Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Cone of Uncertainty

I’m watching Hurricane Ike very closely because it seems to be headed right to where my folks live in Texas.

NOAA provides updates on the “cone of uncertainty” every two hours.

My mom lives about 30 miles inland from the Texas gulf coast; my dad and stepmother, about 60 miles inland.

Yesterday’s prediction showed Ike slamming the Gulf Coast right where my mom lives. See that entry point on the coastline? That’s where she lives.

Earlier today, it looked like Ike was going for the border between Texas and Mexico. Then, they changed it. Now it’s back on course for where my family lives.

Hurricanes are really scary events for those of you who’ve yet to experience one. The actual event lasts so long, there’s so much rain, they often contain tornadoes, and there’s flooding. If you get through all that, then you’re faced with no electricity for days or even weeks.

My mom is the Queen of Hurricane Preparedness. She lives for this stuff. I imagine right now, she’s procured most of the batteries in town, getting prescriptions refilled, planning at least four escape routes, and has at least three weather-band radios squawking in the background.

It’s what she does. I grew up with it.

The worst was Hurricane Carla in 1961. It was a Category 5, the most destructive one God makes. My little bitty home town experienced 110 mph winds and lots of damage, although we had not moved there yet. My grandmother and other relatives were there, though.

I remember Hurricane Beulah in 1967 very well. The flooding was the worst part of that one. It flooded our garage where my beagle, Snoopy, was trapped. She ended up jumping through a window and severed a tendon in her leg, resulting in a lengthy stay at the doggy hospital away from me. It was heartbreaking.

Corpus Christi was pummeled with 180 mph winds by Hurricane Celia in 1970. We drove down there afterward to check on my great aunt, Bonnie, and had difficulty finding her. All the street signs and traffic lights were blown away. She was fine.
Houston received lots of damage from Hurricane Alicia in 1983. I was living near there at the time and we had a hurricane party.

Hurricane Claudette’s eye went right over my little bitty home town in 2003. My mom didn’t have electricity for two weeks. And it was only a Category 1.

So, I’m keeping a close eye on this one. The Texan in me still does that.


At 7:50 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Dude, I hope Ike totally dissipates and goes far away from where your Mom and other relatives live!

Also, I loved the Snoopy reference--it's so sweet that you were so attached to your puppy dog. :)

At 12:30 PM , Blogger Barb said...

I'm hoping good things for your family. Looked for a while like Ike was going to hit us. I grew up in Miami so hurricanes were a fairly common occurance ~ even after we moved to North Carolina ~ we still got hit by a few!


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