Timely, local information: portasouthjetty.com
And so, on Monday of this week, we find ourselves in the midst of that uncertainty.
Tropical Storm Alex was expected to become a hurricane (winds of 74 mph or greater) sometime Tuesday.
The 7 p.m. advisory on Monday had our immediate area outside the “cone of uncertainty,” but that could change with the 10 p.m. advisory, or later advisories – it’s a tropical storm, seaborne tempests known to have minds of their own.
Everywhere you turn, you get a different story about what predictions are depending on where the predictions originated. Add confusion to a nervewracking situation and it’s not a pretty picture.
We can help.
The South Jetty is coordinating with city officials to provide current updates throughout the progress of Alex, or any other storm. As we did when Hurricane Ike struck the upper Texas coast, if Alex becomes a threat to Port Aransas, we will post updates about Port Aransas circumstances multiple times a day on our Web site. The updates will include instructions from city officials regarding preparations, evacuation, storm projections and conditions and, if it comes to pass, information about damage, conditions in Port Aransas (not some vague location referred to as “the island” – we are talking about Port Aransas) and instructions about how and when residents can return to their homes and businesses.
Those Ike updates (with photos of flooding after the storm made landfall) were available free on our Web site for anyone who clicked on Get News Updates (top left of our home page). All you do is provide your e-mail address, and we’ll send you an e-mail notifying you of a new story being posted on the Web site. You then go to www. portasouthjetty.com, and the story will appear.
The beauty of this is that it will provide Port Aransas-specific information that is not available elsewhere. Also, if you have a question that hasn’t been answered in one of the news alerts, send me an e-mail (the address is below), and I’ll get the answer and post it.
You’ll get more than just hurricane updates when you sign up for news alerts – you’ll get e-mails when we post breaking news, whether it’s a fire, a play-off game score, election results or something else of broad significance to the community, such as the resignation of H.G. Olsen Elementary School Principal Sylvia Buttler last week.
Every story we post between regular editions is not considered “breaking news,” so you will not be “ding-donged” with e-mails. We only send the e-mails for major stories or those that impact a large number of people.
Sign up for the news alerts, but check the Web site periodically to see if something you’re interested in has been posted between posting of regular editions on Thursday mornings.
Our goal is to use our Web site to communicate accurate, timely and relevant information to our readers and take as much uncertainty out of the hurricane equation as possible.
I just hope we won’t have to meet under those circumstances too often.
One clarification: The news alerts are free to the public, but they are not free to the South Jetty. The trained reporters who collect that information, digest it and turn it into stories do not work for free. (In fact, no one employed at the South Jetty works for free – bankers, grocers, utility companies, etc. frown on non-paying customers.) The Web site on which those stories are posted is not free to the South Jetty, and the printer that prints the newspapers does not provide that service free of charge. The post office does not distribute the newspaper throughout the country and abroad for free. To pay for those services, the newspaper sells advertising to businesses that are engaged in the community and who value the professional services offered by the South Jetty. We appreciate that.
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.