Hurricane season upon us again

By John Toth

It’s another hurricane season, and I hope we get lucky again.

For the last few years, this area of the Texas Gulf Coast has been spared the wrath of a major storm. I certainly don’t wish harm on others, but I also don’t want to deal with a hurricane.

Have you noticed that a lot of the storms have been turning towards the Northeast? There is a scientific explanation for this. I won’t go into it here, but enough said that a lot of them turned out into the Atlantic Ocean and just died off.

Although Hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until Nov. 1, the last two weeks in September are when a monster storm is likely to develop. It could happen anytime during the season (like Sandy last year), but if we clear those few weeks in September, the chances of getting hit by a hurricane greatly decrease.

So, this year I promise to be more prepared. I am actually planning to take the generator I bought a couple of years ago out of the box and try it out. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, anyway. I hope it still works. If not, it’s not because it’s been used a lot.

Unless we get a Category 3 or higher, I am not going anywhere, although another week in Bandera does look inviting.

That’s where we evacuated in 2005 and 2008. The 2005 evacuation was really screwed up, as many of you remember. I took the back roads and made it to our Hill Country safe haven in nine hours. It normally takes about six.

My father-in-law and his wife were in Houston traffic for 30 hours. That was a nightmare. More people died evacuating than the number of people killed by the storm.

Please, Houston hurricane evacuation officials, do not call for an evacuation of that city again before we get a chance to leave south of you.

Better yet, do not call for an evacuation. Everyone in that city will be fine sheltering in place. By the time the hurricane reaches up there, it will lose a lot of its punch.

Then, all they have to worry about is the flooding, but Houstonians are used to flooding. It happens each time it rains a lot there. The city wasn’t built with drainage in mind.

In 2008, things went better. No huge traffic jams. Made it to Bandera and had a good time with the family.

That is a nice area up there near San Antonio, in the middle of the Hill Country. We need to go back there one time when there is no hurricane.
Have you noticed that many in the television news business grandstand when a hurricane has a chance of striking here? They scare the daylights out of you, if you let them.

Hype is the name of the game, and they play it well.

I usually rely on websites and computer predictions put out by the National Hurricane Center.

But all this should be academic, if the hurricanes again make landfall in Mexico, or die out in the Atlantic.

Then, we can just enjoy the hot Gulf Coast summer, like last year.

I’m not making light of hurricane threats. Obviously, make sure that you and your family are safe, and evacuate low-lying areas because they are prone to flooding.

But whatever you do, stay out of Houston if you decide to leave. Google maps can show you how to avoid that city.

Houstonians don’t worry about this as much as we do. To them, hurricane evacuation is just another rush hour.