Category Archives: Hurricane

Harvey, The Beginning

West End of the Galveston Seawall

We had a light rain overnight, then a short but colorful storm before the sunrise.  Our lights blinked off momentarily.  Equalities computer rebooted,  mine didn’t. It’s the first of many times I’m sure.

Equality and I went out to get a little air and see whats happening around and about.  There aren’t a lot of people around, but even Houston isn’t reporting much traffic.  All the stores were open, and our local Randalls is well stocked with water, milk,  bread, and eggs. We just picked up some fruit.

We went to the west end of the seawall to see what the Gulf is doing.  Pretty gray light rain and lots of waves.  Some waves were breaking over the seawall.  Although not very inviting it wasn’t very threatning yet either.

The tidal surge is predicted to be 2 to 4 feet. not bad.  12 to 16 inches of rain, still not too bad.  Tropical storm conditions until Tuesday, Yuch. NOOA radio is calling for hurricane conditions on Tuesday, none of the other media is really claiming this.

It looks like we will fare better than those on the coast SouthWest of us or for those who are in Houston.

Harvey is Coming.

Dawn on Galveston

Harvey is coming, and as usual, his arrival is full of hype and breathless reporting locally and nationally.   so far it is still just a depression and hasn’t formed into an official tropical storm. Yet.

A Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch is posted for much of the coast of Texas, as Tropical Depression Harvey treks northwestwards at 9 mph over the Gulf of Mexico. An Air Force hurricane hunter plane found that Harvey had reorganized into a tropical cyclone on Wednesday morning, with a large, disorganized closed surface circulation and top winds to 35 mph. Harvey is expected to intensify into a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane that will bring dangerous flooding rains in excess of 10” to Texas late this week. This Hurricane Watch is the first for any part of Texas since Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Precipitation Prediction.

Landfall is expected to be near Corpus Christi. pretty far away.  The thing with this storm is that it is unorganised and expected to move very slowly.  It’s expected to drop a lot of rain. What it also means is that we don’t expect much in the way of hurricane force winds or an overwelming tidal surge. Just a lot of rain over 3 or 4 days. This isn’t going to be an Ike or a Rita at least in this area.

We have a personal policy of evacuation and doing it early under any serious threat. Harvey so far poses no such threat to us. Galveston is an Island flat and exposed to the Gulf of Mexico. Real tidal surges and hurricane force winds are dangerous to us, but we can handle lots of rain pretty well,   Rain will pretty much just run off into the Gulf.  The real threat is to the Mainland, Houston is flat and lots of poorly drained areas. 10 inches or more of rain and there will be flooding of highways and neighbourhoods.  There is no place for the water to go.

So how bad will it get in Galveston?  Mostly it’s gonna be wet and miserable. We plan on staying home unless there is a good break in the weather. If we do venture out it probably won’t be off Island. With this much rain we are likely to lose power, hopefully, it will be momentary.  The likely hood of us losing power isn’t so much a reflection on the severity of Harvey, but the unreliable power we have on the Island. As long as there aren’t any widespread power outages on the Mainland any power outages will be brief.  Long term power outages are awfully uncomfortable here.  Losing TV, lights and internet isn’t so bad, but not having air conditioning in Texas in August would be very uncomfortable.

Prepping:

We want to Sams club and picked up a few things. a case of 28 bottles of spring water. The same water we normally drink.  Some canned chicken meat mayo. beer and wine.  Got some eggs and cheese at the grocery stores.  Both cars are topped off just in case we decide later to evacuate. I have several flashlights and lamps that are rechargeable, and have them all topped off.  Download a couple of Kindle books.  I have a radio with new batteries. I think we are prepared pretty well, plenty of food.  I sometimes wish I had a generator though.

 

Somebody Must be doing Something Right

Our State Rep Craig Eiland is having anger management issues.  Throws the rule book up in the air in frustration, show his great statesmanship skills.

Tempers got even testier moments ago when House Calendars Chairman Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi wanted to suspend all necessary rules for several controversial bills on Monday’s agenda.

Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, threw the House rule book high into the air to show his disgust.

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, raised his voice from the back microphone – pointing out that Hunter’s extraordinarily unusual motion required one-hour notice.

“If you don’t want to enforce rules, that’s on you,” Fischer said in a loud voice to House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. “That’s not on us.”

He also reminded Straus that House members took down former House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, and more than two years ago because of his strong-armed rule.

What has him upset is TWIA tort reform legislation. “I have to go out and work (sue) under these rules.” -Rep. Craig Eiland

Or that his sugardaddy Steve Mostyn will be disapointed in new TWIA reforms.  All I know is that windstorm insurance is a backbreaker here on the island, and they don’t even cover much.

Too much Time on Their Hands

Our tree sculptures are a symbol of recovery to us in Galveston turning our loss into something positive.

It was almost 2 years ago on Sept, 13 that Hurricane Ike struck Galveston. The destruction Island wide was devastating. Weeks after the rebuilding we saw some of our majestic oak trees start to die off.  Rather than just cut them down folks decided to turn them into art. There are about 30 of the sculptures around town all are within view from sidewalks and the roads. The informal Tree Sculpture Tour has become a popular thing to do on our Island, and the homeowners have been so gracious.

The City in its never ending efforts to punish  efforts to do good, has assessed a fee of $10.00 to the home owners who tolerate visitors coming by to observe and take pictures in front of their homes.

As a sign of recovery and as a sign of the creativity and spirit of humankind, a group of local artists began to sculpt the stumps of the dead trees, creating mermaids, angels and hope from the dying remnants. There are about 20 such sculptures scattered around the city. Three are on public right of way — hence the $10 fee.

Beauty always is in the eye of the beholder, but the sculpted trees are beautiful. They have gained worldwide attention on the Internet. The public art is altogether a good and positive thing for a city that still struggles to get its feet back on the ground after a devastating hurricane.

For the city to charge homeowners a $10 fee for a sculpture is ridiculous. Nonetheless, the license-to-use fee applies because the tree sculptures are “designed” and thus fall into the category of right-of-way infrastructure. Galveston didn’t see the original trees as right-of-way infrastructure. But the sculptures — well, that’s another matter. Rules, after all, are rules.

While Tilloson generously offers to pay the $30.00 for the home owners. I respectfully suggest that in these hard times that if the city is so desperate that they can save a lot more money by eliminating the positions of whoever came up with this decision.  When a department comes up with ridiculous ideas, it is a sure sign that there are too many idle minds in one place. The savings would be significantly more than the annoying fees they are subjecting the homeowners too.

Another Anniversary


Two years ago Huricane Ike made landfall into Galveston. We were forewarned and well prepared.  The evacuations were organised and orderly. Ike had been a good teacher.  The storm hit Galveston and Bolivar Pennisiular with all his furry, a 16 foot storm surge damaged almost 100% of the structures and severely damaged or destroyed 80%. We here at Casa Libertad evacuated safely to the Woodlands which is 75 miles north and inland from here.  When we made it back we weren’t allowed to use the municpal sewage system because it was inoperable.  The causeway was a canyon of refuse and wreckage,  Our neighborhood was lucky, There was only 4 feet of water in our homes. Others fared much worse.

Today the Island Island is alive with hope, most of the people have returned. This weekend after Labor day is traditionally the weekend that we take our Island back, the beaches are ours, and traffic is easy. This year it was even more special. We have taken our Island back and an we aren’t in mourning but in celebration.  A flash mob formed yesterday in celebration with Mayor Joe leading the dancing ..