Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quote for the Day

Dolly made landfall about 1 p.m. today as a Category 2, having strengthened just enough prior to landfall; but almost immediately weakened again to a strong Category 1.

Category, schmategory - you never want to take a hurricane right in the kisser.

South Padre Island did. Luckily, we had oodles of warning, as Dolly came ashore after a leisurely saunter across the Gulf on a steadfast course. The Rio Grande Valley has been making preparations for days. No mandatory evacuations were ordered, although the worst effects of the storm are yet to come, in the form of flooding - this very slow-moving storm is lingering long enough to dump massive amounts of rain; and this is where people are really going to need assistance. We even had a little spinoff band of rainfall in Austin late this afternoon - and oh my gosh, you guys. Watching this storm unfold, keeping a close eye on the radar, following all the bulletins and really seeing all the affected areas, has led me to one inescapable conclusion:

Weather is big.

That is not the quote for the day. The quote for the day comes from an emergency response official this afternoon. As Dolly made her final approach this morning, the Queen Isabella causeway - the only connector between South Padre Island and the mainland - was closed due to, well, very high winds, you know. Without a mandatory evacuation in effect, many residents and summer vacationers had elected to weather the storm in their homes, condos and hotels. We watched footage this afternoon of some of them frolicking on the beach as the eye of the storm passed over. NWS told them not to, but did they listen? Noooooo! Dolly rolled through, bitch-slapped a few trees and buildings and street signs around, and knocked out the power. Only one serious injury has been reported, thank God, and the victim is being treated and is expected to recover. The causeway will reopen as soon as it's cleared of debris and declared safe for traffic.

"We have some people who stayed behind on the Island," remarked the official mildly, "who would now like to leave."

Cry me a hurricane!



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