Patterico's Pontifications


Hurricane Ike

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 11:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hurricane Ike is 600 mile across, has a two-story storm surge, and is forecast to be the worst hurricane to hit Texas in 50 years. NOAA radar illustrates the size of this storm: Ike is almost as big as Texas and is reminiscent of the 1900 Galveston storm that killed 6,000 — the nation’s worst natural disaster.

Unfortunately, up to 90,000 Texans who live in mandatory evacuation areas may have decided not to leave. Officials indicate many have called for help but, as residents have been told repeatedly, at this point help won’t arrive until after the storm subsides. [EDIT: Texas Governor Rick Perry noted that anyone still on Galveston island and in the low-lying areas between Galveston and Houston is in grave danger. Said Perry, “Individuals who think they are tougher, stronger than Mother Nature — God be with them.”] Officials have asked the media not to photograph “certain things” in the aftermath.

Texas Rainmaker was blogging the storm until he lost power about an hour ago, right after noting that the storm will come ashore during high tide when forecasters believe the storm surge could reach 31 feet. A storm surge of that height would be almost double the height of the Galveston seawall.

Still, I had to laugh when I saw his neighbors’ message to Ike. It may be one of the few things about this we can laugh at.


40 Responses to “Hurricane Ike”

  1. I was gaming with a guy who warned that he might lose power—although he was well outside the mand. evac. area.

    Hope everyone comes out alright.

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  2. I’m coaxing my company’s data center through the storm, in a mandatory evacuation area. Standing outside the office watching the storm is definitely an experience to remember.

    The building is sturdy, with a good generator to maintain the necessary systems. The eye should be here shortly.

    James (b116d6)

  3. I’m about 75 miles NW of Houston; as far as ferocity goes, it’s probably on the kitten paw scale.
    Scariest thing I heard was one message released by Texas Emergency Management: “if you’re riding this out in Galveston, please write your Social Security number on your arm”.
    Ho-ly f$@k.

    X_LA_Native (22a88b)

  4. We are saying prayers for everyone.

    JD (5f0e11)

  5. I just cant believe how huge it is. I’m pretty far away, but when you look at the map at, the high winds are quite a bit west of San Antonio.

    James, hold tight.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  6. The worst is over. It’s still gusting, but not as bad now as 2:00am. When I went outside I found tree trunks, about a foot in diameter, snapped. A yield sign in front of the building broke the pole it was on.

    James (b116d6)

  7. Our prayers go out for the victims. What can you do about human psychology? Had the NOLA residents evacuated again, they’d be more reluctant to pack up in the future. Let’s hope Galveston isn’t too beat up. I’m sure the rest of the country will send help to get power back on, etc. We appreciated that here in Florida in 2004-2005. Lengthy loss of power is a bitch as are roads blocked and stores/gas stations unopened. Then later one copes with the insurance snafus and much higher rates. I’m guessing that Texans, like the Colorado people did during massive snow storms, will have a can do attitude, unlike the culture of permanent welfare in NOLA. Govs. Perry, Barber and Jindal are not Blanco.
    Peace be with you all.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  8. I don’t think it helped to see that idiot Geraldo Rivera “reporting” from Galveston and informing us that he planned to go to the top floors of a hotel to ride out the storm. This sort of thing encourages people to stay behind. He even described a woman he had talked to who was new to the area and had never seen a hurricane so she decided to stay home.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  9. The Rita fiasco is what encouraged people to stay behind

    But thanks for playing

    i like america (f4c1e0)

  10. A reminder – please don’t feed the Troll. Thank you.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  11. What I like best is paying the tens of millions in tax money that rescuing these morons is going to cost. Ordered to evacuate? Traffic too much? Hey, I’ll just hang around til the government takes me to a shelter.

    howard432 (cc8b85)

  12. Most of the people I know in Houston stayed behind. They figured that if the real danger was the storm surge, well, they were all on high ground, so they’d be OK; and better not to be on the road and get in the way of the people who really did need to evacuate.

    I hope they are ok.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  13. Holy cow…

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  14. #11 – people died in traffic during Rita. Google it

    These ‘morons’ have a lot more riding on the traffic than you seem to understand.

    i like america (f4c1e0)

  15. Various moonbats are quick to praise China for their infrastructure. Elitists Obumbler and Tom Friedman come to mind with recent comments and columns. Can you imagine the death and destruction in the workers’ paradises of Red China, N. Korea or Venezuela if they had to endure similar storms? Last I heard the road to the airport in Caracas has been a POS for years. And Chinese construction makes American performed shoddy or nonexistent work seem positively wonderful in comparison.
    Since we’re talking about disasters, let’s see how S. Ca. copes when the Big Earthquake comes or NYC when the right hurricane hits at an optimal time for massive destruction. Or consider any WMD attack under the watchful eyes of crapweasel Obambi administration.
    I’m enjoying my local libs acquaintances already blaming ex-guv of Texas, the evil/moronis Bushitler for Galveston woes. And also lovely how they claim Sarah Palin isn’t experienced enough to be veep, but the magic negro affirmative action/ayers-wright-rezno ass-kissing Dalibama is.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  16. DMac – hey look, you can learn. Here’s a cookie

    i like america (f4c1e0)

