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October 6, 2005

Don't forget Rita

If you're relying solely on the national news, you'd think that the second hurricane that passed through last month was practically a non-event. But that was not the case. While it paled in comparison to what Katrina did to New Orleans, Rita really did a number on Beaumont and the surrounding area, where Josie grew up and where all of her family still lives. It was two weeks ago today that they evacuated ahead of the storm to the relative safety of Silsbee about 30 miles farther inland. They rode out the storm there, but here we are two weeks out and they are still not home. They are allowed home now, but the electricity is still off.

A few days after the storm passed when it was clear that normal wasn't going to return soon, they all, Jud, Joyce, Audrey and their 4 collective dogs, re-evacuated, this time to Erin's house in Friendswood south of Houston. They've been there ever since. Fortunately, Joyce's house and Jud's house were both OK, just a lot of debris from trees being knocked down. Audrey's house in Silsbee is also OK, but it doesn't have electricity yet either.

If you want to read more about it, the Beaumont newspaper has been our best source of information. From that, we heard about this little tidbit regarding the mosquito problem that is escalating:

According to Jefferson County Commissioner Mark Domingue, the current landing rate is between 25 and 55 per minute, well above the 10 that FEMA considers a serious problem.

He went on to add:

"I have seen as many as 200 per minute," he said. "That's when you look down at your legs, and it looks like you're growing fur."

Look, if you're from the area or have been to the area, you probably know that SE Texas is fairly renowned for mosquitoes. It's not something you usually hear people complaining about since it is such a given. So when you do hear complaints, much less newspaper articles, about it being a problem, wow, that is very telling.

Hang in there, all of you. Better times (and hopefully electricity and cooler mosquito-killing weather) are a-coming.

Posted by Greg on October 6, 2005 10:55 AM

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