Hurricane Gustav came and went exactly two weeks ago. Though there was damage, it mostly left a lot of inconvenienced, unhappy people. Well over 2 million people were evacuated four days ahead of the storm that made landfall with a much over-estimated intensity. The vast majority of people who left their homes would have been fine staying. Unfortunately, that attitude carried forward. This morning, Hurricane Ike hit Texas and Louisiana with a force that stretched 500 miles. Less than half the number of people who evacuated for Gustav left for Ike, despite mandatory orders to do so. It will be days before the damage is known.
On a personal - and much less devastating note - Hurricane Ike is projected to pass through Tyler today. It is to bring wind gusts of 60-70 miles per hour and last for several hours as it moves slowly through Texas. This will be a Tropical Storm (hopefully - it is currently still a hurricane), and the residents of Tyler were given orders to prepare yesterday. Anyone living in mobile homes were evacuated. All outdoor furniture had to be brought in and low hanging limbs had to be removed from trees. The IRS extended the September 15 deadline to September 22 for all areas to be affected and Tyler was included. Tyler was actually declared to be in a state of national emergency. Realistically, though, as long they are inside, the residents of Tyler are in no danger. There will likely be the convenience of electricity being out, but we will be fine. It was a bit nerve-racking, however, to be told to prepare for a storm. Having always lived in the city that people evacuated TO, watching people evacuate FROM our town was a little unsettling.