Saturday, September 13

liveblogging Ike

Some people do a lot of liveblogging, but not me. Detailing events as they're unfolding is useful only in rare circumstances. Today I'll make an exception, as Hurricane Ike makes his way from Houston to Dallas.

Yesterday, the storm track appeared to veer east of Dallas, so I'm not expecting much more than heavy rain and wind, from noon to midnight. My preparations are really very minimal.

I scouted the yard for objects that could become airborne and moved them inside. Traffic moved smoothly on the freeways, with only a few areas of mild congestion. I tested Channel 8-2 (Digital TV) which has morfed into a live feed from KHOU-TV (Houston channel 11); they're showing the heavy surf at Galveston, saying it's the worst storm to hit Texas in 50 years; we'll see. Some comparisons with Hurricane Alicia (1983) which is ten years before I landed. Paid $7 cash for a car wash and notice NO LINES - surprise, surprise. Brought the car home, parked it in the garage.

I have a standing meeting on the second Saturday from 9 to noon - it was cancelled via email. The annual three-day Southwest Swap Meet is still showing "rain or shine" so if I go at all, it'll be Sunday.

Last minute: charged the battery for the digital camera, co-located some stuff on the kitchen table. Charged the battery to the laptop and DVD player, in case I want to watch a movie with the pets. Mentally made "compute plans" for any power failure: shut down the PCs but leave the router up (UPS) as long as possible - my Nokia 770 and PowerBook are battery powered.


06:16: Cloudy, 24C. Wind NE 4 m/s (9 mph).
Still dark, sunrise due at 07:10.
I expect to lose communication with the DirecTV satellite for much of the day. As long as it doesn't impact the 22:30 season premiere of Saturday Night Live, I'll be okay. No need to stock up as I have enough canned soups, etc to last until Thanksgiving.


06:46: Cloudy, 25C. Wind NE 5 m/s (11 mph).
Remembered to bring cellphone in from the car, where it lives most of its life. Fed, watered, medicated the pets (each gets one pill/morning). Checked channel 8-2 and they're talking generalities about the damage in Galveston - won't know more until after sunrise, at the earliest.

brief check of the latest National Weather Service info:
HURRICANE IKE MADE LANDFALL AT GALVESTON TEXAS AT 210 AM THIS MORNING AS A CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE. IKE WAS MOVING NORTHWEST AT 13 MPH AND WILL GRADUALLY MAKE A TURN TO THE NORTH LATER THIS MORNING AND THIS AFTERNOON. IKE WILL WEAKEN TO TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH THIS AFTERNOON AS THE SYSTEM MOVES ACROSS EAST TEXAS. WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAINFALL OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WITH HIGHER TOTALS...STRONG GUSTY WINDS...AND ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE EXPECTED.


07:01: Cloudy, 25C. Wind NE 5 m/s (11 mph).
Noticed email from Mary-Bob regarding Monday lunch plans. No word on my Sunday afternoon event (distance: 11.81 miles Time: 21 mins), so will plan to attend per plan. Printed the map now in case power, Internet outage prevents that later. Think I'll take a nap, as the first bands of wind/rain are several hours away.


08:10: Cloudy, 26C. Wind NE 4 m/s (9 mph).
So much for my nap - the old man next door decided he needs to cut his grass so .. out comes the riding lawnmower. Radar shows rain bands have arrived in the south part of Dallas county. KHOU-Houston reports the storm has increased speed to 18 miles/hour - will convert that to meters/second (m/s) later. I remembered to install my rain gauge (capacity 4 inches) earlier this morning, but may need to empty it if we get heavy rain.


10:00: Rain, 26C. Wind NE 6 m/s (13 mph).
No rain here yet, but the Addison airport (nearest weather to me) is reporting some rain. I just listened to the Houston mayor Bill White's press conference where he made two requests: 1- stay off the roads and 2- boil tap water as a precaution (one of their pumping stations is down, I think). When he finished making his initial comments, he auto-switched to Mexican, although didn't know how to say "truck", or "boil" in Spanish. They're already predicting it may be two weeks (eek!) before power is restored to parts of the coast.


13:24: Rain, 25C. Wind N 9 m/s (20 mph).
Still no heavy rain/winds, although .. it may be "just the other side of the freeway" if the radar is to be believed. Wind has shifted to the north as expected since I'm on the clean edge of the storm. It's drifting closer to Dallas than earlier models indicated .. the eye may pass 50 miles east of me. We're under a TROPICAL STORM WIND WARNING, per the National Weather Service. Checked rain gauge - less than 1/10 inch so far, currently rain/wind but not severe. Noteworthy: normal (snail) mail delivery.


15:10: Rain, 26C. Wind N 12 m/s (27 mph).
Imperceptible change. Weather bug says winds up to 12 meters/second. Turns out the conversion to miles/hour is 2.2369363, so .. 12 m/s = 27 mph wind. Zzzzz. I entertained myself by updating the prior wind speeds on this blog.


19:00: Rain, 25C. Wind NW 10 m/s (22 mph).
Another wind shift, now from the northwest. Finally starting to see some moderate rainfall. The eye of the storm appears heading for Texarkana.


23:59: Mostly Cloudy, 23C. Wind WNW 3 m/s (7 mph).
Final entry. Rain gauge total 1.2 inches. No power outages, no storm damage. And, oh yes .. the new-season premiere of Saturday Night Live was Da Bomb.

2 comments:

Rudy said...

This was the worst storm to pass by us in a long time. 80+MPH winds(~128 Kilometers per hour) will not let you sleep very soundly, especially when you are in the dark. The city was turned upside down for at least 5 days. Gas was in short supply, namely because because no one had power for the pumps. I stood in a queue for 3 hours for gas to only have the pumps turned off bycenterpoint (they own the power lines) so they could work on another area. FEMA provided water and MREs, said ice was a comfort item(the guy who said it probably never spent time here ever). I tried an MRE , and they are not that bad. Houston will probably be back to "normal" in about a month or so. Galveston hopefully will be inhabitable by the end of theyear. So not only do we have to deal with, Pollution, Traffic, Rick Perry, The Texans, and The Astros, we have hurricanes to deal with. Oh and Ike and Tina jokes were a dime a dozen.

maximax said...

Storm creates sometime great difficulty in daily living lives,such as electricity breakdown,gas shortage etc....When there is strong rainfall it makes more...As a Rain Gauges expert I also not much experting so much rain in this season....