As everyone watches and waits for Tropical Storm Dolly to strengthen, I can't help remembering my first time covering a hurricane.
I was fresh out of college, working in Abilene as a reporter for KTAB TV, when I got the chance of a lifetime.
Everyone who knows me, knows that I love breaking news. I'm an adrenaline junky and absolutely love being in the middle of the action.
So, when my news director told me I would be heading to Beaumont and Port Arthur to cover the storm, I jumped at the opportunity.
I went with another female reporter, we were both working as one-man-bands, meaning we filmed, reported, and edited our own stories. Abilene is a fairly small television market--so this is the norm. Looking back at it now, I wouldn't have changed it for the world--but wow, we really did work hard.
I was fortunate enough to be embedded with members of the National Guard. Many of the men and women were from the Abilene area, so I captured their stories in the aftermath of the storm.
I was exhausted after our trip, but what I saw will stay with me forever.
I saw the destruction the storm left in its path, I saw hundreds of people lined up at the gas station--all hoping to get enough to fill-up, I saw police cars parked on the side of the road---because they had run out of gas, I saw a sheriff's office trying to conduct business while generators emitted light for just a couple of rooms.
I talked with people who had lost everything--that was definitely the hardest part of the job.
Overall, covering Rita was amazing, but emotional.
The memories will stay with me forever, and although we long for these stories--because they're fascinating and exciting to cover--deep down we all wish they wouldn't happen.
I hope and pray Dolly won't be as destructive and I wish our News Three team all the luck on their adventure.