Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Galveston Island Expects a 20 Foot Storm Surge From Ike and Videos to Watch and Think Upon

Before a hurricane hits animals act strangely, dogs bark, birds fly into store front windows and human beings dress up as bears for whatever reason they had and wander in hot bear suits along the beach trying to get on TV. I imagine his father probably held up signs at football games that said John 3:16 or maybe he lost a bet and is wearing a bear suit and not the Hurricane City infamous Chicken Suit.

Well... maybe if Mr. Bear wants to let me know why he is dancing in the waves I would love to know... imagine many a curious mind would like to know.

Hey listen.. there isn't much I can add today as the coverage on the TV across America is nonstop and the advisories just keep coming. I want to use the blog today to show and explain what Galveston is and what will be lost. The personal side of the story with a little history thrown in. The news shows great videos but what is Galveston? What does it smell like? What does it look like? Why is it different from Miami Beach or Cocoa Beach or Wrightsville Beach? That I can show you and some thoughts while I watch the coverage on TV while taking a break from cooking for shabbos and resting from work. I don't need to show a pic of Ike as he is on everyone's TV screen in the lower left corner spinning towards landfall.

As for Geraldo Rivera he is covering the storm and getting sloshed by waves.

Amusing. It has happened to me taking pics of Floyd. Happens fast, I tossed the camera over my head onto sand got the shot but had slammed and covered in course sand. Took me days to wash off the sand, showers and showers and I still found sand from Floyd somewhere on my body.

The reality is that when the waves come in they have tremendous force. They surprise you as they are not that high yet but they are wildly strong and they can knock you down fast.

Good map of Galveston and info on the city itself:

People love the ocean. Every time I go to the beach and there is a storm nearby I realize how fragile they are and how it could all be changed and rearranged by one strong storm. Whether it's Miami Beach on 17th Street or 41st Street or further up on Hollywood Beach where you can walk on the boardwalk, have a coffee or a beer or an ice cream cone and watch people skating by or old couples holding hands walking along enjoying the night.

I went swimming at Hollywood Beach a few weeks back with my boyfriend while he was in town and Hanna danced nearby. I think it was Hanna..getting confused these days. Well he swam, I tried to stay on my feet in water not even up to my thighs. It was fun, a lot of fun but it wasn't a storm surge of 15 or 20 was just choppy water from a passing storm.

This is a huge storm and it's affects are being felt in Florida along the NW coast, Alabama and Mississippi far from any possible landfall.

For those of you far from landfall who enjoy shelling and wandering the beach looking for driftwood or shells... you will have a great time next week. This is from Gulf Shores suffering strong surf and beach erosion from Ike far away:

Some good video of Galveston in better days to better understand why people live there and travel there for miles away for a weekend by the shore.

Here's an up close look at those homes you wish you could rent for a week for an anniversary or honeymoon or just to get away.

This is what the lure of the sea is all about and that lure is always calling me.

Great video of Galveston Beach on a quiet day... must watch to appreciate the differences from what you are seeing on TV today. One of the best online videos I've seen in a while.

Today... Galveston Beach is not filled with gentle waves nor pelicans flying or couples holding hands and kissing or sandpipers darting in and out of the waves.

Today a Category 2 Hurricane is moving towards that beautiful beach. It will rip and pound it with waves on top of a storm surge and structures will fail and homes and lives will be shattered but when the clean up is done, when the storm is gone, when homes are rebuilt or abandoned... people will return to the sea to enjoy it's charm, it's beauty and watch the waves glisten on the sand and feel that warm, hot sand under your feet as you walk in gentle rippling waves... after the storm.

Just a note here.. a funky sort of political comment I want to make and that both leaders here politically are women... both the Mayor of Galveston Lyda Ann Thomas and the Senator of Texas Kay Bailey Hutchinson are women.

Good link for Hurricane Ike info for Houston.
Just an interesting note I this world where everything is connected in some way...

Stay safe... hunker down, run from the water and hide from the wind and may you all be safe after the storm passes.

As for me... my daughter is home and okay, kidney stones most likely. My younger daughter is okay... in Boca for Shabbos and I'm going to go make babaganush and put up cholent.

My prayers for everyone that this is not a repeat of the 1900 Galveston storm.

Video courtesy of Thomas Edison no less.

Understand I am NOT saying this storm is JUST a Galveston event but people do love Galveston and it will take the brunt of Ike it seems. My brother Jay lived in Houston once, he loved Galveston. It has that charm like all beautiful old cities such as Key West and San Francisco and is a vacation favorite for most people who want to visit the sea.

I hope some day to be able to visit it. I never have.. never went that far away from I-10 on trips back and forth from Miami to LA. But, I have spent time in Rice Country, Low Country in New Iberia and other places nearby and I love that part of the country. So... we focus on Galveston but all along the Texas coast there are people going through the same fears, same worries and will suffer the same devastation there just won't be news crews parked there covering the story. Like Waveland in Mississippi that got washed away in Katrina yet the reporters were in Nola and Gulfport..but the story is there whether a reporter covers it or not.

One last thing to say here and pass along for anyone who stayed on Galveston Island or other similar barrier islands in Ike's path..

Advice learned from Hurricane Katrina...

If you decide to stay on Galveston Island please grab a marker and write your social security on your arm so that people will be able to identify your body and notify your next of kin.

Hard to laugh off advice like that...

The world is praying the death toll will be low. I will be watching and praying and hoping one day to see Galveston Beach myself after the storm has passed. There are so many beautiful places to see in this big beautiful world.

Good Shabbos Bobbi


At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love what you have written about our beautiful Galveston. I am a Galveston lover and I am devistated by what has happened. I have to tell you, until I read to the end, I was sure you had been there as well. I have property at the far west beach in Galveston, and I have no idea what has happened to my neighbors as of yet. Galveston is my safe place. That place I need to go when I just can't take it anymore. It is where I am happiest. The history and charm of that island is like no other, in my eyes. I hope some day you get to visit it too. I hope some of the beautiful old homes that had survived the Great Storm of 1900 are still there. They were last week.


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