Dolly Hits The Valley

It’s been strange, to say the least, seeing people I know (community leaders) from South Texas appear on television talking about the impact of Hurricane Dolly.

I may be just as strange to see landmarks I remember from living there underwater or damaged.

I’m glad to report my friends are safe and there is minimal damage to their homes. From my view, Dolly did a lot more damage to the Valley than Emily.

I talked to my friend, Phil, this morning. He was up around 5am CDT, looking for a cup of coffee. He doesn’t have power at his place. I felt like I had to talk fast because not having power means not being able to charge your cell phone. Phil doesn’t have a car charger either. I get one every time I get a new phone. Dang those Samsung people for making the Instinct with a proprietary connector and not USB. I have about a thousand USB wall chargers around my house.

Phil told me Harlingen for the most part weathered the storm. He said he saw a lot of palm tree fronds on the ground. The apartment building near his place sustained some damage to the roof. Part of the fence around my friend, Beau’s apartment suffered some damage. KGBT is reporting more than 150,000 customers in the Valley are without power. I know everyone at my former station did a lot of work and worked a lot of hours covering Hurricane Dolly. They have a lot of work ahead of them with the coverage of the aftermath.

Dolly was the real deal with winds strong enought to make the storm a Category 2 when it hit the Texas coast. I’ve tried to get through to Phil several times today. I’m sure he’s okay but his cell phone battery may not be charged. I hope he found a place to get a car charger.

I’m just glad everyone I know is okay,

Well, Hello Dolly!

That’s something I wouldn’t be saying if I still lived down in the Rio Grande Valley.

Right now, the storm on track to hit the area I once called home. I have several friends down there. They should be okay because it’s only forecasted to hit as a Category 1 storm. I looked on my old station’s website. The headline blares “Hurricane Warning In Effect.” It already lists where people can get sandbags. Home improvement stores are selling out of plywood to cover windows. Some people have put tape over their windows, even though they say it really doesn’t help.

The area is under a Hurricane Warning. If you don’t know what that means, it’s the National Weather Service’s message to you that you’d better prepare for a storm.

I only had one brush with a hurricane when I lived in Harlingen. Emily threatened the area for days only to wiggle south of the Valley. I can remember getting up to see what the next forecast was for the storm. I questioned the meteorologists at my station. I watched the latest models trying to figure out if my place would suffer damage.

My friend and former co-worker lived in Florida and went through some of the toughest hurricanes to hit the state. The pictures of his home will never leave me. There was nothing left. Everything was scattered everywhere. I remembered those pictures when I was down in the Valley. I didn’t want to come home after covering the storm only to see the damage it left.

Luckily, I just got to see a lot of rain and experience some heavy winds during Emily. The surfers loved the waves on South Padre Island. There wasn’t even that much damage to SPI.

I hope the storm passes and there is little or no damage and certainly no one gets hurt.

Blizzards or hurricanes? I’ll take a good ol’ fashioned Ohio blizzard anytime than to have to deal with the anxiety and the aftermath of a hurricane.