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As a former resident of Florida, the media plays up the worst possible scenarios and sometimes the reality is a lot less horrific.  Has anyone spoken with friends/family in Texas about the extent of the damage?

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Panama-Texas -Harvey hotline

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AN INFORMATION hot line  for and about about  Panamanians living in in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, has been activated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The Information Coordination  Center (CECODI).

Will operate 24 hours a day on the phones (+507) 504-8814, (+507) 6671-1040 or  ecodi@mire.gob.pa.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/panama-texas-harvey-hotline

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Our family is spread throughout Texas, and specifically our youngest daughter, our siblings and cousins live along the Gulf Coast directly impacted by Harvey.  They are all physically safe although we have had several friends/acquaintances who have lost homes, cars, etc.. My cousin began having water in her home today with the continued rise of major rivers.

 Rockport took the direct hit at landfall and is about 70% destroyed.  From Wharton County eastward into Louisiana...much remains underwater today and that water is becoming increasingly contaminated.  The city of Beaumont lost its water treatment plant and there is no clean drinking water.  The cleanup is beginning but will take a very long time.  Last report was approaching 50 deaths.

Texans are a resilient bunch and will recover.  It has been heartwarming to watch the reporting of neighbor helping neighbor.  And by neighbors I mean those across the street, those from Austin/San Antonio/Dallas and elsewhere across Texas, and those from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and other states.  We have two nephews involved in the rescue and recovery efforts...one with the American Red Cross who came in from Arizona, and one in law enforcement who came from Lubbock.  Our kids spent the day helping a family member salvage what they could from her flooded apartment.

To hear the comments of reporters from New York and California who came to help the local stations brought tears to my eyes more than once.  We watched ABC13's coverage almost nonstop for a week.  One reporter from Los Angeles said that he was used to covering natural disasters like earthquakes and fires, but he had never witnessed the brotherly love he had seen while in Houston.  

So to answer the question about whether it is really as bad as being reported, the answer is it is much worse on a natural disaster level than you can even comprehend.  But the sense of spirit, love, support, resilience, faith, grace (and so many other words I cannot come up with without crying again), are also much more than is being reported by the national news media.  Hopefully the US and the world will see and let go of some of the hatred and anger so prevalent in these unsettling times in which we live.

#TexasStrong

Edited by DWilson
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On 8/26/2017 at 9:50 AM, MarieElaine said:

As a former resident of Florida, the media plays up the worst possible scenarios and sometimes the reality is a lot less horrific.  Has anyone spoken with friends/family in Texas about the extent of the damage?

Does Florida have oil refineries, chemical plants, and a large number of toxic superfund sites, now damaged and spreading toxins everywhere the water was? I don't think the media has even begun to uncover the extent of the damage. Plays up? Hardly.

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On 8/26/2017 at 9:50 AM, MarieElaine said:

As a former resident of Florida, the media plays up the worst possible scenarios and sometimes the reality is a lot less horrific.  Has anyone spoken with friends/family in Texas about the extent of the damage?

As a lifelong resident of Florida (until I moved to Panama), I can testify that the damage wrought by a major hurricane cannot be overstated. In fact, the media often is lost for words trying to describe the aftermath. You must have been lucky where you lived, Marie, and you must have lived in Florida for a short time because every inch of the state has been severely impacted by a hurricane at some time within the last 25 years. While coastal areas are most vulnerable to major damage, I lived 50 miles inland, and on two occasions I had no water for close to two weeks and could not leave my house because of downed trees and power lines. It took years for the community to recover both times. And there were many other years during which we were substantially impacted.

Edited by Bonnie

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I lived in Florida for 23 years just north of Tampa Bay and, other than a few tropical storms, I never experienced a full blown hurricane but the few tropical storms that hit our area where blown way out of proportion by the media.  I even lived on a lake that was remotely connected by the Anclote river to the Gulf and never had to worry about high waters.  While I agree that there have been many horrible hurricanes in Florida, from my experience in the area I lived in, the anticipated affects were way out of proportion to the actual events.  The tragic events in Texas are worse than anticipated however, any little storms that come into the Gulf are treated like cat 7 hurricanes by the media.  

