THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 43 42 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 thousands of first responder units from Brownsville, Texas, around the Gulf and Atlantic coasts up to Boston, Massachusetts—there is no plan—and procedures are not plans. They are all playing it by ear, as each situation arises, and as each threatening storm slowly approaches American coastal cities. And none of them are to blame. Mother Nature has always, and will always, have its way with us. The science of meteorological observation dates back to 3000 B.C. in India, and even though today we observe weather from 50,000 miles above the earth, using the most advanced comput- ers ever developed—our forecasters flatly blew it with Hurricane Harvey. Other than singing, “I hear hurricanes a-blowin’…I know the end is coming soon,” ala Credence Clearwater Revival’s famed ditty about a storm looming over the bayou, the National Hurricane Center could have just taken August off and played golf. When the NHC con- veys “serious concern” over flooding, for example, from a particular weather system, the news media on whom they rely to broadcast their advisories, and whose attention span is shorter than a six-year-old’s, starts using brainless terms like “historic rainmaker.” And like all stories that travel through traditional, and now social media, a single, brainless label is permanently attached to the event. So, up until the afternoon of Friday, August 25th, 2017, Hurricane Harvey equaled “historic rainmaker.” A better term would have been “Hell Maker,” as there was nary a complaint about the damage Harvey’s rain befell Port Aransas. Boarding up your windows will not save your roof, nor will it keep four feet of water out of your house. Big cities have learned that evacuating people locally, to the strongest and least vulnerable structures inside the city, works best, and Harvey’s direct hit as a Cat 4 storm proved that lesson here. In those first days after landfall, as you drove into Port A on Highway 361, it was obvious what worked. Cinnamon Shore worked. The residential, resort development that broke ground about twelve years ago survived Harvey with barely a scratch. There was some damage to some of the structures there, but overall, Cinnamon Shore made it through a direct hit by a Cat 4 hurricane fully intact, and residents and renters, most of them displaced from their own homes, were moving in within weeks. Let us be clear, however. Cinnamon Shore is one of the most expensive, and, yes, lovely, waterfront developments on the Gulf Coast, where your typical weekender runs about $1 million. When its developer, Atlanta’s Jeff Lamkin, launched the project in the mid-2000’s, he told this editor that his new property will feature (that is, as a selling point) the strongest, hurricane-survivable construction available—standards and systems that came into play in Florida, following the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. In addition to all the planned amenities for the community, high building standards were a loud and important selling point for Cinnamon Shore. More than a decade later, the unthinkable but inevitable finally happened, and while blue tarps line rooftops north and south of Cinnamon Shore, four months after Harvey, this place has been up and running for more than three of those months.