Students react to weather situation

12 years ago Comments Off on Students react to weather situation

Hurricane Rita hit the gulf coast region early in the morning hours on Saturday causing damage to parts of southeast Texas and most of the southwest part of Louisiana. Although the storm took a more easterly track causing most of Texas to be spared, Huntsville still was affected in a very big way.

“The wind blew and it rained but not as bad as I thought that it would,” said Leslie Howland, a senior at Sam Houston.

According to the Huntsville Item, officials in the Huntsville area were relieved that the damage was minimal compared to what had been predicted early in the week.

“After seeing that the hurricane was moving east, I wasn’t as nervous as I had been earlier in the week, [however] I did contemplate about going to Austin, but after not being able to get gas it made up my mind to stay here in town,” said Amanda Whited, a junior at SHSU.

This was on the minds of several Sam Houston students. Everyone was wondering if they should take the chance of leaving or just ride out the storm in our college town.

“I was prepared for the worst, [and] I expected my windows to break and to be without power and water for a couple of days,” said Howland.

Before the hurricane hit land, it was packing wind speeds of about 175 mph. When the projected path of Hurricane Rita was more westerly,

Huntsville was predicted to receive 80 to 100 mph winds, however, when the storm took a left more easterly route, Huntsville approximately received 25 to 35 mph north winds with wind gusts up to 50 mph.

“Some parts of Huntsville received up to 60 mph gusts,” said Bill Hecke, a local meteorologist.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday morning, Huntsville had only received .02 of an inch. “Most of the rain we received was during Saturday afternoon,” said Hecke.

Hecke said there was not much significant flooding because the ground was already dry and was willing to take in the rain.

“I thought [the town] did really well considering where the storm was,” said Hecke.

According to the Huntsville Item, parts of Huntsville received damage from fallen trees and power outages were reported in select areas around Walker County.

“The north side of town didn’t lose power, but the southern areas and the more rural areas outside of town lost power,” said Hecke.

Huntsville was a stopping ground for several thousand of the evacuees from the Galveston and Houston areas.

“Huntsville is not really a pedestrian town so it was really weird seeing so many people walking around,” said Whited.

Many of the evacuees were placed in shelters around town but a majority of the people settled in the Johnson Coliseum and the HKC.

The shelters are beginning to close and fallen tree clean up is underway.

Students have moved back towards the Huntsville area to resume their weekly routine of class and work schedules.