At the time of this writing, Hurricane Laura was 12 or so hours from making landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
Many in Galveston County were feeling fortunate that the various methods used to project the what, where and when of hurricanes had plotted Laura on a course to somewhere between Beaumont and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
That was far enough east to think with some certainty that Galveston County would be spared an all-out calamity.
You should never say never in such cases, of course, but forecasters who work on our behalf at the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service offices along the coast are very good at making predictions by the time storms get that near to land.
Among the few relevant things to say at times like this is to suggest taking a minute to consider how fortunate we all are to have these highly skilled and, in our experience, impeccably professional people on the payroll. They are an example of government done right.
Also relevant today is to send our thoughts and prayers to people in Beaumont, Port Arthur, Bridge City, Lake Charles and environs.
While we might feel fortunate this time, it’s impossible to feel any joy knowing what was headed their way.
Good luck is all there is to say.
It’s also a good time to recognize the good that people do at times like this.
We thank city and county officials who worked to keep us all informed and who made good, sound decisions about ordering selective evacuations. They all were calm and measured. No one hyped or overreacted.
Thanks also to the government workers who have been on the job for many hours preparing for the worst and who are still on the job today when the worst, whatever that turns out to be, is upon us.
Thanks to the private sector workers who dealt with all the needs people had in preparing to evacuate or hunker down.
Thank you to those who worked Tuesday to get people on buses bound for Austin.
Thank you to volunteers who found time while getting their own lives together to help their neighbors — people all over the county who, as they always have, helped pack up and board up.
Thanks to the people who found time to help to evacuate dogs, cats and other animals from shelters all over the county.
Every time we face one of these things, people step up and help. It restores some faith in humanity and sometimes is the only bright spot to be found.
• Michael A. Smith