Sep. 9th, 2017

Carla

Sep. 9th, 2017 06:18 pm
mellicious: "I think the subtext here is rapidly becoming text." (Buffy quote - subtext)
 I keep hearing that Harvey is the biggest storm to hit Texas since 1961. Things like that. Well, I happen to know a lot on this subject, so let me tell you about Hurricane Carla.

It's family lore rather than an actual memory, because I was a toddler at the time (I was like 15 or 16 months old). But I've been hearing about it for my entire life, since my mother was 9 months pregnant with my sister - and in fact her due date was at the end of August so she was overdue by the time Carla blew up in early September. Apparently Carla did that thing sort of like Harvey where it came in and and stalled and went out again and generally just hung around for days. I asked my dad a question about Carla a year or two before he died, and he proceeded to tell me every little move that storm made. Fifty years later he had no difficulty at all in recalling it. But so what happened in my family was that my mom went to the hospital in labor while Carla was still offshore, and I guess they thought she wasn't ready yet and they sent her home again. So then in the middle of the storm the labor pains started again and they took her to the hospital in Texas City (and this was the storm that made Dan Rather famous, because he was somewhere in Texas City showing future generations of weathermen how it's done). The second time they let her stay for the duration of the storm, although my sister wasn't born until the 15th, after it was all over.

(My aunt also told me that she was working at UTMB at the time - which I didn't know - and that Galveston after Carla was sort of like Galveston after Ike - a big mess. But I think that was from the F4 tornado that plowed across the island in the middle of the storm more than it was from storm surge. The storm actually came in south of us, at Matagorda Bay (where Indianola used to be, more or less), but obviously it did plenty of damage all over the area.)

So I grew up hearing about Carla, Carla, Carla all the time. But nobody my age or younger remembers Carla so you don't generally hear as much about it these days - until Harvey. Harvey resembled Carla in some respects so I kept hearing them talk about it during the Harvey coverage, more than I've heard about it in years.

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