Well looks like the hurricane box gets opened this weekend. Its going to be definitely more like Ike Turner than Tina Turner.
(The title refers to the Republican presidential campaign slogan, 1952.)
Friday Night 7:20PM CDT
Earlier my concern about keeping power running in the house were justified. Winds are gusting up to 45 mph. The storm is still mostly offshore yet we've gotten 15 to 20 momentary breaks in the last 3 hours. These power breaks are probably service events related to changes necessary to "disconnect" areas of the southeast Houston-Galveston areas that are already under water.
So far the UPS for the computer systems seems to be running ok. My DSL connection is working more reliably than the satellite system simply because the DSL is on the UPS and the satellite receiver is not.
The storm is still rated as only a Category 2 storm but the surge looks like it will be huge. Large areas of the city of Galveston are already under some water on the bay side.
My use of the NOAA website for hurricane information has probably helped keep my blood pressure and my wife's anxiety down!
One item on the local television stations though was somewhat ironic. One of the news teams was setup in Galveston and showing the seawall in their "live" shots. One of the traffic lights on the seawall street was lit up red and remained stuck there with about 10 feet of water swirling around the base of the traffic light! Every time you see the light its stuck on red and the water is higher than before.
Earlier today my son and I "rescued" my sister's car from my Mom's house in Clear Lake. My sister and my mom are approximately up in Arkansas by now having left yesterday to avoid the potential flooding at my mom's house. We've got 25 feet more in elevation compared to her house. There might be some local flooding here but not nearly as much as there in Clear Lake.
Friday Night 9:50PM CDT
There have been a number of reports of fires in the city of Galveston that have destroyed homes and businesses. One fire was at a dry storage facility for power boats across the street from the University of Texas Medical Branch hospital. Because the storage facility was surrounded by 10 feet of water, the firemen couldn't get to the location close enough to do anything but watch it burn. That was in daylight late this afternoon.
Later this evening there have been a number of reports of houses on fire. In one case a block of 12 houses that caught fire and again burned without firemen being able to do anything about it. In all of the situations, the combination of high water and high winds make fighting the fire impossible.
Makes me glad I turned off the gas and electricity at my mom's house. When you think about a hurricane damaging your home, you don't normally think of fire as a reason to lose your house.
I've been using the computer almost exclusively for information about the storm. A very nice combination of technology. I've been getting streaming video and audio from one of the local television stations. Additionally, I've been continuously connected to the radar loop from the NOAA, the IR loop from the weather satellite and obviously connected to this blog and other websites.
Locally winds are up to 55 to 60 mph, lots of wind but very little rain. As hurricanes go, so far this one is stirred not shaken, very dry.