My sister lives in Houston, and Hurricane Ike is approaching the Texas Gulf Coast. She doesn’t livein the A or B zones, the coastal and near-coastal areas which have been ordered to evacuate. But she is in Zone C. We’ve talked; she’s staying put in her house with all her pets and after most of her life in Houston knows how to deal with hurricanes. Last night she told me that all the stores are sold out of ice, and good luck trying to buy gas anywhere.
I’ve been watching the Weather Channel for too long today, and just checked online for status. With landfall still many hours away, the water is rising fast and seriously in Galveston and the coastal areas.
I’m worried but there’s nothing to do but wait and see.
Thanks to technology I can look at live weathercams in my sister’s part of town, and I bet I don’t close that browser window much in the next day or so. I also found this specific forecast for her zip code (the stuff that makes me gulp, I’ve bolded):
Rest of Today - Tropical storm conditions expected with hurricane conditions possible. Cloudy. Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the morning…then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Highs around 90. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph in the morning increasing to 30 to 35 mph with gusts to around 70 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 40 percent in the morning increasing to 60 percent in the afternoon.
Tonight - Hurricane conditions expected. Showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rainfall. Lows in the upper 70s. Northeast winds 40 to 50 mph with gusts to around 80 mph in the evening increasing to 55 to 75 mph with gusts to around 90 mph after midnight. Chance of rain 90 percent in the evening increasing to near 100 percent after midnight.
Saturday - Hurricane conditions expected. Showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rainfall. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest winds 50 to 70 mph with gusts to around 90 mph in the morning decreasing to 30 to 35 mph with gusts to around 60 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain near 100 percent.
Saturday Night - Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rainfall. Breezy. Lows in the upper 70s. South winds 20 to 25 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.
And of course that doesn’t talk about possible flooding. Inevitable power outages. Cell phones may not work if towers are taken out of service by the storm.
I grew up there, and lived through a lot of hurricanes. Ike is a big big storm. I am worried.