FRYER FEATURE: HER NAME WAS ALICIA

Her name was Alicia, back when we only gave female names to tropical storms and hurricanes. It was my first experience of a direct hit on Houston by a hurricane, and though it was 36 years ago this weekend, I remember it as though it were yesterday.

Unlike Harvey, Alicia was a fast-moving wall of wind, of course, carrying sheets of torrential rain. I was anchoring news at ABC 13 and had the cover of the porch while the palm trees behind me were bent almost in half as I reported for sister stations all across the country. My coworkers were spread across the region, the big guys from the networks too, as Galveston, Clear Lake bore the brunt of storm surge. The eye came up the ship channel into Houston. One of our photographers downtown suffered a huge gash in his news unit hood from a pane of glass falling from a skyscraper. Every storm is different; that was instilled with Alicia, and enforced ever since.

 

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