Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike watch

UPDATED & BUMPED AGAIN: As of 4:10 a.m. -- two hours after landfall -- Dr. Melissa still had power in the Houston area, which suggests a less-than-catastrophic impact. The Houston Chronicle reports:
As dawn broke, emergency officials were fielding pleas for help from residents along the coast who remained behind and were trapped in their homes. . . .
Wilson Shaffer, chief of the National Weather Service's evaluation division, said the storm surge was smaller than predicted. . . . The highest surge Saturday morning was about 13.5 feet at Sabine Pass in Texas, according to tidal gauges. The surge at Galveston was 11 feet, about half of what was predicted.
So, there will be wind damage and flooding from rain, but the devastating 20-foot storm surge that was predicted didn't happen. Let's face it: TV news hypes these storms to generate ratings. The more scary they can make the storm appear, the more people watch. TV news actually wants a repeat of Hurricane Katrina, especially before the election.

Yes, it's come to this: Biased weather reports.

UPDATED & RE-BUMPED: Galveston radar loop shows a direct hit on Galveston/Houston, with the eye probably coming ashore about 3 a.m. ET.

UPDATED & BUMPED: Linked in Insty's roundup and called a "smartass" by Dr. Melissa, who's gallantly blogging away in suburban Houston. She's angry that 24,000 people stayed in Galveston. It's a free country. If they want to try for a Darwin Award, why should we deny them the opportunity? Besides, judging from recent cable news coverage, at least 1,000 of those people are camera-hogging TV reporters, leaning into the wind.

PREVIOUSLY: Since the TV news is all Ike, all the time, I guess I might as well blog the impending catastrophe. If you believe the TV news people, by noon Saturday, half of Texas will be under water. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did his best to stoke the apocalyptic fears:
I think this certainly falls in the category of pretty much a worst case scenario for having a hurricane impact in the Gulf area.
The greatest natural disaster in human history. The end of the world as we know it. Total disasterville.

Firedoglake predicts Ike will be worse than Katrina. This is good news for Texas, because Firedoglake is always wrong about everything.


  1. I love your blog. And I live in Houston - just outside the Loop, sitting around waiting for Ike and reading all my favorite blogs. I think the Houston news channels and Houston government have been extremely calm and reasonable, clear headed, trying to explain the seriousness of the situation without freaking out. But Governor Goodhair (and note: I'm a Republican. he's an idiot) and some of the national media have been clowns. and a lot of the other media are ignoring Ike because it doesn't threaten New Orleans and therefore can't be used to remind people of Bush's supposed failures.

    but you know what? This son of a bitch has a badass - BADASS - storm surge. This guy is huge, and the water is going to be a freaking monster. We're not going to flood - our house didn't flood in Allison, and it won't now - but holy shit. In about four hours, it's going to be nasty down south.


    In about four hours gas prices here in Nashville went up about $.40 per gallon. I went out about an hour ago (2230 central) and filled up the family van at $3.99 per. This morning I saw prices at about $3.59.

    Also, only two of the five stations I came across actually had gas for sale. The other three had their pumps shut off with signs saying they had none for sale. The clerks were mum about whether they actually had no gas or were holding on to it.

    One of the two stations that had gas for sale had gobs of vehicles in line to gas up. The other station is sort of hidden in the local neighborhood and was crowded but nothing like the other...

    Anything like this happening in other areas outside the storm zone?

  3. Some stations I saw here in SW metro Atlanta were busy, but I've seen them that busy on any Friday, hurricane in the Gulf or not.

    Prices have gone up, but nothing like what I keep hearing about in Tennessee (I have in-laws there, and Steve isn't the first other TN source I've seen for these stories).