Back to previous post: Someone Wrong On Internet

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Remembrances and anniversaries

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

September 10, 2008

Hurricane Ike
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:17 PM * 81 comments

Stand by, Texas.

Here’s the five-day forecast of the track. Looks like landfall Friday night/Saturday morning, and possibly as a Category Four.

Stay safe, everyone. Property can be replaced. You can’t be.

Comments on Hurricane Ike:
#1 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 06:39 PM:

Standing by. Actually, off to get groceries and flashlight batteries - I don't really expect Austin to get hit that hard, but we might well lose power for a few days if the wind is bad enough.

#2 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 07:57 PM:

We're on the northwest side of the Inner Loop in Houston -- on a map, look for where US 290 branches off from I-610, and you're about 1/4 mile from our house. This is far enough north that we don't have to worry about storm surge, and we're on what passes for high ground around here*, so flooding isn't a major concern either. Even if they call an evacuation, it's not likely to be for our area.

Strong winds could be a problem, but the dead oak tree in the back yard was taken down a few weeks ago during the run-up to Edouard and is no longer an issue. We have plenty of plywood, bought 3 years ago for Rita and never used; we have a generator strong enough to power both freezers and maybe give us some light as well. We have plenty of battery-powered lighting, with fresh batteries. We have containers of water, from the filter tap for drinking/cooking and unfiltered for flushing toilets if need be. We have plenty of non-perishable food, and our stove is gas and hence less subject to supply disruption than an electric one would be.

We'll be spending the evening and most of tomorrow doing hurricane prep; how much is needed will depend heavily on the exact track the storm takes, and there's still a great deal of uncertainty in the predictions. I'll continue to post updates as long as there's power and Internet access. If we lose power and/or access but my cellphone still works, I'll call someone out-of-area and have them post for me. But I don't think you need to do more than the normal amount of worrying about us.

* Actually, it's not that it's so much higher than everywhere else, it's that there's a helluva lot of everywhere else for the water to go before it comes up that last couple of feet. My partner is fond of saying that if we ever have to be evacuated, they'll be doing it in an Ark.

#3 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 08:22 PM:

Not sure what I'll do. Eat peanut butter with a spoon in the dark, probably. I've got to save up some water, though, too. Got to remember to make sure my cell phone is recharged before the storm hits (so that I can make calls for help that won't be answered). Print out a copy of my medical summary sheet for the rescuers to find. I figure they'll probably notice the PIC line right off, though.

#4 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 09:06 PM:

Stay safe, y'all. (Lee, I know we shouldn't worry, but we will.)

#5 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 09:37 PM:

Lee and all-- good luck with the preparations. Good idea to phone out your updates, because we'll want to know (or it could be time for a temporary twitter account, if your phone allows for it).

Earl-- do you have a person you'll call who can do the additional calling for you? I've done that in less-emergency situations where my battery was too low. How's your hot water heater? I'm relying on that (in part) for when the Big One hits California (turning off incoming water if the water plants are offline. Yes, ours is earthquake-strapped-down).

------
On the general topic of emergency preparation, here's my low-work, low-waste* method of having foods on hand:
1. buy foods with expiration dates 12-18 months out.
2. Several months later, buy the same foods, with correspondingly future expiration dates.
3. Right after the shopping trip, donate the earlier set of foods to a food pantry.
4. wait several months, Go To 1.

* if I do rotate foods into my day-to-day cooking, it's easy to lose track of what needs buying. If I don't rotate foods, they can end up lost in the dusty corners of the pantry until they've gone past the use-by date. The food comes from Costco, so the donation isn't much less efficient than simply donating money to the food pantry.

#6 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 10:26 PM:

My favorite emergency food are the Indian boiling bags. They have a long shelf life and are fairly well seasoned. They can be stretched with drained, canned beans and give the beans some flavor along the way.

And they make a great no-fuss dinner during normal times, thus making them easy to rotate.

Trader Joe's carries them, and these days, so do most grocery stores. I like the Tasty Bite brand best.

