CLAUDETTE NO MORE
Claudette’s eye was headed straight toward the Galveston area until about 10 p.m. last night, when the high pressure system north of us (that was supposed to show up a day or two ago) finally showed up and shoved her straight west to Port O’Connor and the Matagorda Bay. Claudette became a hurricane shortly after midnight, packing winds of up to 85 mph (near the eye) by the time she made landfall. Rain and wind from Claudette rolled into town in the wee hours this morning — while I was still in bed. The electricity blinked off a time or two, but then everything was fine. Of course, people all over town lost power, including SBC — our DSL provider. Therefore, it is after 8 p.m. in the evening, and I am just now online for the first time today. Fortunately, I could watch the hurricane coverage on our local channel, and one of the most notable hurricane specialists in the world, Dr. Neil Frank, is a meteorologist for CBS here in Houston. MUCH better coverage than the Weather Channel, who merely yawned and updated the hurricane coverage for about 15 minutes per hour.
There are a few branches down here and there, and, as I said, some were without power for a good portion of the day, but for the most part, Houston is far enough inland that the hurricane was a non issue by the time I woke up at 7:30. I never did lose satellite coverage (our dish is on a pole in a bucket of concrete because our apartment complex won’t let us attach it to anything) and though it rained all day, most of Houston’s streets drained well. So, Claudette wasn’t nearly as bad as her witch sister Allison. We are breathing a sigh of relief here.
In Galveston and Kemah, the storm surge washed away a good portion of all the beaches. In Texas, the state of Texas owns all property between the vegetation line and the water, so many homes have now found themselves on the other side of the line. That should play out nicely. In Port O’Connor and Palacios, the damage was pretty extensive (the dorms of the camp where the middle schoolers go no longer exists), but I don’t think anybody was killed. Of course, the networks had lots of coverage of the IDIOTS who stayed to “wait it out,” and the IDIOT TOURISTS who purposely took their kids down to the seawall to get their pictures taken with the stormy seas behind them. They don’t get my vote for parents of the year.
All in all, though, Claudette is finished here. She is the first hurricane to hit the Texas coast in 13 years, so we’re hoping we’re safe for at least a decade…