[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.