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Official helps others remember the power of hurricanes

Brian Cuaron

By Brian Cuaron
May 5, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.

Nim Kidd, chief of Texas Division Emergency Management, speaks at the MidCoast Hurricane Conference about the need for communication during natural disasters.

The wind gush sounded like jets taking off, and water flooded a hotel lobby, bringing a car along with it.

All this occurred at the Victoria Community Center as John Metz, warning coordinator meteorologist with the National Weather Service, demonstrated to people the power of hurricanes.

"We must be prepared. We must never forget Hurricane Carla," said Metz, in reference to the category 4 hurricane that struck near Port Lavaca in 1961.

Metz spoke on Thursday at the MidCoast Hurricane Conference. He showed pictures and videos of past hurricanes and detailed the damage that Carla caused: 2 feet of water in Port Lavaca, tornadoes, snakes and destruction throughout the Midcoast of Texas.

He explained how improved satellites, radars and hurricane hunters have helped safety efforts. However, there is increased development where Hurricane Carla hit, meaning more people will need to be evacuated should another major storm arrive.

And not everyone in the area respects hurricanes as they should because there hasn't been a major hurricane here in 50 years.

One video that Metz showed had a woman happily saying during a storm that her group was the only ones still left in the area, making the audience laugh.

Metz said that Hurricane Carla gave survivors "a respect for the storm."



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