Edouard drives motorist out of gas
Jeff Kelley, Orange County emergency management coordinator, told county commissioners in regular session Monday, “We are going to be impacted by this system. We could see a four-foot storm surge in the Bridge City area.” Storms hitting Orange County from the east, such as Edouard, are traditionally bad for storm surge, he said. As for potential power loss, he said the worst case scenario would be like Humberto, and the best scenario like Sunday’s late afternoon storms.
Out of caution, he said, the county was prepared for a Category 2 hurricane. They were expecting a weak Category 1, if it made hurricane status at all.
The Orange County Courthouse is closed Tuesday, Judge Carl Thibodeaux announced. Road and Bridge Department crews and the sheriff’s office will continue to operate.
In a bit of a panic there was apparently a “run on gas” in Bridge City, estimated to have started around noon, Monday as cars lined-up at convenience stores. The Mobil on Roundbunch and Texas Avenue was out of gas, while the Shell station across the street ran out of unleaded.
Slade Green of Bridge City said he had to hand-push his truck to a pump because he ran out of gas while waiting in line. The middle grade ran out before he was able to pump much in his tank. “I’m just trying to get to work,” he said. There was only “super” premium left and he had to buy the gas at a more expensive price.
Sharon LeBlanc owned the vehicle in line behind Green. “It could have been me,” she said, referring to Green running out of gas in line.
“I was in Austin and came home because of this…now I’m almost empty,” she said.
Partially responsible for the gas lines might be people that were stocking up on gas for generators as several customers were seen filling multiple gas cans. During Hurricane Rita, gas was one of the things still in short supply several days after the storm had passed.
One customer asked where to report price gauging. Apparently the Shell station had raised its prices about a dime from the day before.
Although Cameron Parish, La. was the only area officially evacuated, there was an exodus of residents in certain coastal areas.
A noticeable decline was in the Galveston area as people were cancelling their hotel reservation and restaurant business drastically dropped. Some restaurants were only offering a limited menu as they were not restocking until after the storm.
“I expect a 40 percent to 50 percent business disruption for two days or more,” Keith Zahar, owner of Gulf Coast Market in Galveston said. “On Thursday we’ll probably get back in line with normal summer business.”
Governor Rick Perry activated and mobilized state resources, including up to 1,200 National Guard troops, in preparation for Edouard. The state is ready to provide assistance requested by local officials. “As we demonstrated less than two weeks ago with Hurricane Dolly, the State of Texas is prepared to respond,” said Gov. Perry