dump a ton of water on us!
Okay, who lives where there are no earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, or hurricanes? Because that’s where I want to go!