  17. max max, don’t worry. I have one for you too

    i like america (f4c1e0)

  18. Dmac speaks characteristically wise words.

    Seablogger has some apposite words about the lessons of Ike.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  19. I spent a good deal of time last night watching the storm news and praying for those in its path. But I have to confess that the pronouncement of “Certain Death” (and how Fox ran it as a constant spinning message in the lower right corner of the screen), and the hyperbolistic gyrations of Heraldo Rivera just tended to get my back up. If I had lived there I would have instinctively resisted reacting to such enormous pronouncements.

    Shep Smith told Heraldo that the storm surge would mean an additional 10 foot rise in water level that would happen in just 5 minutes. And whenever a wave would wash about HR’s feet, he would lift his feet alternately, splashing around to show that he was getting wet. But then… the surge turned out to be half of what they predicted.

    How to feel about that? I’m happy that it was half – heck, there’d be thousands more ruined houses if it hadn’t, and possibly much loss of life. And yet, it is so aggravating that there will be additional reason for diehards (or is that hard heads?) to stay behind next time.

    “Oh, yeah! That’s what they said about Rita, but the evacuation was worse than the storm. And they told us that Ike meant certain death, but Barbie and I rode it out just fine.”

    When the “perfect storm” really does arrive, what will these people do? They’ve already used up all the adjectives.

    Don (18df96)

  20. Don, part of the problem is that it’s impossible to know in advance if any given storm is the perfect storm.

    The models showed 24 foot storm surge for this; it turned out to be closer to 12 feet. So the models were wrong … but the models were all the people making the projections had.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  21. I understand that, aphrael. I guess my frustration is with the way that all this is covered. Seablogger (from the link by Bradley above) says it well, “Those folks could panic a stone.”

    I don’t think panic is a good motivational tool.

    Don (18df96)

  22. Just passed the Del Rio airport and saw lots of little planes parked and waiting out the storm. There were also a bunch of rescue helicopters.

    It’s such a beautiful sunny day here and it’s hard to accept that a storm is covering a huge part of the state.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  23. I’ve made some foolish storm decisions myself – ignoring tornado warnings – taking a family trip home on Thanksgiving despite a blizzard. I’ve “played the odds” and when I was driving white-knuckled through a blizzard at 1 a.m. I’ve cursed my foolishness. But then, when I was safely at my mother’s house, I thought, “Hey, all’s well that ends well.”

    If Heraldo Rivera had stood on a snow covered highway yelling death and destruction, would it have kept me from going home for Thanksgiving? Probably not. But it might have made my wife keep me from driving us home for Thanksgiving. 😉

    As I get older I begin to be more cautious, but Heraldo makes me stupid. I think Heraldo makes everyone stupid.

    Don (18df96)

  24. DRJ – I forget in which part of the state you live, but hopefully you and yours are keeping safe and well.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  25. I live on the westbank of the Mississippi in the Greater New Orleans area, close enough to the city that I can be on Bourbon Street in about 12 minutes from my house. I’ve lived and stayed through every hurricane before Katrina since 1954, including the major ones, Hilda, Betsy, Camille, and all the minor ones, including Rita….

    All that said, anyone who chooses to stay during any storm that passes close, such as Gustav here, or Ike in Houston, is simply wrong.

    I encourage all to remember that New Orleans survived Katrina. The Greater New Orleans area, including the parishes (counties, for all you Yankees) of Orleans and Jefferson, really dodged a bullet with Katrina….then the levees failed….

    The surrounding parishes, however, including St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington north of the city, St. John, St. James, and St. Charles, west of the city, St. Bernard and Plaquemine, south of the city, suffered MAJOR damage, in many cases as many as 90% of the structures suffering major damage either from wind, rain, or flood. And, respectfully, Katrina “MISSED” the area, because the eye passed far enough west that the major effects were limited….

    The Gulf Coast was hammered….another story….

    My daughter called from Houston this morning, safe, but, doesn’t know about her apartment complex. A neighbor in another building in her complex lost their roof, and suffered damage. She is on her way to check hers, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed…..she stayed in a ranch house with friends just north of Houston, and that suffered little damage….but, many homes in that area have suffered wind damage….and this storm was not as powerful as it could have been….

