Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Very Bleak Outlook

This is from the National Hurricane Center, via Jeff Master's Blog. It's assuming that Ike will come in as a 3 -- although a 4 is possible.

All neighborhoods... and possibly entire coastal communities... will be inundated during high tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death. Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere. Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads will be swamped... some may be washed away by the water. Entire flood prone coastal communities will be cutoff. Water levels may exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland. Coastal residents in multi-story facilities risk being cutoff. Conditions will be worsened by battering waves. Such waves will exacerbate property damage... with massive destruction of homes... including those of block construction. Damage from beach erosion could take years to repair.

While we're not in danger of any of this, our sweet little fishing hut has spent much of the last 48 hours in the target zone. That zone has moved, but in thinking about what this would mean to Sargent, I can visualize what it would mean to other areas such as Galveston -- and that would be on a much, much larger scale.

If you've ever been to the Creek with us, you know about the Revetment that protects Sargent Beach -- it was built to keep Sargent Beach in place because the Intercoastal Canal lies right behind the beach. A key factor in shipping, with barges running up and down, the Intercoastal Canal had to be protected from erosion -- so the Army Corps of Engineers built a Revetment out of granite. It's very impressive -- miles and miles of granite. And it has helped. The beach has been coming back.

But I'm wondering if the Revetment would be able to hold back the storm surge of a hurricane. I've never measured it, but I'm guessing the 9 feet of water that would go 1 mile inland would probably flood the Sargent Grocery. It would definitely wipe out the Krusty Pelican and Little Taste of Sargent. While Charlie's Bait isn't anything fancy, it would be in danger. But most of all, our sweet little Sargent Library would be under water.

It's sounding like this will all move further up the coast -- but the devastation will be just as real. Grocery stores, libraries, bait shops, restaurants -- businesses of all kinds will be wiped out.

Right now, it's perfectly calm outside -- not a cloud in the sky. It's crazy to think that this storm is headed our way.

Please keep the coastal residents in your prayers tonight and through the weekend.
Here are the girls with our favorite librarian, Wonnie.

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