Harvey’s path of destruction not over

As many of us in Atascosa County braced ourselves for Hurricane Harvey, we got off easy. And I mean, very easy.

Seeing the destruction in Rockport, Fulton and Port Aransas is sickening to view.

These are people’s homes, businesses, vehicles and boats that have been thrashed about and basically leveled in some areas.

Thankfully our family and friends in the coastal region are safe and most have had minimal damage thus far.

And then there’s the flooding and rain in Houston. It still has not let up as I write this on Monday.

A Houston friend of mine shared that they average about 47 inches a year and they are almost there in just two days. Another weather report says that they have received over six TRILLION gallons of water.

As I scroll through the various photos and comments of folks who have lost everything, who are still unsure if they will be safe and some may not even have a job to go to anymore – I have to pause and say a prayer for all. We are lucky that we weren’t hit like it was predicted … this time.

I was in the third grade when Beulah hit Texas almost 50 years ago. And while I don’t remember being scared of the weather, I do remember hanging out with my relatives from the valley who retreated north to stay with my grandparents. We took food to help out and I remember going to the fire station with my dad to deliver items to the evacuees.

Water rose to my grandparent’s back door on Main Street, next to the school. Our grocery store had water lapping at the east delivery door – Hoelscher’s and Kadobe’s would certainly be in harm’s way – hence their hefty foundations.

I so respect weather. It can change so abruptly. My dad hammered it in my head to never drive through water – especially if you had no clue of its depth. The phrase “Turn around, don’t drown” is certainly one to remember in times like this.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I really was prepared for a full blown emergency.

But the proper time to prepare for a hurricane is when there ISN’T one.

Here are a few tips from ready.gov. Please visit this site for more tips.

Basic Preparedness Tips

•Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

•Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.

•If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

•Make a family emergency communication plan.

•Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

The way I see it, the outpouring of assistance – both physically, emotionally, monetarily and through donated items – is what makes us a caring community … and state. I’m so proud that so many volunteered at the local shelters and traveled to the coast to assist those in need. Please see our coverage in this week’s edition.

SUE BROWN  is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at sbrown@pleasantonexpress.com or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.

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