Cider Press Hill

Ike

Thursday, 5:20 pm

By Kate

Sep

11

2008

partly cloudy

This is Hurricane Ike. What a massive storm.

Consider that the Gulf of Mexico is about 800 miles across and Ike is taking up most of it...and still growing. Ike is now larger than Katrina, though not yet quite as strong. At least in terms of wind. (It will probably intensify tonight now that it’s going over some very warm water again.) However, the storm surge is already kicking up from Florida to Texas. I heard recent reports that Mobile, Alabama is flooding, the coastal parishes in Louisiana are under mandatory evacuation orders, and Galveston, Texas is also experiencing surge related flooding already. Some of the electricity infrastructure repairs in southeastern Louisiana, from Gustav, have been blown down again today. If this thing hits the Galveston/Houston area, I wonder how much will be left when the storm is past. This is an astonishing storm. Scary astonishing. The storm surge, anywhere between 15 and 20 feet, is like a wall of water the height of an average house bearing down on the coastal areas. Kind of like a tsunami. If I saw that coming at me, I’m pretty sure I’d die of fright before anything else. I hope the people in the coastal areas are packing up and heading as far inland as possible. My thoughts and best wishes are certainly with them.

This is what the National Weather Service says about the Galveston/Houston area:

Life threatening inundation likely!

All neighborhoods… and possibly entire coastal communities…
will be inundated during the period of peak storm tide. Persons
not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story
homes will face certain death. Many residences of average
construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread
and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere.
Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads
will be swamped… some may be washed away by the water. Entire
flood prone coastal communities will be cutoff. Water levels may
exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland. Coastal residents in
multi-story facilities risk being cutoff. Conditions will be
worsened by battering waves. Such waves will exacerbate property
damage… with massive destruction of homes… including those of
block construction. Damage from beach erosion could take years to
repair.

Meanwhile, hope you have a full gas tank at yesterday’s prices. Looks as if the price of gasoline in the southern portion of the US has already skyrocked and the rest of us will probably feel it to some degree or another for a while. Almost all the refineries are shut down, some have been since Gustav blew through. Remains to be seen how many will remain out of operation after this storm. No refineries in operation and closed ports equals no gasoline. Looks as if this is going to be a brutal September.