Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Irresponsible Media

Here in the Houston area, there has been a very careful evacuation plan for those who are most vulnerable to Hurricane Ike and, in particular, those who are directly exposed to the massive storm surge that is expected. Houston is the 4th largest city in the nation, and nobody certainly wants a repeat of the disaster that resulted from the panicked evacuation during Hurricane Rita in 2005.

This afternoon, I saw some goon on CNN exhorting all of the 5-6 million residents in the Houston metro area to evacuate. "If my family were in Houston, I'd get them out now!" he said, in a panicked tone. This is the type of over media hype we don't need. The local government is carrying out a measured plan of evacuation to ensure that those who are most vulnerable are able to leave in as orderly a fashion as possible. Residents need to heed what their local government and county tells them to do, not some goon on CNN who thinks he knows the local situation.

If any of my readers are curious as to what's going on, I would encourage you to keep tabs online at a place like Weather Underground rather than CNN or FoxNews who love the sensational news a major storm always brings.
Remembering September 11th, 2001
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here --
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.

Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.

Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.

Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.
The prayer of Pope Benedict XVI during his recent visit to the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Hurricane Ike Update

The computer models appear to be converging just north of Matagorda Bay for landfall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Ike is getting close. Coastal counties up and down the coast have already issued mandatory evacuations. The computer models have been varying wildly over the last 24 hours, so at this point, the location at which Ike will make landfall is still not certain. Most likely, it will hit between Corpus Christi and Houston on Friday night/Saturday morning. While coastal communities are fleeing, many folks around here don't seem to be taking it too seriously. History has shown, of course, the folly of that line of thinking. I should note, however, that the evacuation for Hurricane Rita in 2005 was its own disaster that resulted in loss of life. We are inland quite a ways, and while our county isn't technically an "evacuation county", we can still expect hurricane force winds and a lot of rain depending upon the location of landfall.

One little scary bit: Google Maps currently has Ike going directly over my office:

View Larger Map

NHC and Weather Underground aren't that precise :) Oh, and I'd like to plug the blog of Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground.


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