While I sit here, enjoying my first morning of vacation (much needed, too), there is a clear monster churning in the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, its very outer-bands are coming toward Austin, hopefully bringing us so much needed rain.
All week long, I’ve had friends send me memes about the fact I’m a hurricane now and while it’s fun to poke fun at my name, the truth is people have died from this storm and with the strength this thing is packing, more will die. It’s a terrible thing to say, but the National Hurricane Center is now predicting storm surge 30 miles inland. It would be nothing short of a miracle for everyone to survive Hurricane Laura and this is 2020.
Three years ago yesterday, a different storm hit Texas – Hurricane Harvey. Being in Austin, just like with this storm, I found myself on the outskirts of Harvey. Austin was lucky to be on the west side – we saw plenty of rain and some flash flooding, but it’s hard to say I survived Harvey when it was just a lot of storms here in Austin.
There are moments I will never forget from Harvey. My apartment at the time had a little creek cut behind the building. Waking up at 1:30 in the morning to a flash flood warning because my phone was going off. Watching news coverage from Houston and one storm reporter telling people caught in a tornado warning, if they were planning to go to their attic to avoid the flood waters, to bring something they could use to break through the roof with so they didn’t get stuck and die.
Watching the moments where Harvey unexpectedly went from a category one to a category four. That wasn’t anticipated but Harvey did it (for reference, a few models have been trying to make Hurricane Laura a category four for a few days now and it looks like those models were right).
Even three months later when I went to Houston for my birthday to visit my friend, the exit and entrance ramps from highway to highway – Houston has some underground, you could still see the water stains from Harvey’s flooding back then.
I haven’t been to Downtown Houston since then but I know there are still people hurting. Pray for those, if you are the praying kind, especially for those east of Houston who are in the path of Laura today and tonight. If you are in the path, be safe. From the outskirts of a hurricane, I’m close enough to where I want to be and I hope everyone has a place to stay.