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Friday, August 29, 2008

GUSTAV - Reporting From the Front Lines of the Texas Coast

I can see why the 1900 Galveston hurricane killed thousands. Looking out my window now overlooking Clear Lake -- and the bridge to Galveston Bay -- all I see is bright friendly sun and flat, calm water. There is absolutely no hint that a killer is coming our way in less than 3 days.

Without a satellite to give warning, we’d be sitting ducks just like the citizens in Galveston going about their business in 1900 without a clue that in hours over 6,000 of them would drown.

So would today’s citizens without that technology to warn us.

Yet our leadership actually has jeopardized this vital early warning system by failing to get new weather satellites in position BEFORE the old ones fail, which have a predictable life span. What kind of priority is that? We are close to losing our vital 'eyes in the sky' protecting us.

Again, it is a failure to think ahead!

Good leadership would not delay funding something so vital to the lives of millions of people living near the American Gulf and East coasts that are suddenly facing multiple storms popping up in the Atlantic. But they have failed to do exactly that with something as fundamental as weather satellites.

What kind of thinking is that? And when the Weather Director complained about it, HE was sacked! Crazy. Firing a person who thought Americans should have the latest technology protecting them from a killer storm BEFORE the old one fails.

We’ve got a two-fisted punch coming, from both Gustav AND Hanna. Stay tuned. If our leaders don’t keep our “eyes in the sky” we’d be going into this BLIND. As it is, even with warning, there are thousands in places like New Orleans without a car or way to escape GUSTAV, who could be a monster by the time it hits.

The good news is that this may be the “wake up” call the coastal communities need to upgrade building codes. Already, Galveston County requires that hurricane glass is used for any window that is replaced. That will be expensive – they cost over 4 times what it takes to put on our film. And our film will also be cutting energy and cancer-causing UV rays that the other doesn’t.

Mine on m condo on Clear Lake is about to get the ultimate test – if predictions hold true and the storm is coming closer to Houston.

Gustav could be another Katrina if it hit CAT 3, which appears highly possible.

We need to be ready to take action to save our fellow coastal citizens, from here to Florida and Mexico, the next few days...

Stay tuned - from the front lines here on the Texas coast.

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