Well, we didn't exactly blow away in the remnants of Hurricane Ike. I hear tell there was some rain in certain parts of town, but not in our backyard. There were a few clouds and a nice breeze - that's it. Sat and watched the devastation happening live on MSNBC, CNN and the Weather Channel. It bothers me that they put live humans out there in harm's way well beyond the time when they should be sheltered. But there they are, standing in water in the driving rain and wind. How about using an inanimate object -- a mannequin in a raincoat, a scarecrow with a flood gauge? That would take away the drama and reality-TV aspect of it, wouldn't it? The danger creates drama. I blogged this back right before Katrina hit, and I may have coined the term "Disastertainment" (which I am surprised someone else didn't also come up with and start using. I think it's a good word for it. Colbert?). And of course they have their special graphics and music for each disaster.
There was one reporter standing on the beach (forgot which channel) who wanted the camera turned on some washed up debris (a few feet from where he was standing) where there was a BIG snake coiled. The anchor informed him that it was a rattlesnake. Then he said "wait, there's another critter of some kind... I think it's a porcupine," and I'm thinking "not likely a porcupine." They showed it on camera where the anchor confirmed that it was a rat trying to use a piece of wood as a raft. The reporter responded with "OK, looks like these animals are trying to find some shelter and maybe we should do the same." They are saying no deaths in Galveston itself, but there were so many houses that simply were washed out to sea... well, I hope they are right.
Lots of activities in Austin were postponed, including the big UT-Arkansas football game, which they rescheduled for ACL weekend (Sep 27) -- so if you have a spare room/closet/doghouse to rent out, you can probably do it that day, as there aren't enough hotel rooms available in town (plus we are hosting many evacuees from Ike, some of which are using hotels and might be doing that for awhile). I was wondering how a hotel deals with a situation like that... what if you show up on the 27th and the hotel has already given the rooms to evacuees who got there first and are still using them? Do they make them leave? Or are you out of luck? I can't remember what happened when Katrina and Rita hit.