Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Houston-We-Have-a-Problem No Joke as Storm Hits

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Houston-We-Have-a-Problem No Joke as Storm Hits

Article excerpt

Houston may be a bit inland from hard hit Galveston, Texas -- even the daily paper left town there -- but it remained on a direct path for Hurricane Ike and flooding, damage and loss of power soon arrived.

On its super-busy Web site, the Houston Chronicle chronicles it all.

It also has video and blogs going strong.

On Saturday morning it reported that the storm surge in Galveston was less than many feared, at 15 feet. But there was damage in downtown Houston, millions had lost power locally with days of repair likely. A famous restaurant, Brennan's, was badly struck.

And it carried an editorial on the people who did NOT evacuate Galveston. Here is an excerpt.*Mayors of cities in the path of Hurricane Ike had a tough decision to make. If they ordered an evacuation too soon, they risked sending hundreds of thousands out of town for a false alarm. Waiting too long would mean ordering people out when it was too late to move so many cars quickly enough to get out of harm's way.

The people who were subject to an evacuation order had a much easier choice. They should have packed up and left town.

So, for those watching the storm from the safety of higher ground, it's unfathomable that so many people put themselves in extreme danger by staying behind in the areas where experts predicted with near certainty that Ike's impact would be catastrophic. …

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