Ft Bend..

Out here in far NorthEast Ft. Bend County (right by the Harris County line), the winds aren’t really all that heavy. In fact, I’d be standing around in the road, if it wasn’t for the steady drizzle falling down on me every time I step off the porch. To be honest, I can’t even tell that it’s raining just by looking out off the front porch. Standing outside smoking a cigarette, earlier, it felt almost exactly like it does when Houston’s two-week tornado season comes a calling in late October/early November. It felt like a quick, but bad, storm was on its way in. Of course, it’s felt much like that, all day. Perhaps it’s the fact that this is occuring in cover of dark that makes it seem more… sinister.

I’m no longer worried about the effects of the storm, and – in fact – am in the process of getting ready to try and get a few hours sleep. I’ve left word with my parents to awaken me should the power go off, the winds kick up heavy and steady, or the weather get frighteningly bad. Somehow, I doubt I’ll be woken up. After all of the preperation, the high anxiety, the worry, and the – mentioned once again – exhaustive preperation, I feel almost gipped that I’ll likely be sleeping through the night. A good portion of me wants to see this hurricane come towards Houston, just to make this all worthwhile. An even larger portion of me wants to see some major weather events in Houston, just so that when the next one comes, people won’t be slow in responding thinking it would just be “another Rita,” and eventually move off, away from us. Of course a tiny portion (and I do mean, tiny) of me is glad that the storm has moved on to the east, and is no longer heavily threatening our area.

Time to get some sleep, at least until the wind kicks up. Supposedly, we’re still expecting winds around 60mph, sustained, for Ft. Bend County (according to the 8pm NWS reports), but I’m wondering when.

3 Comments so far

  1. Ron Franscell (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 10:02 pm

    From newspaper editor Ron Franscell of Beaumont Enterprise

    BEAUMONT, TX, 9:45 p.m.: The squalls have arrived. Winds are steadily increasing, the lights flicker occasionally, rain drums an incessant bass line against the masonry skin of our building, the windows bulge with every gust, a transformer on the corner detonates in a shower of sparks … and we’re only in the tune-up. The prelude comes in a few hours, and the violent first movement a few hours after that.

    We have taken a head count and everyone is safe. Now that night has fallen, we can take stock and plan, to some degree, the next move. As stories are filed, they are edited and quickly posted at our Web site and sent to our shadow desk in Houston for the paper-newspaper that will come out tomorrow just hours after Rita makes landfall. We shifted our normal morning cycle to midday so the newspaper could contain some of the first daylight images of Rita’s wrath.

    Galveston’s electricity has been dead more than an hour, but we’re still on here. We’ve adopted the rhythms of impending calamity, like a guy with exactly 12 minutes to live. We get a series of little shots to get this right, and each one presents a new challenge. We are one a short runway and there’s no scrubbing the take-off.

    Tonight, a Time Magazine reporter asked me if I was afraid. I am, a little. But it’s more a tool than a handicap. It’s how I know I haven’t lapsed into a mechanical existence. It’s the pulse of my survival instinct. And it’s not always a fear of the things I can’t control; it is also a fear of failing at the things I can control.

    On a newsroom bulletin board — the old-fashioned kind made of cork — somebody posted an advisory note that ran on the New York Times news wire tonight: Editors, we commend to your attention storm coverage from New York Times News Service partner news organizations, including Hearst Newspapers and Cox News Service, but especially articles from The Houston Chronicle and The Beaumont Enterprise, two Hearst papers in the path of Hurricane Rita. Their unique perspectives lend an authenticity to storm stories that cannot be matched.

    Spirits rose. Somebody is seeing. Still, I’m not sure why we think we might deflect a 500-mile wide hurricane by throwing a scrap of paper worth 50 cents at it. Maybe it’s like some many things we do in life: It just makes us feel that we did something.

    I’m not inclined to give it too much thought tonight. Maybe another time, after the pieces are picked up.
    The lights went out in Galveston an hour ago, but they’re still on here, so there’s a precious moment to do one more thing. Post a blog entry. Visit one of the frightened dogs somebody bivouacked in the darkroom. Answer an e-mail from a concerned friend. Call my son in Wyoming and reassure him that we’ll be OK. The hard work will be sleeping.

  2. tallulah (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 10:23 pm

    completely random question – where in houston are those giant letter blocks? the ones in the picture on the title… 7th from the left.


  3. katya (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 11:36 pm

    Tallulah – those letter blocks are near the theater district downtown (near the fountains). I walked to the little park when I was waiting for a show at the Angelika one afternoon and shot them. There’s actually a bunch of interesting stuff there – the fountains, teeny boppers skateboarding, etc.

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