Thursday, August 27, 2020

Laura Gave Houston a Free Pass

Lake Charles, Louisiana 

 Hurricane Laura finally made her turn slightly to the north that some forecasters were expecting, and that turned out to give the storm  enough of an angle into extreme southwest Louisiana that the Houston area was hardly impacted at all. I think Galveston had a little street flooding, but that was about it even that close to the Gulf. I live in one of Houston's northern suburbs, and up here we couldn't even tell that anything was going on.

I'm equally amazed at how tightly packed the eye of the hurricane has remained even after reaching land. That meant that the worst of the winds and rain did not impact nearly as wide an area as most hurricanes I've experienced in the past. Laura followed, and continues to follow, pretty much a straight line up through Louisiana. It will be curving eastward somewhere in Arkansas and will bring heavy rains eastward from there. It appears that even when Laura reaches Shreveport, she will still be categorized as a Category 1 storm.

After a lifetime of watching and living through hurricanes, I'm still surprised by their unpredictability even with today's high-tech tools to predict their paths. Twice in the past, I've even evacuated to areas for safety that unexpectedly turned out to be directly in the path of a hurricane, leaving the home we evacuated from high and dry.

My heart goes out to my friends and family in Louisiana who took, and are still taking, the brunt of this one. Thankfully, Laura is moving much faster than recent hurricanes, and that doesn't give her the time to drop torrential rains for hours and hours on the same area. The winds are doing terrible damage, but at least most families won't have to deal with horrendous flooding before they start the massive clean-up they will be facing now. Coastal areas, of course, did suffer flooding from rising tide levels that were pushed by the storm's 150 mph winds.

Keep everyone in your prayers. They need them right now.

16 comments:

  1. Glad your area was spared this time, Sam. We were lucky here in the Shreveport/Bossier area as the path veered east. Thankful for our miss, but have friends who will be faced with damage and clean up. So yes, keeping those who have dealt with the worst in prayers.

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    1. I'm happy to hear that you guys got a reprieve, Jen. These things are so unpredictable that you don't know where they are going to end up until they get there. The weather people are already talking up the new depression that's appeared off the coast of Africa, saying there's a 20% chance that one will enter the Gulf next. Sometimes I think they love "selling" anxiety.

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  2. Good to know it passed you by. I live inland from the Chesapeake Bay- just far enough that when hurricanes and tropical storms pass by on the coast we get heavy rain and wind, nothing worse than a few hours' power outage, once half a tree fell across our driveway. They can be scary though, and still make me nervous, even though I don't live in an evacuation or flood zone.

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    1. You do sort of learn to live with them, don't you? I suppose that's a natural reaction, but it gets people so complacent sometimes that they get themselves into real trouble by feeling overconfident. We don't evacuate anymore, but being about 60 miles north of the Gulf, I feel our chances are better just staying home rather than getting involved in a massive migration farther north.

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  3. Glad you avoided the worst of this one! What will 2020 throw at us next?

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    1. Sometimes you get lucky...what's next? There is already at least one new storm beginning to brew just off the coast of Africa. They are saying a 20% chance that it will make it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  4. Really relieved to hear your news! I've been thinking about you as I watched the news and breathed a sigh of relief when they said it had been downgraded to a tropical storm, although that's bad enough and I feel for the people of Louisiana. I'm not sure I could ever learn to live with hurricanes but if you have no choice because of where you live then that's just the way it is I assume. Stay safe, Sam.

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    1. Cath, if you grow up around hurricanes the way that people in this part of the US have, you just don't think about it much before it appears to be an imminent threat. The first hurricane I personally remember experiencing happened in 1957, so there have been a lot of them in my lifetime.

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  5. Thank goodness; Houston has had its share of weather disasters over the years.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. We surely have had some bad ones in recent years, so I was dreading this one more than usual. We used to get a 15-20 year break in between storms that actually struck Houston. We don't seem to get much of a break at all in the last decade or so.

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  6. Such an awful thing to go through. I don't think I could live with the fear. It must be even worse than ever because of what people have been going through for all these months. So thankful you are alright.

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    1. It just seems like 2020 is piling on now, Nan, and that doesn't seem fair anymore. Everyone I know is so stressed these days that I'm wondering if 2020 is going to leave some permanent scars on all of us.

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    2. I'm sure they will. We all work hard to make our granddaughter's life as close to normal as possible, and hoping it will just be another memory for her - the year of months of no school and wearing masks.
      Oh, and by the way, I meant to say when I saw the title of this on my blog list, I thought it was going to be about Laura Bush and books! haha

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    3. Your take on the post title is funny, Nan. It makes perfect sense but I never thought of it that way. :-)

      2020 has ruined my granddaughter's senior year at Texas A&M and my grandson's senior year in high school. Now, if the Hospice people are correct, it is about to ruin my father's funeral, and has already kept him isolated from family since late March. What did Queen Elizabeth one time call her horrible year? I can't remember the term she used, but whatever it was, 2020 is that in spades.

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    4. My annus horribilis.
      I have been wondering about your father. I haven't been around to blogs as much as I'd wanted, and I wondered if I missed a mention on a recent post. I'm so sorry. I hope he hasn't been in too much pain. And I feel badly for the kids.

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    5. Coincidentally, I just posted about him a few minutes ago, Nan. He died peacefully this afternoon about 3:15 with Cajun music playing softly at his bedside. Now, just as I feared, there is still no power in the town he will be put to rest in. It just keeps coming...

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