#7 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 10:34 PM:

Also, from what the track looks like, stand by Oklahoma.

#8 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 10:38 PM:

Lee @ 2... Be careful. Yes, I know it's silly to tell you that, but do be careful. Besides, we still have to meet at a con where we'll have time to sit down for some hot chocolate.

#9 ::: George Smiley ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 10:49 PM:

Hurricane Ike Intensifying rapidly

The central pressure has dropped 11 mb in just four hours, and stood at 947 mb at 7 pm EDT. The latest Hurricane Hunter data show that the pressure is continuing to fall at a rapid pace. The winds have not caught up yet to the pressure fall, and remain at Catgeroy 2 strength. The satellite presentation of the hurricane has improved markedly, as Ike has walled off the dry air that was bothering it, and has built a solid eyewall of 9 miles diameter of very intense thunderstorms. The appearance of Ike on infrared satellite loops is similar to Hurricane Wilma during its rapid intensification phase, when Wilma became the strongest hurricane on record. Like Wilma, Ike has a very tiny "pinhole" eye, but the storm is huge in size. Ike has a long way to go to match Wilma, but I expect Ike will be at least a Category 3 hurricane by morning, and probably a Category 4.
#10 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 11:00 PM:

Probably too late to do anything about it now, but I have a wind-up cellphone charger.

Kathryn, I rotate backup food through semi-cooking without losing track by using a list where I can cross things off as I use them. I can't afford to buy food just to donate it.

#11 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2008, 11:22 PM:

Kathryn (#5) and Marilee (#10):I can't afford to buy food just to donate it.

That was the first thing that I noticed when I read Kathryn's suggestion - that it presupposes a certain level of financial comfort and stability. I spent far too long with neither to not be very, very grateful that I now have both. For those of us who do, I like the fact that Kathryn's method reminds you to contribute to your community.

#12 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 12:25 AM:

I've been doing what Kathryn suggests for a while. Except I do lose track of things. I recently "found" a bucket of canned food in my car trunk with expiration dates of last year. Still fine, of course, but I'm using it rather than donating it.

Most supermarkets sell "canned heat" (Sterno). Not a lot of heat, but it can warm up a cup of canned soup, and even boil a cup of water for instant coffee.

Best used with a cheap enameled metal camping mug. When you are done with it you can recover the can and use the rest later.

* * *

Powdered milk. Buy it in bulk, seal pint portions in ziploc snack bags. Seal the bags in something airtight and sturdy -- coffee can -- maybe along with a lidded glass jar with a magic marker line showing where you fill the water to. (A pint is enough for coffee and cereal.)

Maybe do the same with generic Tang.

#13 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 12:30 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale #5: How's your hot water heater?

What is this "hot water heater" of which you speak? I have a standard stove and a microwave oven, but both require electricity. I don't smoke, so have no matches, and I don't think the combination of my LED flashlight and my reading glasses will produce fire if I need to boil water. I have containers that I can fill with water ahead of time, though.

Oh, and Cheerios. I have about a half a cubic foot of Cheerios stored up. I've heard that some people eat unboiled ramen noodles as a snack food, but I've never tried it, and I expect it would shred my gums if I tried.

I may be able to stay at a friend's house during the storm, if it comes to that.

#14 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 12:31 AM:

Another emergency put-aside I found recently: Three orange juice jugs full of water, behind a pile of cleaning supplies under the sink.

I figure that they're at least five years old. I'm using the contents to flush the toilet.

Now I keep liquid bleach bottles for utility water storage. I don't rinse them, just fill them up and put them under the bathroom sink. Very sturdy, and the residual bleach will kill any gunk. Useful for washing and flushing.

#15 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 12:50 AM:

I'm in Illinois, and thus as safe as can be, but am currently worried about the husband, who is down in Lafayette where he works flying people back and forth to the oil rigs in the gulf. I suspect they'll just be evacuating the helicopters north if it gets bad, and the rigs are still clear from Gustav, but it will be a busy two weeks for him. As a friend in New Orleans said, now would be an excellent time for someone to dump a large quantity of ice cubes in the gulf.

