Today, Rice, UTH, and many other places in Houston were closed in preparation of the tropical storm Edouard. This was the first storm since Rita that was expected to hit the Houston area directly, although it never reached the sustained winds speeds of a hurricane.
It remained a tropical storm, not a category 1 hurricane, with sustained wind speeds of about 65 mph. A hurricane has sustained wind speeds of 75 mph or more, and Rita made landfall with winds almost twice as fast, at 115 mph. Edouard also veered to the East and hit the coast near High Island, Texas, not in Galveston.
Overall, this storm was far less dangerous than predicted. Today was just a rainy day, and in fact not even the worst, even when compared to regular thunderstorms. There was a lot of media attention, and perhaps more caution than necessary, but that’s still a good thing. I got the impression that feelings of preparedness and control permeated the public, I did not get a sense of panic (except from some people on the MyFoxHouston.com chat who lived in Pasadena, feared a storm surge and had never learned to swim). It’s definitely better that people over-prepared for this storm and now have supplies that they didn’t need. But it’s still early in the hurricane season, so this “storm drill” may have been useful.
I haven’t written much in the past few days. I spent most of my time reworking the lecture notes for COMP 202, the course I’ll be teaching next semester.