Monday, October 03, 2005

Rita Reflections

My blogging has been light the last little while. I've had company at the house. Friends, actually he is an old friend and she is a new friend, that evacuated from Orange, Texas in front of Hurricane Rita.

Normally when friends visit, they stay a couple of days, cook out, consume some adult beverages, talk a little politics and a little shop, and just generally visit. And we did all of that. But there is a strange tension in the air when your visitors don't know the status of their belongings, their jobs, and their pets are boarded several hundred miles away. It's just, well, a little uncomfortable.

The news is fading about rescue and clean up efforts for Katrina and Rita. Everyone knows about New Orleans, but few realize there are still those displaced by Rita that have yet to go home. Power has not yet been fully restored to the areas between Beaumont and Lake Charles, LA. Talking about it made me wince a bit. It's where I was fifteen years ago.

I finally talked to my brother who is a detective in Houston. Wow, what a story. The Houston PD was ordered to stay during Rita. He sent the family, as I suspected, to Austin to "visit" her folks. The three hour drive took fourteen hours. She was lucky.

The detectives and swat teams were boarded at some fancy hotel in downtown Houston, so they were'nt too inconvenienced :-) My brother spent considerable time guarding and helping to evacuate Katrina folks. He said there were a lot of poor, but most were just plain working folks like anybody. He in essence gave the same stories as I posted below. He was able to re-unite a mother and son seperated in the frantic times of evacuation. He said that was pretty cool. What is sad, is yes, there were looters ... 99% of whom were from New Orleans, and are now in the Harris County jail.

My brother is now back at his normal job of determining who caused the early demise of various Houston residents, and family is back in place. The schools have re-opened.

I wish I could say that the more severely hit portions of Texas had as happy an ending. When I told him my house guests were from Orange, he just grunted "oh, man..." My friends are teachers (and liberals ...) at the high school there. Hopefully, classes will resume Oct 10. I'm not sure if they will be there or not; they were submitting resume's at a pretty good clip last week.

As you guys are madly reading and posting about the new SCOTUS nominee (a Texan, of course), say a little prayer for those still displaced, for those that still don't know what life is going to throw at them as soon as tomorrow.

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