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Posted by on Sep 12, 2008 in At TMV | 7 comments

Hurricane Ike: Houston (and especially Galveston) We Have A Problem

UPDATE: Latest news reports say that the storm may be as much as 900 miles across meaning the impact will cover much of the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Some people think as many as 100,000 homes may be flooded. I do think (or at least hope) that much of this is media hype but it is gonna be a rough Saturday for Texas.

I realize that our readership is not as big as many other web sites and I am not sure if we have many readers in the Houston or Galveston area. But in the off chance that someone is reading this post and they live in Galveston let me offer a small bit of unsolicited advice.


Do not pass go, do not collect $ 200, do not water your plants, do not read the rest of this post.


Now I am sure most people who live around Galveston are well aware of the story of the 1900 Hurricane which swept through the region but for the rest of our readers I’d like to cite an example of what happened in that year, quoting the book Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson. Galveston was struck by a powerful hurricane and while Ike is not as strong it is expected to generate a huge storm surge. On that topic Larson wrote:

A single cubic yard of water weighs about fifteen hundred pounds. A wave 50 feet long and 10 feet wide has the static weight of 80 thousand pounds. Moving at thirty miles an hour it generates forward momentum of over TWO MILLION pounds.

The storm surge swept in to town and the water rose 5 feet in as many seconds.

For purposes of Ike you should rename Galveston as Atlantis and act accordingly.

Looking at the tracking map it does not seem we will see a direct hit in Houston but they will be on the bad (right) side of the storm and with more people in Houston metro area than in all of Louisiana, this is far more deadly than even Katrina should things go badly.


Landfall looks to occur tonight and perhaps the ONLY good thing is it does look like the storm will be moving quickly and should be through the area by Saturday night and will be down to tropical storm strength.

But going through Houston and Galveston it is likely to cause major damage with as many as 1 of of 5 windows in high rises littering the streets. The damage to the refineries could cause us to see gas soar again in price, perhaps as high as $ 5 per gallon.

However we can hope that these worst case scenarios will not occur but in terms of human life, if you are in the path of the storm do not play games


There are several good sites tracking the storm worth a look

MSNBC Tracker

Sci Guy