Hurricane Harvey: A personal perspective


Dr. Peter A. Tarlow, a frequent contributor to eTurboNews, shares his personal view of what happened with Hurricane Harvey from his point of view in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall last night not far from Corpus Christi. College Station has a gentle rain that is falling. It is supposed to rain this week here, with some rainfalls being heavy, but we are on the periphery of the storm, and so far, so good. Because Houston is low-lying (sort of the Holland of Texas), flooding there is always a possibility.

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Our Governor, Greg Abbott, has so far done a fantastic job. The evacuations seem to have been handled with a great deal of professionalism. I have friends whom the police evacuated that were from Port Aransas, and that city now has a population of fish. FEMA seems to be doing its job quite well, and federal aid is already on its way.

Texas set up evacuation cities, extra food was present, and gas and water supplies were increased for the week.

College Station is an evacuation point. Of course, this weekend is also the first weekend when students are here. Many are away from home for the first time. So, this weekend is traditionally chaotic anyway, especially as the city normally doubles in size. To add to the fun, we have evacuees and a hurricane to contend with.

So far things have gone as well as can be expected. Everyone in town knew we were going to get a double whammy, and we did. So, prior to the hurricane, things were carefully thought through. I watched all of the extra trucks coming in with supplies. Gas stations have been filled, and we have road blocks up at any low point where a flash flood might occur. The big issue there is not that there are natural flood points, but that with thousands of new students here who do not know the roads, they will have no idea as to what to avoid and not to avoid. Once again, this was taken into consideration, and detours have been created so as to avoid other potential problems.

Houston should have weather not too much more severe than College Station’s, but because it is extremely low-lying and has a huge population, its challenges are a lot greater. Of course, the overarching goal is not to worry about property but first save lives and then worry about physical damage.

One unique thing is that cruise ships cannot get back to the port of Galveston and those on cruises are getting an extended vacation, like it or not!

Most flights are delayed or cancelled, but currently the Houston airports are operating, although at a very reduced level.

So far, the police have not needed to call me. They are hoping that good planning pre-solves potential problems. Of course, no one can know this, but once again, emergency serves, fire, police, rescue squad, have well prepared, and at this point things seem to be doing well.

Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is a world-renowned speaker and expert specializing in the impact of crime and terrorism on the tourism industry, event and tourism risk management, and tourism and economic development. Since 1990, Tarlow has been aiding the tourism community with issues such as travel safety and security, economic development, creative marketing, and creative thought. As a well-known author in the field of tourism security, Tarlow is a contributing author to multiple books on tourism security, and publishes numerous academic and applied research articles regarding issues of security including articles published in The Futurist, the Journal of Travel Research and Security Management. Tarlow’s wide range of professional and scholarly articles includes articles on subjects such as: “dark tourism”, theories of terrorism, and economic development through tourism, religion and terrorism and cruise tourism. Tarlow also writes and publishes the popular on-line tourism newsletter Tourism Tidbits read by thousands of tourism and travel professionals around the world in its English, Spanish, and Portuguese language editions.