Edited by MarieElaine
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LOL, love your pics JudyS!  While the help we give each other is heart warming, the help pet lovers extend during these times is also note worthy.  Saw people loading up pets on the news yesterday and was thinking about Katrina and the number of pets relocated and adopted/fostered by caring people in other states.  Hope these animals eventually find their way back home.

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1 hour ago, MarieElaine said:

I lived in Florida for 23 years just north of Tampa Bay and, other than a few tropical storms, I never experienced a full blown hurricane but the few tropical storms that hit our area where blown way out of proportion by the media.  I even lived on a lake that was remotely connected by the Anclote river to the Gulf and never had to worry about high waters.  While I agree that there have been many horrible hurricanes in Florida, from my experience in the area I lived in, the anticipated affects were way out of proportion to the actual events.  The tragic events in Texas are worse than anticipated however, any little storms that come into the Gulf are treated like cat 7 hurricanes by the media.  

4

We lived in Tampa  2004-2006. In 2004 Florida had 4 hurricanes that made landfall. We had to evacuate for 2 of them. After that, most insurance companies pulled out of the state and Florida had to have a State run homeowners insurance policies. Our home owners insurance tripled in 6 months.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Atlantic_hurricane_season

 

Marie, maybe you were on vacation?

Quote: The tragic events in Texas are worse than anticipated , however, any little storms that come into the Gulf are treated like cat 7 hurricanes by the media.  

As they should be treated by the media! So people will pay attention!  IMO.

Edited by TwoSailors

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34 minutes ago, TwoSailors said:

e lived in Tampa  2004-2006. In 2004 Florida had 4 hurricanes that made landfall. We had to evacuate for 2 of them. After that, most insurance companies pulled out of the state and Florida had to have a State run homeowners insurance policies. Our home owners insurance tripled in 6 months.

The last actual HURRICANE to hit Tampa Bay was in 1921.   See; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1921_Tampa_Bay_hurricane  What you experienced was storm surge on hurricanes that hit north or south of Tampa Bay.  If you lived on the barrier islands, the coast line or in the Bayshore Blvd area you would have been evacuated because of storm surge.  Bayshore Blvd. can flood when there are multiple days of just heavy rain.  More damage seems to occur in the Tampa Bay area due to tornadoes or water spouts than actual hurricanes hitting the area.  Either way, being evacuated is not pleasant and hopefully you did not have any flooding in your home.

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On 8/26/2017 at 9:50 AM, MarieElaine said:

As a former resident of Florida, the media plays up the worst possible scenarios and sometimes the reality is a lot less horrific.  Has anyone spoken with friends/family in Texas about the extent of the damage?

 

3 hours ago, MarieElaine said:

I lived in Florida for 23 years just north of Tampa Bay and, other than a few tropical storms, I never experienced a full blown hurricane but the few tropical storms that hit our area where blown way out of proportion by the media.  I even lived on a lake that was remotely connected by the Anclote river to the Gulf and never had to worry about high waters.  While I agree that there have been many horrible hurricanes in Florida, from my experience in the area I lived in, the anticipated affects were way out of proportion to the actual events.  The tragic events in Texas are worse than anticipated however, any little storms that come into the Gulf are treated like cat 7 hurricanes by the media.  

Storm surges, tornadoes, water spouts, etc. associated with a hurricane landfall are part and parcel of the hurricane itself. To consider only the area of direct impact is ludicrous. And to suggest that your own experience in a very limited area can form the basis for your generalization about the media exaggerating hurricane damage likewise is illogical.

