This is not meant to be a political post and, in fact, I’m going to turn comments off – not because I don’t care what you think or because I don’t want you to be able to voice your opinion, but because this is one of those topics where we all have our opinions and I don’t want hatred and misunderstanding. Feel free to send me an email with your thoughts.
I do not see it as unkind or uncaring when people question why folks were not asked to evacuate Houston. In this country, we are still entitled to voice our opinions. Because my opinion may differ from yours does not mean I am unkind or uncaring. I have heard very valid arguments from people explaining why folks were not asked to evacuate and why folks should have been asked to evacuate.
For me, and I probably think differently from many of you, a scary time is when we take the word of government officials without ever asking questions. May we never lose the ability to think for ourselves and make the decisions we need to make based on what’s right for us and not based on what someone else is telling us. I’m afraid too many of us have so much going on in our lives these days that we turn the TV, listen to a quick blurb on the TV, listen to what a few “leaders” are saying and get on with our day.
I heard the Texas governor yesterday say, when asked about evacuation, that that is behind us now. All we can do is go forward.
I do not live in Houston. I will never live in a city. Anything I can say about what should or should not have been done is speculation . . not being unkind! I did grow up near the gulf coast of Louisiana having spent the first 43 years of my life there so I’ve been through a hurricane or two, and through many threats of a hurricane.
Vince and I were talking about what circumstances here would cause us to evacuate. We both decided that 50″ of rain would not cause flooding at our house. I’m sure many people in Houston thought the same thing . . never happened before . . an unimaginable amount of rain. I kept saying to Vince . . more than 30″ of rain and all of Houston is going to be underwater. He, being a civil engineer, kept saying “I’m sure they’ve planned for these kinds of issues before and they know what the city can take and what it can’t.”
I understand the traffic issues of getting out of Houston but I can think of several scenarios where any large city could need to be evacuated and at this point, if someone is telling me it’s impossible to evacuate my city in 3+ days . . I think I might be looking for a new place to live. With advance warning, fuel trucks could have been pre-positioned along evacuation routes, National Guard could be in place to help with traffic issues and contraflow could be instituted. Instead of saying “It didn’t work for Rita evacuations so we’re never going to do it again!”, why not say “We learned lessons with Rita evacuations so we can do it differently this time!”
People tell me there were 100 people who died during Rita evacuations and that was a big reason for many saying not to evacuate. I just read on the news that the police chief said “I’m really worried about how many bodies we’re going to find.” I pray he’s wrong!
Again, I’m being an armchair quarterback. We all have opinions and because mine is different from yours does not mean I’m being unkind. On a totally different note but to me, it’s similar. When I’m teaching someone to knit, when they show me their first piece, I am always proud of them but if I give them pointers on things I see that they could do differently next time, that does not mean I’m being unkind . . it means I’m trying to help and improve their skills.
Having said all that, my family is all in Lake Charles, LA. They’re expecting enough rain to cause similar issues there. Not my parents, not my sister, not my niece and her family – not one of them left.
The bottom line for me is this: How many people are sitting in shelters this morning wishing they had evacuated? How many people are sitting in shelters thankful that they stayed in their home? It can’t be changed . . what’s done is done. My heart breaks for every one of them – those who left and are watching and knowing they’re losing everything .. and those stuck in shelters and have no idea when they’ll get out and they’re losing everything . . there is just no good news for the Houston residents right now. Hopefully at least something has been or will be learned from this experience.
They’re saying this morning that dams are spilling over this morning and mandatory evacuations order are being given for some areas. Can you imagine trying to get people out of those already flooded areas? Can you imagine being in that area? Those people may not have power by now. Their cell phones may be dead. They only know what they’re hearing from whomever shares what they’ve heard and we all know how crazy things develop when spread by word of mouth. There’s not a single news cast that I watch that I don’t walk away with tears streaming down my face . . because I see myself in the position of those in the flood or worse, the granny whose kids are in that flood. A very dear friend here has kids and a granddaughter who are there. They were fine yesterday . . with the news I’m hearing today, I’m not sure they’re still going to be ok in their home. My heart breaks for her. She’s here and cannot even get to them . . no matter how hard they try.
May we never lose our ability to express our opinion and may we never find ourselves thinking that others are wrong because they disagree with us. May we all learn to take constructive criticism without getting angry. May we all remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I will always respect your opinion and your right to disagree with me. Again, comments are turned off NOT because I don’t want to hear what you think, but because I do not want arguing and hard feelings with each other on here. Feel free to write me . . click on “contact” in the above right corner.