#16 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 03:10 AM:

Caroline, #4: I didn't say "don't worry"; I know you will. But I don't think you need to worry hard, if you get the distinction. :-)

The latest updates show the projected track shifting eastward; it now looks as though Ike may come in just west of Galveston Bay. This puts us on the "strong winds" side of the storm, and the wind will be from the south -- into our back yard and patio. Russ is probably going to spend a good chunk of tomorrow devising a way to protect the covered patio, and we'll have to bring in things like the blank T-shirt stock and working screens from the garage. Walking space in the living room and den is going to be at a premium for a while.

There were already some gas stations out of fuel here earlier this evening when we went to fill up my car and the big van -- between the two of them, that's potentially an extra 50 gallons of fuel for the generator if we go thru the regular gas cans.

I'm more concerned about my local friends who live much nearer Galveston than we do. If there's another evacuation, it's not going to be pretty even with the improvements they've made since Rita.

#17 ::: George Smiley ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 03:29 AM:

Folks on the gulf coast: don't let your guard down. NOAA's runs of the various numerical simulations over the last few hours are producing more divergent results. There is a LOT of uncertainty as to where landfall is going to occur with this storm. Do not just fixate on the black line in the NHC maps; look at the error bands. They cover a very, very large stretch of coastline.

#18 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:41 AM:

The projected track bears a close resemblance to that of the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Fortunately, people seem to be a bit better prepared this time, and Ike may not be quite as powerful.

(The Wikipedia article on the Galveston hurricane says it was still producing over-60-mph winds when it ran over New York City after spinning across half the continent. If true, that's pretty remarkable.)

#19 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 09:04 AM:

WRT #18--is it just me, or is there a certain irony in having this one happen to be named Ike, in view of Isaac Cline's connection with the Galveston Hurricane?

Y'all all stay safe, and best of luck.

#20 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 09:19 AM:

#13 Earl: I don't smoke, so have no matches, and I don't think the combination of my LED flashlight and my reading glasses will produce fire if I need to boil water.

So, go out and buy a pack of cheap disposable lighters, and a pack of "lifeboat" matches.

See also my inventory lists for some emergency kits over at Jump Kits. I also have my inventory list of a tin cup kit at Dashing Through the Snow.

A little late for Ike, but for the next one (and next year...) may I suggest picking up a nice weather radio? This is the one I recommend: Midland WR300 Weather Radio

#21 ::: Julie ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 09:51 AM:

I'm in the DFW area, and the latest advisory from the NWS states we may get hurricane level wind gusts here over the weekend. As they say - secure your outdoor stuff, gas up, make sure you have plenty of batteries, water, and food you can prepare without electricity.

I'm going out today to stock up and gas up. The stores will be a mess tomorrow.

#22 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 10:01 AM:

Lee, you must live within spitting distance of my sister.

I would tell them to come stay with me, but right now it looks like the storm would just chase them right up 45 to my place...

#23 ::: Harry Knopp ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 10:09 AM:

An easy way to track Ike is with http://www.USAMediaGuide.com. It has a special section of links to:
--Ike's projected path
--National Hurricane Center and local news coverage
--hurricane preparation tips
--live streaming webcams
--ready.gov and the Red Cross
--other Ike-related stuff.

#24 ::: Columbine ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 10:21 AM:

Just as a data point: As I write this (10:20 Thursday morning), I am exchanging IMs with my good friend in Galveston, who has decided to evacuate after being on the fence for three days. (Some of it is that her employer has also refused to decide for those three days.) She says that "a lot of people are apparently staying put" and "last I heard they had not made the evacuation mandatory."

I must say I feel better knowing she's getting out of there. Galveston is a very fragile island.

#25 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 11:13 AM:

Raw ramen is a decent snack food (though I've usually used it as a trail food, rather than a home food). The seasoning packets help.

