Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricanes and Books

Well, it appears more and more likely that Hurricane Ike will land near enough to Houston sometime around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning to have a significant negative impact on the city and its suburbs. Even though I live about 25 miles due north of downtown Houston, it is not at all unlikely that hurricane force winds will make it up here. What is much more likely, though, is that lesser winds will hit the area around me but still knock out electrical power. When that happens the outage tends to last from several hours to two or three weeks, depending on the actual damage done. Houston is a very green city and the problem we have in storms like this one is all the falling trees that land in exactly the wrong spots - on top of electrical lines or homes.

Anyway, I'm mentioning this just in case the worst happens and I disappear for a few days. I've spent the last several hours bringing all the patio furniture, flower pots, etc. into the garage and trying to figure out how to still get both cars inside. Much of the area just a few miles south of me is under a mandatory evacuation order at this point so all roads heading north are pretty jammed up. Luckily, we did not plan to evacuate anyway and have taken in a goodly supply of groceries, batteries, water, and the like, and we are ready to see what happens.

Houston has not experienced a direct hit from a hurricane in almost exactly 25 years but the city planners seem to be pretty well prepared for this one as a result of the evacuation for Hurricane Rita we experienced three years ago and the experience of taking in well over 100,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans only a month before that (many thousands of whom are still here, by the way).

I'm hoping that any power outage will be short, especially since there will be no place to go and I'll have all this free time to read and blog. We'll see what happens.

15 comments:

  1. Stay safe and take care Sam. I hope it fizzles and you don't get much from it.

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  2. Thanks, Amy. These things have been known to turn in the last six or eight hours, so anything could still happen. But we're as ready as we ever will be.

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  3. I hope all goes well! I'll keep you in my thoughts.

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  4. Take care down there; I hope the storm loses some strength before it gets there.

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  5. What town outside of Houston? I'm watching the storm closely - from Kingwood and still have family down there. Be safe!

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  6. Thanks, Robin and Dream Queen. I appreciate the nice thoughts.

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  7. Boston, I'm in Spring, about ten miles south of The Woodlands. The Woodlands is about 20 miles west of Kingwood where you're relatives are.

    I suspect that Kingwood will go through pretty much the same conditions we will be experiencing here in Spring.

    The seawall down on Galveston is already starting to have wave crash over it in lower spots and it is looking like this thing is going to cause a tremendous amount of flooding along the coast. Up here the water won't be a big problem. It's the wind, fall trees, structural damage, and loss of power that we have to worry about.

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  8. Be safe, Sam. I hope any power outages are brief and that there isn't any property damage at your house.

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  9. Hope the storm doesn't get too bad and you all stay well.

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  10. Thanks, SFP. The waiting for something to happen is starting to get a bit nerve-wracking now that we're seeing so much damage down on the coast. I have quite a few family members who have evacuated to other cities and states, leaving their property to the mercy of Ike, and I'm sure they're anxious for this thing to be over.

    Things should get interesting here sometime in the next eight hours or so.

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  11. Thanks for the kind words, Melanie...much appreciated.

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  12. Stay safe, Sam! And enjoy our reading time!

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  13. Thanks, Annie. It's sounding worse every hour but that may just be the cumulative effect of hearing all the warnings over and over and watching the news pictures.

    They are saying that 3.1 million homes will likely lose power, some for up to two weeks. That will be tough to take.

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  14. Thanks, Stefanie. It's starting to blow pretty hard out there now but we have power, at least, although I doubt seriously that we will make it through the night with electricity...or running water.

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