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Calhoun residents remember Claudette as they watch for Alex

By JJ VELASQUEZ
June 30, 2010 at 1:30 a.m.


Barbara Conitz remembers the devastation Hurricane Claudette wreaked in 2003.

She isn't so concerned about Hurricane Alex, which forecasters predict will have minimal impact on Texas and mostly affect northern Mexico. But that's the same way it was with Claudette, she said.

"I sat through Claudette without electricity for a week and a half," Conitz said, remembering she underwent back surgery days before the storm. "Normally, I don't stay if it's coming here."

As Port Lavaca residents heard reports of a possible hurricane reaching Texas shores, some shopped at the H-E-B grocery store for nonperishable foods, batteries and water to prepare.

Though, most were not too concerned Alex would have an impact in their hometown.

On a scale of one to 10, Conitz rated her concern over the storm at a 4.

She bought bottled water, batteries and canned meats.

Conitz's home is eight blocks away from the harbor, but in case the hurricane does make landfall in Texas, she has a home in the Bryan-College Station area that she can evacuate to.

Ramiro Cavazos, who manages the grocery store, said shoppers did not buy many hurricane preparation supplies. The store received extra shipments of bottled water in anticipation of a possible disaster. Cavazos said they may ship the extra supplies to stores south of them, where the storm is expected to have a greater impact.

"Normally, when we have a hurricane threat, it's pretty intense," Cavazos said. "But this one isn't as dramatic."

In the Calhoun County Courthouse, emergency management and elected officials listened to reports in a National Weather Service conference call.

County Judge Mike Pfeifer cited the National Weather Service when he said the county might see some rain and high tides but looks forward to a storm-less holiday weekend.

"We're looking forward to a nice July 4 weekend," Pfeifer said. "We're not expecting a whole lot in our area except for probably some rain. We'll see how much."

Conitz hopes Alex doesn't run as wild as Claudette did.

"Let's hope it's predictable, and it does what they think it's going to do."

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