But more importantly,  in light of the clearly documented devastation in Texas--the deaths, the suffering, the displacement, the likely economic fallout which is predicted to be greater than Katrina's $180 billion- -I fail to see what purpose is served by suggesting at this moment in time that the destructive power of hurricanes is anything less than what it is. Even if it were true that the media routinely exaggerates the effects of hurricanes (which I don't believe), your assertion is insensitive. It is particularly insensitive to the feelings of those here on CL who have family and friends in and around Houston. And there are many.

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2 hours ago, MarieElaine said:

The last actual HURRICANE to hit Tampa Bay was in 1921.   See; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1921_Tampa_Bay_hurricane  What you experienced was storm surge on hurricanes that hit north or south of Tampa Bay.  If you lived on the barrier islands, the coast line or in the Bayshore Blvd area you would have been evacuated because of storm surge.  Bayshore Blvd. can flood when there are multiple days of just heavy rain.  

 

You do not have a clue as to what we experienced!  We had a wind gauge and clocked 80 MPH wind in our back yard! That is a very insensitive statement!

The 2004 season had numerous unusual occurrences. With six hurricanes reaching at least Category 3 intensity, 2004 also had the most major hurricanes since 1996, a record which would be surpassed in 2005.[22] Florida was severely impacted by four hurricanes during the season  Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. This was the first time four tropical cyclones produced hurricane-force winds in one state during a single season since four hurricanes made landfall in Texas in 1886

Edited by TwoSailors
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1 hour ago, Bonnie said:

Storm surges, tornadoes, water spouts, etc. associated with a hurricane landfall are part and parcel of the hurricane itself. To consider only the area of direct impact is ludicrous. And to suggest that your own experience in a very limited area can form the basis for your generalization about the media exaggerating hurricane damage likewise is illogical.

But more importantly,  in light of the clearly documented devastation in Texas--the deaths, the suffering, the displacement, the likely economic fallout which is predicted to be greater than Katrina's $180 billion- -I fail to see what purpose is served by suggesting at this moment in time that the destructive power of hurricanes is anything less than what it is. Even if it were true that the media routinely exaggerates the effects of hurricanes (which I don't believe), your assertion is insensitive. It is particularly insensitive to the feelings of those here on CL who have family and friends in and around Houston. And there are many.

Bonnie,

Very well said.

Thank you!

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1 hour ago, TwoSailors said:

You do not have a clue as to what we experienced!  We had a wind gauge and clocked 80 MPH wind in our back yard! That is a very insensitive statement!

The 2004 season had numerous unusual occurrences. With six hurricanes reaching at least Category 3 intensity, 2004 also had the most major hurricanes since 1996, a record which would be surpassed in 2005.[22] Florida was severely impacted by four hurricanes during the season  Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. This was the first time four tropical cyclones produced hurricane-force winds in one state during a single season since four hurricanes made landfall in Texas in 1886

TwoSailors,

Ditto, I was a 30+ year resident of central Florida before retiring to Boquete, the year 2004 wasn't a good year, what a mess.  To state otherwise is delusional.

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15 hours ago, TwoSailors said:

You do not have a clue as to what we experienced!  We had a wind gauge and clocked 80 MPH wind in our back yard! That is a very insensitive statement!

The 2004 season had numerous unusual occurrences. With six hurricanes reaching at least Category 3 intensity, 2004 also had the most major hurricanes since 1996, a record which would be surpassed in 2005.[22] Florida was severely impacted by four hurricanes during the season  Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. This was the first time four tropical cyclones produced hurricane-force winds in one state during a single season since four hurricanes made landfall in Texas in 1886

I am a Floridian living in Boquete and I have been in many hurricanse. Marie I lost everything in Opal 1995. Tampa has been hit or swiped by many hurricanes since 1921. You might want to get another news source.

