Humberto: The Day After

The Cheek fire station just outside Beaumont, Texas, took a beating after Hurricane Rita in September 2005.

One can hardly tell from riding around Beaumont, Texas, today that it was hit by a Category 1 hurricane in the early morning hours of the day before. That is likely not the case around the area where Humberto made landfall but the pictures and video I saw yesterday indicated we got a pretty good blow through here some 40 or so miles from the beach. I was, as I have mentioned, asleep through it all.

The lack of storm evidence was unlike when I returned to Beaumont a week after Hurricane Rita knocked the hell out the town and everything north and south for a hundred miles.

But the similarities of the two storms come together when you talk about inconvenience. Both storms caused some inconvenience. Several places I stopped at to grab lunch yesterday were not open. Today the Market Basket store on Phelan was awaiting a shipment of ice so I tried their store on 11th Street which had plenty.

Many are going through much more inconvenience than I am today. There are still tens of thousands of people without electricity. I am not one of them and my lights lit up just one day after returning from Rita evacuation. That is I suppose a benefit of living close to one of the city’s hospitals, the noisy helicopter ambulance not withstanding. I am sure the electric companies try to get the sick and injured some juice before many others. By contrast, my brother who lives up in the Pineywoods was without power for a month after Rita. Perhaps others won’t have to wait so long this time because of less damage. Convoys of electric power company trucks could be seen pouring into town yesterday and today so perhaps most people can watch the football games on Sunday.

As was the case with Rita there is really nothing for me to complain about. Rita was a lot more inconvenient but I didn’t lose anything in either storm nor did my relatives as far as I know. About half the carpet in my basement office downtown was soaked but luckily other people are paid — most likely not nearly enough — to deal with that.

Sometimes it takes a great force as that seen from nature to make you really appreciate your situation. In that respect, at least, hurricanes aren’t all bad.

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