The Clanton Storm Bunker-- For the past few days, the Houston-Galveston area has been a beehive of activity in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ike. The storm has been tracked across the Caribbean and into the Gulf, and has grown to immense proportions.
The Great Storm of 1900 that devastated Galveston Island was a Category-5 storm...they think. Isaac Kline, the meteorologist on duty on the island at the time, lost his instrumentation at some point in the storm. Before his barometer and aerometer were blown away, the instruments recorded astounding wind speeds and barometric pressures. The story of his experiences is chronicled in "Isaac's Storm," written by Eric Larson.
In 1900 Kline was one of only a handful of people knew that storm was coming. Tragically, most of the ignorant ones perished in the storm. The massive storm surge from the 1900 hurricane had no seawall to restrain it, and the island was quickly inundated with a 17-foot surge.
Hurricane Ike has similar capabilities, and forecasters are warning of a massive storm surge of 20-feet, sweeping over Galveston Island, into the bay, and up the Houston Ship Channel.
Earlier this evening, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst estimated storm damages from Ike to exceed $100-million because of the numerous low-lying towns along the coast, and the concentration of petroleum refineries along the upper Texas coast.
Tonight, while hundreds of thousands are without power as Hurricane Ike approaches, millions have been made aware of the storm's arrival. Its coming is no surprise.
If you're reading this from other points on the globe, you might want to take a look at this composite of local TV feeds and weather radar (thanks to Michael Garfield for the link!)
A personal note: We are riding out the storm in our home in northwest Harris county.
The rule of thumb for such storms is to "run from the water, hide from the wind."
The Clanton Hacienda has been transformed into the Clanton Bunker.
As I write this, one of the family mascots is hunkering down next to my thigh in my chair.
She's got the right idea.