Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 11:11 am
Actually, Bill, that last hour 20mile jog to the north is what "saved" Galveston. I know you were watching closely Friday night when we were talking about the pre-landfall stall and the wobbles to the north. Had that final jog not taken place Galveston would look like Crystal Beach.

Many of the reports I'm hearing from survivors indicate that they were prepared for the wind but not for the surge. Many of those on the coast who evacuated did so because they were getting their information on the surge potential from other sources. As late as Friday afternoon the local media was saying that Ike might downgrade to a cat 1. At that point the SS category was irrelevant. The surge had been building for a week and folks were making their personal decisions based on feedback from local authorities and the media.

My greatest issue with the local authorities is that they had access to the same information as those who pay attention to these things privately. When Mayor Thomas denied that locals faced a certain death situation she was contradicting the National Hurricane Center and their bulletins. I don't know who she was listening to but it apparently wasn't the NHC.
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 11:52 am
JPB wrote:
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.
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 03:07 pm
Since I can't find that actual clip and listen to it again for myself I will simply say that there were lots of things said that indicated that they were in no way prepared for the reality, or even the potential of the reality, of what was coming at them. Keeping to my own feelings that it's easy to point fingers after the fact -- although there were many who were screaming loudly during the fact -- I'm going to switch my energies towards rescue and relief support.
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 03:47 pm
So it seems that Houston was rather fortunate to have Galveston acting as a barrier island so that huge city didn't have to take the full hit of the unimpeded hurricane forces.

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Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 12:41 pm
My blood pressure just went through the roof

The roughly 45,000 people who fled Galveston Island are among the more than 1 million who evacuated the Texas coast as Ike steamed across the Gulf of Mexico. Governor Rick Perry said 22,000 people are still living in more than 200 shelters, and he joined [Mayor] Thomas yesterday in asking for patience.

"I absolutely understand they want to get back to their homes. . . . I'd like to get back to the mansion," said Perry, who has been living in temporary quarters since his official residence burned down in June.

I wonder how his temporary quarters compare to the shelters.
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