Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rick Perry and Lyda Ann Thomas plan to avoid pitfalls of Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin

The city of Galveston is planning to announce a voluntary evacuation this afternoon at 2:00 PM if Tropical Storm Rita enters the gulf with the potential to become a Category 3 hurricane. Texas Governor Rick Perry has recalled Texas National Guard and emergency workers currently helping in Louisiana and Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has arranged for more than 80 city and school district buses to be ready at 10:00 AM on Wednesday to assist in the evacuation of people without transportation.

Galveston is not anywhere near as large as New Orleans but the city has suffered from hurricanes before. 105 years ago, almost to the day, the Category 4 Galveston Hurricane struck the island on September 8, 1900 completely destroying the city. The lack of advanced warning killed 6,000 people on the island alone and between 8,000 and 12,000 total in it's path making it the deadliest disaster in American history. Some say that if not for the hurricane, Galveston would have grown into an even larger sea port rivaling the importance of New Orleans.

Without a doubt, recent history is playing a very big part of this early preparation and although there is a lot of time for Rita to change course, no city or state government wants to be responsible for the lack of preparedness exhibited by Louisiana state and city officials Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin. They learned the hard way and so Texas governments don't want to repeat their mistakes.

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