"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Governor Perry Press Conference on Texas Fires, Monday, Sep 5, 2011, from Bastrop, TX

This is one nasty wildfire burning about 30 miles southeast of Austin that started just east of Bastrop.  The winds have been blowing heavily from the north for the last few days.  Hope they are getting the break in the Bastrop area that we are getting in Oklahoma today from the winds dying down.  This is why Governor Perry returned from South Carolina yesterday before the DeMint debate.  He was told this Bastrop fire just miles from Austin was totally out of control and burning up houses and acreage at a fast pace.  All it would have taken was a windshift and those fires would have been aimed at Austin.

To the representatives of candidates as well as candidates who commented that Perry just didn't want to debate or was afraid to debate -- shame on you.  Governor Perry is a sitting Governor not someone who since 2006 has done nothing but run for President.  His first priority is the state of Texas and its people as hard as that is for some no class people to understand.

The article from Byron York at the Washington Examiner that was a little on the snarky side started receiving comments right away about how Governor Perry's first priority was as Governor of Texas.  This fire may be the worst one yet that has burned in Texas and that says a lot with all the fires burning in Texas this year.  This wasn't the only one around Austin burning as Steiner Ranch to the NW of Austin also lost some homes to a wildfire this weekend.  This is an excerpt of what York had to say with my bold:
DeMint and the forum's other organizers are taking Perry at his word about the urgency of the situation in Texas. The fires are a serious and growing problem, and as governor, Perry has a responsibility to deal with them. On the other hand, some rival candidates aren't so understanding. 
"It's obvious that Rick Perry is skipping the DeMint forum because he knew he was going to be asked tough questions about his previous support for gay marriage in New York, as well as his policies in Texas in favor of illegal immigration," says one representative of a rival camp. "He's looking for a reason to not actually be compared to the other candidates," says an official in another camp. "He was grasping for a reason not to show."
These comments from other campaigns are classless and arrogant for people who want to President.  My suggestion is not to come to this part of the country to campaign with an attitude like that.  Even inferring debate organizers and others are taking Perry at his word is inferring he didn't want to debate and the fires were not that bad shows how little they know about Governor Perry.  If Governor Perry had stayed, they would have attacked him for not doing his job as Governor.  What it does show that most of our candidates don't really have any responsibility that would take them away from a debate on a weekend like a sitting Governor.  Unlike York and some of the candidates and their respresentatives, DeMint understood why Gov Perry had to return to Texas in the daylight as the Bastrop fire was raging out of control yesterday.

Governor Perry's comments of what he saw flying into into Austin made you stop and think what you would do if a fire was headed your way and you had minutes to take your most prized possession.  After landing he drove to Bastrop to be briefed and then give his news conference on this situation.  Gov Perry cares deeply about Texas and its people which shows with his actions and when he speaks.  It was obvious he wanted to be there for the ones who had lost everything and others worried about what they were going to find when they returned.  One man told about evacuating and looking in his rear view mirror to see his home go up in flames.  That is unimaginable of how you would feel.

When you listen to his news conference and hear the last question about his leaving SC before the debate, he leaves no doubt his first priority is being Governor for the people of Texas.  A cheer went up from those assembled at the press conference after his remarks.

People in this part of the Country understand as TX, OK, AZ, and NM have been under siege from fires for months.  Was sitting on the front porch Friday night and could smell the smoke from a fire SE of us.  It is unnerving but to see your house go up in flames and nothing you can do would be horrifying.  Texas and Oklahoma have been over 100 degrees for over 60 days this summer sometimes reaching near 110 degrees and over some days which has baked the ground and left trees ready to go up like a match if sparks land on them.  It is a very bad situation that is only getting worse.  At least our morning temperatures have now gone down last few days and pray that those lower temps go all the way south.
Fires destroy hundreds of homes 
By Tony Plohetski and Patrick George AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF 
Updated: 12:28 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011/Published: 10:36 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5, 2011

Firefighters battled raging wildfires across Central Texas for a second day Monday as wind-driven flames continued their relentless march through hundreds of homes and across thousands of acres. 
With most homeowners unable to survey their property, the scope of the disaster — perhaps the worst of its kind in the region's history — was not fully known by late Monday as officials struggled to provide a complete count of the number of lost structures. 
Their efforts to reach a tally also were hindered as new fires continued to break out throughout the evening. 
No one had been seriously injured. 
But in hard-hit Bastrop County, about 30 miles southeast of Austin, authorities raised early estimates of the number of destroyed homes from 300 to nearly 500. 
Fires that had already blackened 25,000 acres — about 40 square miles — also continued to threaten even more homes there, and officials deemed it too dangerous for residents to return to still-smoldering neighborhoods. 
In Travis County, a 125-acre fire in Steiner Ranch near Lake Travis destroyed 23 homes and damaged another 20 and was still burning into the night; another fire in western Travis County destroyed more than 60 homes, according to authorities. 
Anxious residents there also were not allowed to see what remained of their homes.
Speaking at a news conference at the Bastrop Convention and Exhibit Center, Gov. Rick Perry described the disaster as "a monstrous storm of smoke and fire." 
Perry said he has seen the aftermath of wildfires but that "this one is as mean-looking as I've ever seen." 
"We will pick up the pieces. We will rebuild," he said. 
Perry said he also would seek a major disaster declaration from the federal government. 
A spokesman for Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said that Federal Emergency Management Agency officials will be on the ground in Central Texas this morning. 
As Perry returned to his home state from the presidential campaign trail, fires that had started a day earlier continued burning in at least two Central Texas counties. 
But the day also brought a burst of new flames, including a fire near Leander that led to the evacuation of 500 people and burned 300 acres and at least 13 homes in the Mason Creek and Crystal Falls subdivisions. 
Throughout the area, as blazes bore down on some of their homes, panicked residents reported scooping up what they could — clothes, wedding photos and heirloom jewelry — and fleeing harm's way. 
Some told harrowing stories of driving through clouds of smoke and watching in their rearview mirrors as flames overtook their homes. 
Excerpt:  Read more at Statesman.com

The good news is that FEMA is on the ground this morning not like in the past where they were no where to be seen.  Finally someone got it through their heads in DC that wildfires are disasters and just how devastating they can be.

Look at these pictures along with more at the Statesman that show just how bad this Bastrop fire is in Central Texas.  Then tell all of us in the Heartland where Governor Perry should have been yesterday afternoon.  

This is not about politics but the lives of so many people who have lost their homes and possessions throughout the western part of the Country this year.  It has been a devastating fire season and we are all praying for rain.  We didn't get any from the Tropical Storm that dumped on Louisiana and caused flooding.

God Bless Governors Perry, Mary Fallin (OK), Susana Martinez (NM) and Jan Brewer (AZ)  and the people of our four states who have been affected by these fires.  Our four Governors have seen it up close and personal  the devastation caused by wildfires this year.   They are doing a great job of being there for our people who have been hit hard this summer with not only the fires but the drought.  

No comments: