Thread: Hurricane Ike
09-12-2008, 02:16 AM #1
Don't like Hurricane Ike: Thousands flee as storm heads for Houston
By DAVE GOLDINER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, September 11th 2008, 11:17 PM
Einsel/Getty Chris Robertson (r.) and John Moore (l.) board up a Galveston, Tx., home, built in 1895, in preparation for Hurricane Ike.
Hurricane Ike threatened the Texas coast Thursday night with a 20-foot wall of water as hundreds of thousands of people fled before the massive storm.
Traffic jammed highways and gas stations ran dry near Galveston as the storm strengthened and took aim directly at Houston.
"It's a big storm. I cannot overemphasize the danger that is facing us," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said at a news conference.
Ike was expected to be at least a Category 3 monster packing winds of more than 130 mph when it slams into land Friday night or early Saturday.
The storm's powerful coil of wind and rain extends for more than 200 miles from the eye, meaning most of the Texas Gulf Coast could endure life-threatening destruction.
Forecasters said because of Ike's size and the shallow coastal waters, the storm could produce a wall of water 20 feet high and waves as high as 50 feet. They also expect about 10 inches of rain.
The nasty storm was moving directly at Houston, whose skyscrapers, the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's Johnson Space Center lie in areas that could be vulnerable to wind and floodwaters.
But to avoid the crippling gridlock that hampered preparations for Hurricane Rita in 2005, the 2 million residents of the nation's fourth-largest city and 1 million others in Harris County were asked to stay put.
"We are still saying: Please shelter in place, or to use the Texas expression, hunker down," said Judge Ed Emmett, a Harris County official.
Houston Mayor Bill White told residents to storm-proof their homes.
"Think of how your barbecue could become a flying object," he said.
Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas extended a mandatory evacuation to the entire city, which sits on an island southeast of Houston.
A hurricane killed more than 6,000 people in Galveston in 1900, the nation's worst natural disaster.
"Our intent is to save lives," she said. "We believe it is best for people to leave."
The oil and gas industries kept a close watch on Ike Thursday night as it bore down on the refineries and petrochemical plants that dot the Texas coast.
Wholesale gas prices yesterday jumped 30% - about $1 a gallon - out of fear of the damage Ike could cause.
"Ike will not weaken significantly before landfall," said Ken Reeve of AccuWeather.com. "As a result, the damage potential is exponentially higher."
09-14-2008, 11:46 AM #2
YUP..Hurricane Ike F***ED us up in Houma, Louisiana.Last I heard my house had about 8 inches of water inside.
09-16-2008, 03:28 AM #3
Wow, that's heavy, sure hope you are doing alright and your neighbors as well.... Beautiful place to live in however, despite the hurricane, I know that is no consolation. shawn
09-16-2008, 04:18 AM #4
The evacuation was not a mystery to people, as long as they had television, internet or radio available, people knew what was coming. This story is probably going to get replayed as surivors come forward...too bad they just didn't evacuate, instead a life is lost and one is traumatized.....very sad.
Man stricken with loss when rescue never came
By ALLEN G. BREED 2 hours ago
GILCHRIST, Texas (AP) Shell-shocked, hungry and still reeling from the loss of a woman who'd clung to rafters with him against the full fury of Hurricane Ike, Bobby Anderson limped off ravaged Bolivar Peninsula in a pickup truck reclaimed from the gulf.
"I'm hoping they find her alive or well," a dazed Anderson said Monday night after emerging from the darkness across the debris-littered road that led past rows of beach houses scoured clean by the storm.
Anderson refused to identify the woman swept away before his eyes when Ike raked this barrier island Saturday, except to say she was the girlfriend of a former employee. But he showed no such restraint when it came to his bitterness over a rescue that never happened and post-storm help that never came.
"What assistance?" the 56-year-old home designer and builder said from the cab of his battered black Chevy. "I mean, there's helicopters landing there every day. They don't bring food OR water. I mean, you know, old Gov. Rick (Perry) dropped the ball on this one."
For the past three days, Anderson and about 20 others "scattered here, there and yonder" in the communities of Crystal Beach and Port Bolivar have been sharing food and comfort, holding fast to what remains of their lives.
Anderson said he had every intention of leaving after the National Weather Service warned that people who lived on the fragile chain of barrier islands along the Texas coast faced "certain death" from Ike's massive storm surge.
Despite all the coverage, Anderson said he and his friend were caught off guard. When they tried to leave Friday, they encountered waters up to 4 feet deep engulfing the road to Gilchrist.
They retreated to Crystal Beach, and Anderson said a friend told him he could call for a helicopter rescue. He said he made the first call at 1 p.m. and told the dispatcher where they were. "OK," the dispatcher responded. "We'll come and get you."
When help had not arrived by 2 p.m., Anderson called again and got the same response. At 3 p.m., the same.
Finally, at 3:30 p.m. the dispatcher told him: "It's too late. We're not flying anymore."
Anderson said he and his friend had gone to a building that was under construction "because we felt like it was a good place for a helicopter to land." When asked to describe their ordeal, he refused.
"I'd really rather not," he said.
When search and rescue teams finally arrived on the island, Anderson told them about his friend and asked them to search for her. But there were no reports of her alive or dead.
Rescuers asked him to leave with them. He refused.
Miraculously, one of Anderson's three homes on the island survived the storm. Anderson said he didn't want to leave his valuable computer and drafting equipment unprotected.
During the next two days, he and others found refuge in wrecked homes, a school and even a Baptist church. They subsisted on whatever they found lying around: boiled shrimp from a freezer, uncooked hot dogs, leftover pizza and cashews.
Anderson lost two vehicles in the storm, but he thought he could get an old pickup running.
"We had to take the starter off and get all the seashells and sand and everything out of it, and basically rebuild it the best we could," he said. Fortunately, one holdout had a battery charger and another had a generator to power it.
As he worked on the truck, he said he watched as search teams broke into storage sheds and "hot-wired" whatever equipment they could find. He said a man came up to him and threatened to commandeer the truck.
"They said they had the authority from President Bush to do what they want to do, to take anything they needed to get the job done," he said. "I didn't think it was supposed to be like this."
Anderson said he was able to keep the truck by telling searchers it wouldn't run.
At dusk Monday, Anderson hopped in the truck and set out for the mainland. Around 9 p.m., he encountered a state wildlife official escorting a group of reporters through Gilchrist's ruins.
Aaron Reed, a spokesman for Texas Parks and Wildlife, had seen the tearful Anderson the day after the storm. He gave the grizzled, disheveled survivor a case of water Monday night and told him of a place on nearby High Island where fellow holdouts were grilling food.
Anderson was planning to spend the night there before making his way to Beaumont.
As he slurped a proffered plastic cup of mandarin oranges, Anderson gazed at the Stonehenge-like remains of a once gorgeous stilt home. He'd worked on some of these homes; he thought they could withstand a storm.
But, Anderson said, "this was an out-of-the-ordinary storm."
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