With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on Texas in the wee morning hours of Saturday, one Texas mayor has a horrific dose of reality for stubborn residents.
The storm, which has the potential to be one of the most hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States, has been in the news for nearly a week, with meteorologists predicting severe damage from flooding, high winds, tornados, and more. Evacuations were demanded and recommended all along Texas’ gulf coast as specters of Louisiana’s biblically disastrous Hurricane Katrina still lingers in the mind of a great many Americans.
Especially unnerving about Hurricane Katrina were the thousands of New Orleans residents that either refused to, or were unable to flee their homes ahead of that hurricane’s landfall.
Now, one Texas mayor has issued a morbid piece of advice for those foolhardy enough to ignore the evacuation suggestions.
“A local leader in one coastal Texas community is advising residents who are not evacuating ahead of Hurricane Harvey to mark their names and Social Security numbers on their arms.
“The mayor pro tem of Rockport, Texas, said that grim step is necessary to prepare for the worst in case of deaths among people who remain in the area.
“‘We’re suggesting if people are going to stay here, mark their arm with a Sharpie pen with their name and Social Security number,’ Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios said at a news conference this morning.
“‘We hate to talk about things like that,’ he said. ‘It’s not something we like to do but it’s the reality, people don’t listen.’
“Seven counties and five cities, including Rockport, have issued mandatory evacuations, while several other areas have issued voluntary evacuations.”
Hopefully the mayor’s warning will have put things in perspective for some of the more stubborn residents of Rockport and other gulf coast communities.
Mayor Rios isn’t the only leader that Americans will look to in this time of need.
With terrifying comparisons being made between Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Katrina already, President Donald Trump has been hard at work preparing federal disaster relief plans well before the storm was scheduled to strike the region. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, then-President George W. Bush was chastised by many for his perceived lack of concern for the people of New Orleans and the lackluster response from federal forces such as FEMA. Whether these criticisms were warranted or not has never been fully understood, as the confusion and chaos of Katrina’s wake has forever blurred the nuances of the response.