I posted this entry about a worrisome hurricane entering Gulf waters.
At the time, little had been reported in the news about the now-famous Hurricane Katrina. But I had noticed Brendan Loy blogging up a storm and realized he was onto the year's biggest news story several days ahead of everyone else.
I had started out worrying about how such a catastrophe might effect college football, with the postponement of games such as happened in recent years between Cal and Southern Miss in 2004 and the great UCLA/Miami game that ended UCLA's 20-game win streak.
But there was clearly a little more to last year's hurricane. It would become one of the country's worst natural disasters, claiming over 1,000 lives and destroying many Louisiana and Mississippi gulf communities entirely unprepared to overcome such a disaster.
It all sounded so strange at the time, the "worst case" scenarios. In fact, Katrina lost a great deal of steam and charted herself well enough East of an even more horrible path just before landfall, saving thousands more lives. One reader even responded at the time:
"doomsday hurricane"??? Sounds a little movie of the week-ish.
Well, almost too close for comfort. A doomsday hurricane it wasn't, but it sure did make for an ongoing terrible situation.
My hope is that we can get through this college football season without further complication and loss of human lives, but we never know with weather. Look no further than Loy's blog entry from yesterday about Tropical Storm (and soon, possibly Hurricane) Ernesto. Several days back few predicted the storm would survive, but here it is headed towards the Gulf having overcome a host of impediments expected to derail its progress.
Irony of ironies, I'm now living in the gulf coast, carefully keeping an eye on this storm's progress. Hopefully it and others like it fizzle out and find more fun dying anonymous deaths deep into ocean waters. Not everyone's ready. Louisiana's far from capable of facing another hurricane. Mississippi's not much better. Alabama and the Florida Panhandle can probably take a decent sized storm and I have few worries about those who live in central and south Florida. Hurricanes are old hat to them.
But there is a college football angle to be aware of. Tulane's vagabond existence last year told us so. The charmingly odd story of LSU's JaMarcus Russell housing music legend turned displaced survivor Fats Domino is another reminder. Here's to a interruption-free 2006 season and a more peaceful hurricane season.