"Sure, I've slapped Tina... There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I never beat her."~Ike Turner
Hurricane Ike is about to pound Texas Friday evening. It's a huge hurricane, as it's affecting the whole Gulf coast, from Florida across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana to Texas! Picture Europe, and then picture how Ike is big enough to cover half the European continent. It's that big and getting bigger!
I had seen my friends off to their return flight back to Arizona. They joked that I should come with them, but I could tell they were worried. I told them I'd be fine. Besides, I'm a couple of miles from the coast and I live in an area that doesn't get flooded. And Ike has shifted and is now headed for Houston and Galveston. I've lived and work in those areas before, and some of those areas are prone to flooding. I've been keeping contact with some friends in Houston and Galveston, and some have all ready fled to higher ground and further inland. The rest have bunked down and are preparing for the worst.
The smart people have paid attention and evacuated. Some of the heavily populated areas of the coast are only 5 ft above sea level. The surge (or rise in sea level) from Ike is going to range from 10 to 20 ft. That means two story houses will be flooded. The national weather service has issued warnings that those who choose to remain in low lying areas will face certain death. Even now, homes in Florida and Alabama are already lost to the sea. And this is before the severe winds reach land and rip off rooftops and blow down walls.
I grew up in a hurricane prone coast, so I'm pretty aware of the dangers that come with hurricanes. I can always tell newcomers or people who've never been in hurricanes are the ones who like to live right on the water. Sure the view is beautiful, and everyone loves the beach. But unless you've money to throw away or looking for a spectacular way to die, I wouldn't recommend living by the water, especially in a hurricane prone coasts.
When I first moved to Texas, a hurricane followed 2 weeks later! I didn't leave then. I figured, 'Dang it! I done drove 27 hours to get here and I've just finished unpacking! I ain't packing back up and leaving!' And I stayed. In fact, I've been through 4 hurricanes that I can recall. You pay attention to the weather forecast and you plan accordingly. Now, I've never had to evacuate, but that's because I've never lived in a flood prone area. If I did, you better believe I'd've packed and moved on quickly.
So, tomorrow, since I'm not working and most places are closed, some friends and I are going to head down to the beach. First, we have to get past the cops enforcing mandatory evacuations along the coast. We plan to rendezvous at my place first, then strike out before the sun comes up. We just want to check things out--maybe do a little surfing if the waves are great :) But nothing too crazy. Hurricanes are neither good nor bad; they're just a force of nature. Sometimes, you get a little bit of good with the bad. Sometimes, when things get bad, you just got to keep on rollin'. And sometimes, you have to fight back, and learn to walk away.
“I never beat Tina, but if I did, and, I never did…but, if I did…and, I’m here to tell you that I never ever did, but, if I did, look how good she turned out.”~Ike Turner
UPDATE 12 Sept 2008 Fri 10:00 a.m. :
When we first got to the beach, the sun was just barely rising and the waves were great! We caught some really good ones and had some awesome rides! But within like 3 hours, the waves started to get really rough, and that's when we decided to pack it in.
I took some fotos of the changes that took place so quickly. Here are some Hurricane Ike effects pics:
(Click on pic or Right Click Then Open in New Tab to enlarge)
This is the skies over Padre Balli Park this Friday morning--Corpus Christi, Tx. If you look at the waves of clouds in the background, that's actually part of Hurricane Ike's reach! Those high altitude clouds are the long arms of Hurricane Ike, still almost 200 miles away from the shore!
The waves were great at first, but within 3 hours, it got really rough and dangerous. The shoreline was being swallowed up by the sea. Check out the rough waves!
Bob Hall Pier got pounded by waves. The Pier is a great place for fishing and surfing. But surfers beware, some angry anglers (frustrated fishermen) will throw stuff (i.e. bait) at surfers when they think the surfers are scaring away the fish! If ya can't catch a fish, it's because you suck, not because the surfers are there!
Here's a compilation of the Nueces County Parks and Recreation Padre Balli Office. The blue building in the left side is where we get parking and camping permits. The flooded area is actually a campsite! See the benches and gazebos overrun with water?
And where is all this water coming from? From the surge of powerful waves that have broken through the sand dunes and are forcing their way inland! The sea kept coming in faster and the waves were getting bigger and stronger. That's when we decided to leave the beach and head back inland. And this was only this morning! The hurricane doesn't hit land til this evening. We needed to leave anyway before the bridges and roads to the mainland were overtaken by the sea!
We've discussed hanging out again later tonight, and maybe the possibility of taking more storm pics. Though it's exciting, if the winds and rains get really bad, I sure as hell ain't gonna be out there taking pictures!