Sort-of-live blogging: TS Edouard (UPDATED)
This is a sort-of-live blog of Tropical Storm Edouard, as it passes through the greater Houston area. I'll be making updates through the day, as my schedule, my ISP, and the light company permit.
(You can also follow me via Twitter: http://twitter.com/etee)
(Note: You will probably notice that this sort-of-live blogging is being written in a somewhat irreverent (some might call it snarky and smartasstic) tone. That's my style, and isn't intended to convey a lack of respect for these storms. However, this is much smarter than holding a "hurricane party" on the beach as the storm surge of a Cat 5 is approaching. So there.)
Part 1: The approaching storm (04-Aug)
Yesterday, we were given 24 hours warning. Tropical Storm Edouard (zOMG, even NOAA is using bizarro spelling for names these days) is heading for the Texas coast. We were advised to fill up our gas tanks and
all take to the freeways in a panic-stricken attempt to get inland stay put on Tuesday (that would be today.) Many employers told their staff to stay home today (including mine - what do you think, that I'm doing this on company time!?) By the afternoon, there were lines at the gas stations (except for those with the foresight to keep their prices well above the area average), lines at the stores (especially the liquor grocery stores), lines on the freeways (but that's just the normal rush-hour commute.) People are going about their business, preparing for a day at home tomorrow.
This observation pretty much sums up the feeling of many of those in the path of the approaching storm:
According to the newscaster, I will probably not survive Hurricane Edouard. Or we might get some light rain.
And, as you can see, the weather gave us an idea of what we could expect:
|E D Truitt|
|HURRICANE ALERT! PANIC! PANIC! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES EVERYBODY!|
Part 2: Landfall (05-Aug)
Woke up this morning. TS Edouard has already made landfall, to the east of Galveston Island. News reports from Galveston focus on the disappointed surfers, and the folks looking at the idiots who think that going surfing in the storm surge of a hurricane is anything other than proof of a mind that has become unhinged.
In not-so-sunny Sugar Land, the wind is not yet blowing, but the storm is making its presence felt:
|E D Truitt|
|HURRICANE HAS MADE LANDFALL! PANIC! PANIC! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! DIE, I TELL YA!!|
As you can see in the picture below, the rains have also hit. At the current time, the situation is "somewhat slightly damp", or just a little more wet than it is when the temperature and humidity both reach 90%:
|E D Truitt|
|THE RAIN IS COMING! THE RAIN IS COMING! PANIC! PANIC! GET TO THE ARK EVERYBODY!|
Part 3: Ex
cessivetended News Coverage (05-Aug)
zOMG, the local news is going into 'extended coverage' mode. It isn't so bad to see the repetitious movement of the weather radar, but the repetitious delivery of irritating minutia may drive me to watch "Jerry Springer" reruns. Among the tidbits the local newscasters have delivered this AM:
- The Starbucks in Galveston is open.
- The on-scene reporter's dog doesn't like water. But, apparently, there is a dog in Galveston who doesn't have the good sense to come out of the rain. Along with a bunch of people. And at least one reporter.
- Most all the schools are closed today (Of course, most all the schools would be closed today anyway, since it is summer vacation. D'oh!)
The local FOX station is now describing, in great detail, their newest technological innovation: a GPS-enabled, camera-equipped cell phone, mounted on the dashboard. Live Video Feeds!
On ABC: an interview with a credit union manager who is still open, but looking outside OMG IT IS RAINING! DEADLY MOISTURE IMMINENT! EVERYONE PANIC IN UNISON! Fade back to more from the weather radar, THIS TIME WITH LIGHTNING STRIKES HIGHLIGHTED! OMG THERE MAY BE LIGHTNING!
OK, now off to watch Food Network, at least until the rain band reaches us.
Part 4: Periodic Updates (05-Aug)
Update 10:00 AM CDT: It appears that I have become somewhat of a cyber-lebrity - w00t! My 15 seconds of fame starts... now.
Update 11:00 AM CDT: No heavy rain/winds yet, but They Are Coming. We are promised. Really. In the meantime, some areas do experience moderate-to-heavy wind/rain, while in other areas the main thing they are seeing is traffic accidents. Lots and lots of traffic accidents. Which proves the axiom that it is best to stay indoors during a storm. Also, that people in Houston can't drive worth a flip when it is raining. Or at any other time, for that matter. Back to what passes for daytime TV...
Update 11:23 AM CDT: My spouse and son are braving the elements, going out to
get some coffee and ice cream restock our supplies. As they left, my spouse discovered that the apartment manager had dropped off a memo about preparing for a hurricane. Gee, thanks.
Update 12:00 noon CDT: Wife and Son returned from their foray with enough
Burger King supplies to prevent the onset of starvation. The "News at Noon" reports are also on, the first thing heard is that Gov. Perry declared a number of counties (including Harris and Fort Bend) as disaster areas - before the storm even made landfall. Way to go, Guv.
Part 5: The Aftermath - ♫I'm a Survivor (05-Aug)
2:30 PM CDT: The steady drip...drip...drip that accompanied the Assault of the Deadly Raindrops has subsided. Tentatively, I step outside, bracing myself for the worst. This is the scene that greets me:
|E D Truitt|
|zOMG! WHAT'S THAT BRIGHT LIGHT? PANIC! PANIC! IT MAY BE A GIANT METEOR OR SOMETHING!|
With great fear and trepidation, I look up at the sky:
|E D Truitt|
|THE END IS NEAR! PANIC! PANIC! THE BRIGHT YELLOW BALL IN THE SKY IS GOING TO DESTROY US ALL!|
Next, time to survey the water damage:
|E D Truitt|
|WATER IN THE STREET! PANIC! PANIC! SPIN IN CIRCLES! SOMEBODY MIGHT WALK ON THE CARPET WITH WET SHOES!|
But wait... it turns out that the Tropical storm warning warning for Ft. Bend county was cancelled by 10:00 AM. Oh darn... I mean, Praise Jeebus for delivering us from unspeakable evil and dastardly destruction. There must be some purpose that we were spared. Or maybe not.
Update 6:20 PM CDT: One final update. Now that all the watches and warnings and dire predictions have expired, the darkest clouds show up, and the Raindrops of Death and Destruction fall harder than they have all day. :sigh:
However, before I sign off, I have one more comment, this one addressing the complaint many voiced about why so many employers|schools|day cares|hospitals etc were closed today. Based on what we experienced, it may seem to be a somewhat excessive response to the threat. However, tropical storms and hurricanes tend to be somewhat unpredictable. I have worked through a direct hit by a hurricane with no ill effects whatsoever. I have also been trapped in my office by rising water, an event which, when combined with a power outage, makes for a very miserable workday. Add to that the fact that most day cares charge a substantial penalty for late pickup, and could in fact report delinquent parents to CPS, and a lost workday doesn't sound quite so bad, now, does it? My only real concern is that, if we get several more of these "false alarms", that employers may just decide to take a chance with a future storm, and it that were to turn out to be a Real Big One...
Photographs copyright © 2008 E D Truitt. All rights reserved.
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But Ft. Bend...that's inland. So I'm with you on the smartassery. All the news last night was: how Ft. Bend prepares, Sugarland gets ready for hurricane, and I'm like HELLO WTF?!?!
My favorite "hot storm tip" from the newscasters was to take my dog outside on a leash to reorient him after the storm.
Maybe it's b/c I have a lab and they are smart and water dogs.
P.S. Dog is on chron.com photo gallery: http://tinyurl.com/5vudbw
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