San Antonio’s Close Call With Harvey

No, the forecast wasn’t “wrong”.

Hurricane forecasts are “cones of probability” and if you don’t understand that, then maybe go back to watching Cartoon Network.

Historic “Harvey” would only have to have wobbled a little bit in our direction—maybe 40 or 50 miles, some say—and we would be dealing with a life-changing event, instead of a weekend where most of us in S.A. had too many batteries and water bottles.

It’s easy to chide TV weather folks for overreacting, because they do their work with, shall we say…exuberance. But most of the national and local meteorologists do excellent work with increasingly complex technology.

While I could do with less “wading” and “body surfing” live shots, they were providing a great service, and many of us appreciate the chance to over-, rather than under-prepare. Information is power.

As to what the nation saw of us on TV this weekend, a few things stand out for me:

  • Texans helping each other—these images of citizen-rescues with private watercraft and vehicles made a huge impression on friends around the country. I told them it’s just how we are, all the time. The efforts knew no race or economic lines, and no one had to be told to help.
  • Governor Abbott was cool and focused under pressure each time he spoke. Anyone who can conduct a news briefing with handwritten notes on a legal pad…
  • For all the cheap shots on social media about how Trump “doesn’t even have a DHS Sec. or FEMA head”…please meet acting DHS Secy. Elaine Duke, who was sharp and detailed in every interview, and seems to know her stuff more than the political appointees under Obama and Bush. By the way, she served under both. Give her the job fulltime. And FEMA Administrator Brock Long was confirmed in June, 94-4.
  • Did anyone else catch CBS News correspondent Demarco Morgan’s flood reporting Sunday afternoon? It might have been the best TV news live shot I have seen in years, and it made me an instant fan. Great storyteller, big heart.  Read this and it gets even better.
  • And I think we all had to respect when Weather Channel’s Paul Goodloe did this. 
  • Not to mention Otis The Wonder Dog.




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