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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Never in 20 years of broadcasting have I ever heard the National Weather Service use the words CERTAIN DEATH in a forecast, until Thursday Night. Here's the meaty part of the actual Hurricane Warning Update for Galveston...unreal...

... Storm surge and storm tide...

Tide levels will begin rising Friday morning and will exceed 5 feet above mean lower low water along the Upper Texas coast and along the shorelines of the bays by mid to late morning Friday. Water levels will rise rapidly beginning late afternoon Friday as the storm surge moves in with water levels peaking Friday night and early Saturday. Maximum storm tide levels are highly dependent on the track of the storm and variations in the track of only 15 miles can make differences of several feet more or less from some of these values.

Maximum water levels forecast:

Gulf-facing coastline west of Sargent... 5 to 8 feet

Shoreline of Matagorda Bay... 5 to 8 feet

Gulf-facing coastline Sargent to High Island including Galveston Island... ... 12 to 16 feet

Shoreline of Galveston Bay... 15 to 22 feet

Life threatening inundation likely!

All neighborhoods... and possibly entire coastal communities... will be inundated during the period of peak storm tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death. Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere. Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads will be swamped... some may be washed away by the water. Entire flood prone coastal communities will be cut off. Water levels may exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland. Coastal residents in multi-story facilities risk being cutoff. Conditions will be worsened by battering waves. Such waves will exacerbate property damage... with massive destruction of homes... including those of block construction. Damage from beach erosion could take years to repair.