This Year's Hurricane Season, A Recipe For Complacency?
by: Bill Stamps, October 31, 2011 4:10:00 pm
There have been 18 named storms this year. But only three have hit the U.S coast. And if you’re thinking it was a slow year for the Houston Galveston area, Jill Hasling with the weather research centers says only one named storm hit Texas.
"We had Don early in the season and then Lee, which hit South Texas. We had Tropical Storm Lee, which made landfall in Louisiana and of course we had Hurricane Irene go up the East Coast and was pretty devastating. So I don’t think you could say it was not busy for the East Coast."
Hasling says no one ever wants a big storm to hit their area, but this year the extra precipitation would have been nice.
"I think everybody was praying for a tropical system to come in and give us some relief from the drought."
Every year in June at the start of hurricane season county officials warn the public to take time and prepare themselves, should a big storm hit, knocking out power and restricting access to food. I asked Francisco Sanchez with Harris County Emergency Management if they’re worried about the public getting complacent.
"It’s easy to let our guards down when we haven’t been affected by a hurricane, but we need to remember that getting ready for a hurricane, getting a kit, making a plan and staying informed keeps us not prepared just for hurricanes but any other type of disaster that we might face as well."
Some of those other disasters he’s talking about include floods and even the wildfires that struck this summer. But even if that emergency kit sits in the garage for a few years, Sanchez say at some point it’s bound to come in handy.
"The reality is, we’re going to get struck by a hurricane at some point. It wasn’t this season. I hope it’s not next year or the year after. I hope it’s not anytime soon. But we are a prime hurricane landing zone."
This is Meteorologist Hasling again.
"Hurricanes do go in cycles. You go through decades where you have very busy storms, a lot of storms in the Gulf of Mexico and then you have a period of time where they go up the East Coast and then back to the Gulf of Mexico. They look like they range in ten year periods. So it’s just our turn to have a little bit of relief. It’s just don’t’ want it to take all our moisture away. We could use those nice tropical rains that come with the southeast monsoons in the summer, but we just didn’t get that this year."
The hurricane season officially ends November 30th.