Keith Kridler, Texas

Hurricane Ike

September 13, 2008

Categories: General, Growing Daffodils, Weather and Temperature

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Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas Mt. Pleasant is 350 miles north of Houston/Galveston and yesterday nearly all of the local churches were filling up with evacuees that could not fit into our Civic Center. The main room will seat 1,800 people but they normally try to limit sleeping folks inside to several hundred but one of the local churches put up 175 folks from Gustav alone. Local gasoline stations were running out of fuel yesterday. I saw six 18 wheeler truck loads of fuel trucks either coming into Mt. Pleasant from Oklahoma or returning back to Oklahoma while I was driving only 20 miles north of Mt. P. yesterday. One of the drivers of these trucks had been running for 24 hours straight when he fell asleep and was killed with a full truck load, 5,000 gallons of gasoline two days ago.
The new reels are wondering why more people did not evacuate the Houston area since New Orleans was able to evacuate for Gustav but they only moved one million people this time. Probably in excess of 2.5 million folks fled the main hurricane zones of the Texas Coast but there are no motels or hotel rooms within hundreds of miles of the Texas coast. We need to remember that there are still hundreds of thousands of Louisiana folks still in Texas not able to return home because of no electricity in their areas. There is a real shortage of power poles, wire for main transmission lines and even our local tree trimmers and power line men were moved to southern Louisiana and have been working around the clock trying to repair lines and remove fallen trees from the Gustav hurricane.
There are about 5.6 million folks just in the Houston/Galveston area within about 45 feet of sea level elevation (about 10 million in the area with hurricane winds). Ike will travel up north of Houston through what is called the “Big Thicket” area of Texas a mix of massive Live Oak Trees and other hardwood trees and then up through the Piney Woods section of the state. These pines are common around people houses and they tend to break off and do extensive damage to power lines and buildings. They often are 2 feet in diameter and 90 to 110 feet tall.
Entergy provided most of the electricity for the part of Louisiana that had Gustav hit and one third of their 3 million customers lost electricity due to power lines down. Entergy provides some of the power to South Texas along the Texas Gulf Coast region but again this storm was so massive that Louisiana was also hit, so again they are going to be hit hard with Hurricane Ike.
Big talk about the oil refineries getting hit in Texas but the Northeastern United States don’t allow much crude oil or gasoline to come into East Coast sea ports. One fourth of all the crude and gasoline imports for the USA come in through the area centered by Ike. The huge gasoline pipeline that supplies the Northeast states with most of their gasoline has been shut down as it comes out of the Houston area and terminates in New Jersey where it goes into smaller regional supply lines. Anyway as the sun rises in Texas I fear the devastation to the people living in the area will be way beyond what can be repaired for many years to come. KK

4 responses to “Hurricane Ike”

  1. Deborah Jordan says:

    I just went thru Ike–we just got power back on because we have underground lines (house 15 yrs). Everyone and I mean everyone has major roof damage (on homes less than 10 years–mine is 15yrs) and EVERYONE has fences down. Part of miy fence was built in April and its the only one in the neighborhood up. My next door neighbors bedroom roof collapsed from water earlier this morning. Those that did not board windows–there is a lot of broken windows.
    And we were on the CLEAN side of the hurricane. Debbie N hwy 6, west Houston

  2. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    The Weather Channel is beginning to have photos of the hurricane damage, and it does look awful. Keith, from the look of things, it must be right over Mt. Pleasant as I write this.
    Debbie, I’m glad you’re safe. That’s the most important thing. I hope all our Texas friends come through this safely. Mary Lou

  3. J Drew Mc Farland says:

    Ike has made it to central Ohio.  Having winds up to I’d guess 70 at the moment.  Don’t think I’ve seen sustained winds this strong here before other than in a blizzard.  Power is out all over (I’m on generator) and state routes closed.  My garage roof is blowing away one steel panel at a time.  At least we don’t have flooding to deal with, in fact it hasn’t really even rained yet.
    Drew Mc Farland
    Granville, O.

  4. Phyllis Hess says:

    We never did get rain; just many trees and so forth down; lawns littered with leaves and branches; and no power for 24 hours; even gas stations out of gas; of course no ice anywhere; schools closed etc. very unusual for Central Ohio in September. Really feeling for our friends in Texas who faced the brunt of the whole thing, we had just wind; 75 mph winds but just wind, said it was the result of Ike running into a cold front here in Ohio.