aftermath

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Zero Storm Surge Risk

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Comforting to know, the only storm surge risk our house faces will come only from my surge in interest in storms.

Back in 2001, tropical storm Allison (in part notable as the only Atlantic tropical system to have its name retired despite never reaching hurricane strength) taught me exactly how flat the Houston area is: virtually the entire area went underwater, with the floodline in our own neighborhood coming right up to our front door. So when 2005’s hurricane Rita bore down on Houston before veering north, dire predictions of storm surge gave me nightmarish visions of Gulf waves washing down our street. Research in preparation for a possible visit from Ike settles those fears. A direct hit from a cat 5 would leave areas in the light green and all other shoreward colored areas under water from storm surge, clearly devastating the region more than Katrina left New Orleans. But although we might still see enough rain to flood our own street, our house would be in no danger from storm surge.

My own mental “storm surge” recognizes no such boundaries. A lifelong map addict, I’ve always meant to track an incoming hurricane on one of those maps the local news broadcasters hand out at our local grocery stores every summer. This past weekend I finally did start taking pen to a tracking map, getting as far as a single plot point and scribbled note before realizing that only an electronic version would suit macheide. So I’ve been recording Ike’s progress on a personal google map, with each icon on the map holding what is emerging as an extended aftermath blog post in its own right, growing with every approaching step the storm takes toward us. Life jackets, everyone.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - mother nature

Written by macheide

9 September 2008 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

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