Friday, September 23, 2005

Houston: The Calm Before the Storm, part deux

The Front Page of today’s Houston Chronicle shows a man with his head in his hands, sitting on the hood of his car in a sea of cars snarled in traffic in the Great Gulf Coast Exodus away from Hurricane Rita. The national networks are focused on only the negative side of this story, based on the angles I’ve seen in the mainstream media, and the questions I’ve overheard reporters asking officials.

The tragic bus fire in Ennis is a story that you cannot ignore. There is no positive take on this, save for the heroics of the driver and rescuers who tried in vain to save the passengers.

I want to publicly say how proud I am of Texas’ preparations and execution of the various county and city emergency plans that have been set into motion. What a stark contrast in terms of managerial style, confidence, and accountability we’ve seen in the governors of Louisiana and Texas, the county officials in those states, and the mayors of New Orleans and Houston.

That’s not meant to rub anyone’s nose in the dirt, but I believe Gov. Rick Perry, County Judge Bob Eckels, and Mayor Bill White have conducted an effective evacuation of most of 2.5-million Houstonians from the surrounding areas. You can’t help but compare the New Orleans debacle with the Houston example of preparedness, and the reinforcement of Texas’ tradition self reliance and independence.

That being said, it’s time to hunker down.
It’s hazily sunny this morning…still time to get out and mow the lawn before the storm hits.

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