Hurricane Ike is headed straight for Texas with a bullseye painted on Galveston, and the warnings have become dire: a potential surge tsunami, a wall of water 20 feet high, waves 50 feet high… For low lying areas like on the Texas Gulf Coast, this is lethal stuff.
Being a Texas boy, I’ve been to the coast many times, including Feast of Tabernacles observances at Corpus Christi, and have had family members living there. I pray that our brethren in the area are out of harms way and that all are praying for their safety and for the safety of those around them.
Some warning quotes from an article in the UK’s Daily Mail Online:
- People on the Gulf-side of Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula in single- or two-story homes who ignore the evacuation order “will face certain death” according to the local weather forecasting office.
- “This is a surge tsunami. This is not rising water. People have to leave.” — a warning from Jack Colley and Texas’ emergency management team.
- For those in Houston, 50 miles away: “We are still saying: Please shelter in place, or to use the Texas expression, hunker down.” This from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
- Also from Mr. Emmett: “We’re not talking about gently rising water. We’re talking about a surge that will come into your homes.”
You might take a look at the Mail Online article (I know: it seems odd for a Texas boy to be getting his news about a Texas hurricane from a UK newspaper’s website*). It has some amazing pictures of Ike from space as well as photos of Ike’s wrath in Cuba. Noted in the article is the fact that it was 108 (Thanks, Craig & Summer for the help with my math!) years ago this month (September 8 ) when around 10,000 people were killed in Galveston by a hurricane with a four-foot surge.
If Ike hits as hard as feared, the cost in lives, property, and economic impact could be huge. If it doesn’t, it may be quite some time before such dire warnings are taken seriously again.
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* That said, the UK article’s last sentence is seriously in error. It claims that Houston was made the capital of Texas instead of Galveston because of the 1900 hurricane. This is errant in several ways. It sounds as though Houston is currently the capital of Texas, instead of Austin. Houston was only the capital from 1837-1839. Next, did you note those years? Houston was the capital 63 years before the Galveston hurricane. Austin became the capital of Texas (and still is) 61 years before the Galveston hurricane. In fact, the Capital Building in Austin (taller than the one in Washington D.C. and one of the most beautiful in the country), which still stands today opened in 1888, 12 years before the hurricane. Where in the world did the Daily Mail get this horrifically wrong non-factoid?