Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ike coming dangerously close to Houston area

From the Houston Chronicle's blog SciGuy:

The track forecast for Ike tonight has edged significantly closer to the Houston-Galveston area, now bringing the storm ashore near Freeport.

As I wrote a few years ago, for Houston's sake, this is just about the worst possible place a storm could make landfall.

If the forecast remains centered upon Brazoria County and especially Freeport -- and of course that's a big if -- I would expect widespread evacuations in southeast Harris County and Galveston County to be called Thursday morning. I am not one to make editorial comments, but I am surprised that Galveston County has not yet called for a mandatory evacuation.


The official forecast calls for a 125-mph hurricane at landfall, a strong category 3 system. For those who remember Hurricane Alicia in 1983, it came ashore with 115 mph winds. Such a storm could create a significant surge.

More here.

And I am one of those who remember Hurricane Alicia back in 1983. We were way the fuck north, up in Kingwood, and it was still hardcore. We got the so-called "dirty side" of Alicia, the north eastern side, which typically contains the most volatile weather, heavy rains, strong winds. That's why this potential Brazoria County landfall is so troubling: it would send Ike's "dirty side" right up the same path Alicia took when I was a young teen, right through Houston.

Now, on a sliding scale, this is just not the same kind of danger we would face here in New Orleans, for obvious bowl-shaped and levee oriented reasons, or in Galveston, which is totally exposed. But still. Alicia was intense and I have no desire for any of my pals in Houston to deal with all the shit.

Hunker down, friends, and tape up your windows. God I hate hurricane season.