Edited by Hil
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I apologize for upsetting those on this site however, I was quoting actual hurricanes making landfall in Tampa Bay.  Obviously the year of 2004 & 2005 was a bad one for all of Florida but the Tampa Bay area was lucky in that direct landfall did not happen there.  Tornadoes and water spouts can happen anytime and are not necessarily hurricane related.  Storm surge and high winds as a result of hurricanes elsewhere in the state are devastating and it was never my intention to minimize these events and the destruction they can cause.  I lived near Tarpon Springs on a lake for 23 years and was never impacted by more than wind and rain and was never evacuated.  This is a fact.  I did volunteer on the west coast to help those affected directly by a hurricane that hit in the Boca Raton area and saw first hand what a direct hit can do.  I have never seen so many damaged homes in my life so please do not assume that I am insensitive.  Right now my sympathies lie with the animals that have been displaced by Harvey the where the newest hurricane heading for the Gulf will impact.

 

Edited by MarieElaine

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29 minutes ago, MarieElaine said:

I apologize for upsetting those on this site however, I was quoting actual hurricanes making landfall in Tampa Bay.  Obviously the year of 2004 & 2005 was a bad one for all of Florida but the Tampa Bay area was lucky in that direct landfall did not happen there.  Tornadoes and water spouts can happen anytime and are not necessarily hurricane related.  Storm surge and high winds as a result of hurricanes elsewhere in the state are devastating and it was never my intention to minimize these events and the destruction they can cause.  I lived near Tarpon Springs on a lake for 23 years and was never impacted by more than wind and rain and was never evacuated.  This is a fact.  I did volunteer on the west coast to help those affected directly by a hurricane that hit in the Boca Raton area and saw first hand what a direct hit can do.  I have never seen so many damaged homes in my life so please do not assume that I am insensitive.  Right now my sympathies lie with the animals that have been displaced by Harvey the where the newest hurricane heading for the Gulf will impact.

 

 

Sorry, Pasco County where Tarpon Springs is located, has been hit many times in the last few decades.  Have you ever heard of the Anclote River (in Pasco County) water shed?

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 10.10.35 AM.png

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I lived 21 feet above sea level on a lake that was connected to the Anclote River and was never evacuated or flooded by storm surge.  There are areas in Pasco county that lie below sea level and flood during heavy rains (urban planning at its worst).  Tarpon Springs proper is on the coast and anyone living right on the coast and is less than 10 feet above sea level has problems with flooding during heavy rains and storm surge.   It is not just hurricanes that cause this flooding.  There are parts of Miami that do the same thing during normal rains and the real problem is sewage backing up into the lying water.  You will notice in the picture above, there is no flooding in surrounding areas and that is because these areas are not in the flood zone and are likely higher.  Anyone buying in Florida needs to do their homework because a lot of areas are built on land below or just barely above sea level.  I was in the building industry for 23 years in Florida and you would not believe how certain builders are given permits to build in flood areas.  They target these areas because the land is cheap.  Doing ones homework is vital when buying property in Florida.  Remember, Florida is a big sand dune lying on top of water aquafers.  Also, when these aquafers are drained for potable water, house are swallowed up by cave ins called sinkholes.  Florida has it's share of issues just like anywhere else.

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You're missing the point, Marie. Your initial assertion that  the media exaggerates the danger and force of hurricanes does not logically flow from your limited experience at your home in Pasco County. And, as the widespread devastation and suffering in Texas has been well-documented, your assertion was insensitive as well as illogical. Finally, what on earth does all this most recent general information about Florida have to do with Hurricane Harvey, the subject at hand? Let's drop it.

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6 hours ago, Bonnie said:

You're missing the point, Marie. Your initial assertion that  the media exaggerates the danger and force of hurricanes does not logically flow from your limited experience at your home in Pasco County. And, as the widespread devastation and suffering in Texas has been well-documented, your assertion was insensitive as well as illogical. Finally, what on earth does all this most recent general information about Florida have to do with Hurricane Harvey, the subject at hand? Let's drop it.

Yep.. That's all folks! Time to move along.

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