“Houston, we’ve got a taxi problem!”
For those of us that live down here, the forecast 4 days out was terrifying. They were already predicting up to 50″ of rain. Wow, were the weather folks right! Some parts around Houston got 51 inches of rain. I live in Galveston and I well remember the TV and phone blaring the tornado and flood warnings. I must have had like 30 alerts one day! I sure hope I don’t see that again.
Ten years ago, Hurricane Ike was a much smaller hurricane and a lot less rain, but it was windy. Wind from the South piles up water against the island’s seawall and that is known as storm surge. The storm surge was big enough to overtop the seawall just like the levies got overtopped in New Orleans for their latest big storm.
Even though Galveston is an island, we still had flooding. Usually, heavy rains in Galveston just flow out to sea as the ocean is downhill. But… Hurricane Harvey hit Galveston from the North and caused storm search on that side of the Island where we had 4 or 5 feet of water in the Strand. Those businesses are built high above the street so even 4 or 5 feet of water in the streets hardly gets into the shop and then it drains right back out.
Of course, if you look at the 1900 Galveston Storm page, you’ll see what a really, really bad storm surge does. Over 5,000 people killed. Can you imagine 5,000 people in the United States being killed in one storm.
The great earthquake in Haiti killed two hundred thousand people. We have no earthquakes or wildfires in Galveston. The hurricanes are predicted days in advance and this guy always leaves town BEFORE everybody thinks that’s necessary. My wife and I fled Clear Lake (right by NASA) and fled to Dallas for Hurricane Gilbert. Our house was only 16 feet above sea level and Clear Lake itself isn’t a lake because it is directly connected to Galveston Bay. Clear Lake isn’t clear, it’s a big mud hole!
Three cruise ships got stranded in the Gulf of Mexico because they couldn’t make it into Port Galveston. Me? I never lost power and I live in a house on stilts!