    As for the news media, everyone must remember that the “local” news will be filled with hurricane info/stories, and that is important for the local community. If you don’t keep access to cable/satelite, and most don’t during a storm, the local TV/radio is the only contact. For Katrina, my wife and I went to Bogalusa, a town in the pine forest about 100 miles north of New Orleans, and we were trapped by the downed trees for over a week, until we, and the others in the community, could cut our own way out….I personally cut 122 pine trees into parts over a 6 day period…and the only communication we had with the outside world was AM radio, one station…phones didn’t work for two weeks….so, the complaints about media coverage are understood to a point (yes, standing in the surf off Galveston Island is stupid….sometimes you hope that a tree branch or a stop sign would come whizzing by their face, scare the shit out of one of them, but…) but everyone should remember that the local news/national news crews that cover the storms are usually the only contact the locals have, and then only if they are lucky enough to have power (we didn’t get power back in Bogalusa after Katrina for 17 days, and at my home in Marrero for 22).

    Please, get out if the storm is coming….yes, the models are often wrong….but the risk is not worth that chance….

    reff (4ab894)

  26. I’m in central Houston. Power just came back on after cutting out three hours ago.

    Three cheers for the electricity workers! Power To The People!

    Water’s out though. Don’t know how long it’s been out. I expect the water was cut off due to lack of electricity for the pumps, so hopefully it will be back soon. I can make a couple of days easy with some filled bottles.

    Looking Glass (eadae0)

  27. Correction: Power had gone out 12 hours ago, around three a.m.

    Looking Glass (eadae0)

  28. Daughter is safe….apartment is damaged, leaking from the roof….no real losses for her, just having to deal with the crisis of where to sleep while apt. gets fixed….amazingly, the complex has no 24 hour emergency numbers, no one in their offices, and no contact numbers…

    I’ll be moving her out of that place at first chance….

    reff (4ab894)

  29. Well, that’s good news, Reff – I hope those who stayed behind won’t regret their decision.

    My friends always laugh when I try to mime the action shots of the “weather gouls” at outlets like The Weather Channel, who never miss an opportunity to shriek in order to keep their miniscule viewership tuned in for more than 3 minutes. It’s a very cynical MO, and it may be time to put a quarantine on these flights of idiocy – all it does it prove to those reluctant to leave that hey, if the TV idiot’s not dead yet, why should I go anywhere?

    Dmac (e639cc)

  30. There are too, TOO, many stories of people who stayed for Katrina, and didn’t make it out….and again, remember, that for New Orleans/Jefferson proper, the storm wasn’t bad until the levees broke…

    There won’t be many stories from Texas like that, but, there will be some….

    And, that is the crime….

    Yes, the idiocy of the TV people should be put under some control…

    reff (4ab894)

  31. This first video is a 3-minute look at St. Bernard Parish, just after Katrina….taken after about 30 days…this area got 6-24 feet of water….south of New Orleans…

    This second video tells just a story of one family in the same area….

    People need to get out when the storm comes….

    reff (4ab894)

  32. These two videos DO NOT REPRESENT AREAS that had levee breeches. This was storm surge.

    reff (4ab894)

  33. I live in West Texas and that’s not anywhere near the coast so I appreciate the information from people in the Houston area.

    I have been able to watch telecasts from KHOU, a local Houston channel, on DirecTV. KHOU showed tape today of 30+ large boats sitting on the elevated causeway between Houston and Galveston. It looks like a road after a multi-car pileup except it’s filled with big shrimper-type boats instead of cars. The reporter said one of the boats was still running and, although they tried, they couldn’t shut it off.

    Thus, I think some areas got significant storm surge.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  34. Shrimp in Texas? Hard to believe. Unless they’re those giant shrimp I’ve heard of. 😉

    nk (d681ef)

  35. Looking Glass,

    Mayor White had information at his press conference this morning that you need to know and share with your neighbors:

    There is no indication the water supply is contaminated. However, one pumping station went down due to a power outage and there is an increased risk of contamination when that happens. Therefore, Mayor White said Houston residents should drink bottled water until told otherwise or, if they have to drink tap water, make sure they bring it to a rolling boil for 1 minute first.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  36. nk,

    Heh. Like all good Texans, I’m betting Texas shrimpers specialize in jumbo shrimp. But Gustav was already bad for Galveston shrimpers and Ike probably made it worse.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  37. Reff,

    Good luck with your daughter and her apartment. You might want to look at temporary lodging west of Houston. My West Houston relatives have power but the North Houston folks in the Woodlands don’t.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  38. Thanks DRJ….she’s with friends now, and I have some extended family near that she can stay with….she’s 24, and while somewhat on her own, Daddy is still paying most of it, so, she’ll try to make it work without asking me….we’ll see how she does….she’s told me not to come now, and she’ll work on her situation….

    reff (4ab894)

  39. Power was out in Katy TX (West of Houston). Back on now.

    rudytbone (339e21)

  40. I have some servers physically located in the Houston area. They held up but I was more concerned with internet outages.

    Part of the stuff I was getting then….

    The pattern of network outages seems consistent with other historical storms of Ike’s ilk. The counties around Galveston and Houston, TX (most notably Harris County) have suffered a slowly climbing number of network outages over the last day. We expect to see this number continue to climb as the secondary effects (e.g. power loss, UPS battery failure, generator fuel unavailability) of the storm hit the region

    daytrader (ea6549)

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