When Mayor Thomas denied that locals faced a certain death situation she was contradicting the National Hurricane Center and their bulletins.
This sentence defies reason
so completely that it's tough to even absorb. I don't think it possible to live in Galveston
(let alone be the mayor) and not be aware of just how deadly storm surges can be. Last minute wobbles, stalls, direction changes, eye wall strengthening and weakening are completely unpredictable and most certainly shouldn't be gambled upon by incompetent mayors.
Just a couple of years ago, Hurricane Charley went from a CAT-2 packing 110 mph winds to a high end CAT-4 packing 150 mph winds in less than 8 hours. Ike could easily have done the same, and brought with that wind the wrath of God in killer waves on top of the already enormous surge. Mayor Thomas's actions are unfathomable to me, but again, I can't believe there are any residents of Galveston, of all places, that were unaware of the dangers themselves. The incredible level of stupidity evidenced here is as widespread as it is unbelievable.