I've always loved inclement weather. As Garbage would put it, "I'm only happy when it rains." The seven years I spent in sunny Southern California were nice all right, but it sure got boring after a while.
I recall being angry at my parents for not allowing me to play outside during Hurricane Carla. I did get to play outside when Alecia came through in 1983. I made it into the foyer of an old brick church in my neighborhood and watched tree limbs moving horizontally. It was awesome, in the original intent of the word. Stupid as well, but I digress.
It is 8 am Thursday morning and we are about to head west to San Antonio until this thing is over. I've been glued to the weather channel and checking the NOAA alerts on their site every six hours or so. The track has shifted from south of the city to just east and north, good for us, bad for Louisiana. The winds have pegged the meter at 175 mph.
This is the second Category 5 of the year. Whether you think it's global warming, or the 10,000 climactic cycle of calm ending, or God's will, things are different now than they were ten years ago. The weather is more threatening and we're not adapting. Rebuild that which is repeatedly flattened!? Isn't that one definition of insanity - repeating the same actions expecting different results?
I remember shots of Andrew and the total devastation and clearly anything in the way this time will also be flattened. The government authorities, especially the Galveston and Houston mayors, have done a better job this time. As usual it seems, it took a horde of deaths for the government to get its act together.
The list is endless, fire escapes mandated after the Triangle Waist Company fire in Manhattan that burned to death 146 young women, doors that open out after 300 die at the Coconut Grove, and now we get the infirm out after 35 die in Katrina. Otherwise intelligent people allowing others to die because... what... we didn't think of it? But I digress again.
Here's what I'm putting off I guess. I'm scared. Not for my safety as I'll be long gone. I'm scared for my city, scared for the people I know who are staying. They have nowhere to go. There's a good chance they really will have nowhere to go in about 48 hours. I'm scared of what I'll be coming back to, or never coming back to again, we'll see.