Bruce Merchant Shares His Memories of Hurricane Rita
I spent the night in a building in downtown Sulphur. One of the things that I remember most were the sounds of Rita. I went jogging the night before the storm and it was eerily quiet. No traffic noise from the interstate, no rumblings from the plants and no birds or insects. Just silence. Then for the eight hours of the storm, there was the constant roar of the wind over the flat roof in the building I was staying in, along with the rain against the windows and the occasional sound of something blowing by out on the street. We have all heard the descriptions of the noise from people who have gone through a hurricane. That was the most unnerving part for me.
Then there was the smell! After 2-3 days of heat and humidity following the storm, there was the smell of decaying vegetation from all the downed trees. And one interesting site, leaves that were wind-plastered on walls.
As a member of the media, these events give us a rush. It's one of the reason we do what we do. Until Hurricane Rita, I had never experienced anything close to that. We had all seen it on TV or the newspapers. We had seen it four weeks earlier in New Orleans. It was a learning experience for me. But not one I hope to ever face again!