Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Ready

It was a gorgeous day in Galveston today. The skies were crystal clear, the water was a sharp blue, the sands were warm and the sunlight was plentiful. Spirits raised by the downgrading of Hurricane Gustav to a Category 3, islanders came outside to play.

The surfers and the fishermen shared the beach today. I treated two of them, one with a fishhook stuck in an awkward place, and one who stepped on a stingray and took a barb through his Achille’s tendon.

A group of young men drank a bit of alcohol, used some cocaine, and decided to have a knife fight. Five men with multiple stab wounds in dangerous places occupied most of my afternoon.

Then we cared for the half dozen people who fell off ladders while putting up their storm windows. One unfortunate man fell while trying to trim his palm trees, and lacerated his ear with his machete. I have to admit that trimming palm trees just before a hurricane with 125-mile-an-hour winds seems a bit superfluous to me, when nature will do the job tomorrow anyway.

Galveston Island has no plans to evacuate. We will stay here, batten the hatches, and take care of those who remain on the island to ride out the storm. At this time, the experts predict that we will have tropical storm force winds and rain, but we are on the “light side” of the system. Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors 300 miles east on the coastline, New Orleans, and we are praying for a miracle.

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