If you are visiting Beaumont or any coastal areas along the U.S. Gulf Coast or Atlantic Coast between June and November, hurricanes are an ever-present threat. By no means does this mean that you should cancel any vacations during this period, but always keep in mind that there is always a threat of a tropical cyclone.
Hurricanes, the worst kind of tropical cyclone, have winds greater than 74 mph rotating around a calm center, or "eye." In the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes have been known to develop quickly (even in less than 24 hours!) and become quite intense before landfall. Their most damaging effects are the winds and what is called "storm surge," a powerful, rapid rise in water built up by these low pressure systems. Flooding rains are also a strong possibility. They can also spawn tornadoes that form quickly and without much warning. (For video of Hurricane Ike in Beaumont, click here.)
Authorities usually evacuate residents of low lying areas to prevent high death tolls. In September 2005, the evacuation from Hurricane Rita caused a traffic nightmare. After then, authorities began developing plans to move large numbers of people to safety quickly. In the Beaumont area, when a mandatory evacuation is called, please heed authorities' warnings. If you are a tourist and don't have your own transportation, you can dial 3-1-1 on your phone to get information about where you can go and board buses to evacuate to inland cities such as Tyler and Dallas. If you are caught and must stay in town, the key thing to do is to go to an interior room away from windows in a sturdy building for the duration of the storm. Yes, storms can be quite exciting (going through an eye is really an awesome experience) but trust me from my own experience, you do not want to be caught outside during one of these storms.
So, please pay attention to local weather forecasts if a storm is brewing and check with your hotel or local authorities if you are unsure of what to do if a storm approaches.
Gang Violence south of Beaumont
Just south of Beaumont is a nice city called Port Arthur. However, you can get into a pretty dangerous area if you're not careful. If you're going to Pt. Arthur stay away from the levee area and check out where you're going before you go.
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