Heads up!

The headline in today’s Beaumont Enterprise says it all: “After Rita, even a faraway Tropical Storm Chris draws wary eyes.”

Only some of the older people in Southeast Texas remember a storm with the ferocity of Hurricane Rita, which scored a direct hit on the area in September 2005. Hurricane Audrey in the late 50s demolished Cameron, La., nearby, and killed several hundred people. Rita demolished Cameron again but fortunately casualties were few.

But this time, not only Cameron was smashed, but areas some 80-90 miles from the coast received severe damage. I know because I was about 80 miles from the coast when Rita hit and we received about the same wind force as where I live — Beaumont, Texas, — some 35-40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

So people are paying attention to Chris, which is good. Some are probably worrying too much, which is bad. Personally, surviving through the next couple of days is more on my mind that Chris. But I too will remain vigilant. I think Rita taught us a valuable lesson last year. It’s kind of like that old story about a guy hitting a mule on its head to get its attention. What story you ask? If you have to ask, never mind. Nonetheless, I think in these parts, tropical cyclones by and large have our attention.

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