Disposable lighters, waterproof matches, a magnifying glass. Flint and steel (I used to do a living history trick with flint/steel and charcloth to light people's cigars. It's actually a more efficient/effective way to do it, and the audience loved seeing a servant light a cigar for someone else. A bit of a one-armed paper hanger routine, but pretty simple once the trick of holding the cloth was perfected).

#26 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 01:19 PM:

One of the forecasters at the Weather Underground site is warning Texans that Ike is pushing an immense amount of water ahead of it as it approaches the coast. He's forecasting up to a 25-30' storm surge in the region closest to the eye on the north side, even if the storm does not strengthen any further.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1080&tstamp=200809

#27 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Terry @25:

I thought I was the only one who ever ate raw ramen!

Dip the noodles in the flavor packet. Drink plenty of water with it.

#28 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 02:06 PM:

Not a survival food, because of the rest of the ingredients, but raw ramen goes great in a recipe for Oriental Coleslaw. You even get to mix the flavor packet into the dressing.

Slightly more on topic, I ended up accidentally stocking up on water yesterday when I bought more small bottles than a horde of Austin realtors could possibly devour even in the current pre-storm heat/humidity.

Every time I look at the NOAA Ike maps, it reminds me more and more of Rita, which was initially forecast to blast the crud out of Galveston, and be directly overhead of Austin during AustinCityLimits Fest. Later projections kept going further and further east, to where, when it finally hit, it was on the TX/LA border, as I recall.

#29 ::: Network Geek ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 02:12 PM:

I'm in Jersey Village, which is right where 290 and Beltway 8 meet. I'll be staying, with the dog and a camera. I have plenty of ammunition, so if I find that I've run low on any other survival supplies, I can "resupply". Also, as long as I have an Internet connection at the house, I'll be blogging and loading pictures to my Flickr account to share via the blog.

I honestly don't expect it to be as bad as the news is making it out to be, but, then I'm a little suspicious of people who use phrases like "if it bleeds, it leads" as training tools. Call me crazy, but, there you have it.

I blogged all through the non-event that was Rita a few years ago, too. I hope to have better pictures this time.

#30 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 02:46 PM:

Terry Karney #25: Raw ramen is a decent snack food (though I've usually used it as a trail food, rather than a home food). The seasoning packets help.

Do you pre-process it at all (like smash it into small bits with a hammer) or soak it to make it pliable? I have trouble thinking of rock-hard ramen noodles as actually being chewable.

#31 ::: Bob L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 02:53 PM:

I do some work with the American Chemistry Council and I'd advise everyone path of the hurricane to add a drop of chlorine to their drinking water the day after the storm hits. U.S. cities have been doing this for 100 years and it's one of the most effective ways to make drinking water safe.

#32 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 03:05 PM:

The chlorine we used for water purification in Cuba was just plain old laundry chlorine bleach. It worked perfectly, and cost far, far, far less than a tiny bottle of water purification drops bought at the pharmacy.

Ike did a killer job on Haiti on top of what the other killer jobs by the previous hurricanes. 4 hits in less than 4 weeks. It wrecked a lot of places in Cuba -- another 20,000 homes gone, particularly in the city of Camaguey.

It's a big one.

Love, C.

#33 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 03:21 PM:

Say . . .

Any word from James Dobson or Pat Robertson as to what Texas is being punished for?

#34 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 03:27 PM:

Network Geek, #29: Pleased to meet you!

The most recent set of models show the projected path having shifted further east; there's now a high probability that Ike will bullseye Galveston Bay. This is actually good news for us (and for Network Geek too), because it means that we're more likely to be on the "weaker winds" side of the eye, and to take the brunt on the front of the house instead of the rear. We already have shutters made for those windows, and my partner is working on a frame to wall off the covered back patio even as I type. He's got a friend helping him -- there was supposed to be a gaming-con in College Station this weekend to which said friend was going, but it got canceled.

Our major worry at this point is the garage. It's 50+ years old, wood-framed, and has considerable termite damage, and we're likely to get sustained high winds for 24 hours or so. OTOH, if it does blow over, at least the insurance will pay to replace it, and we can move a lot of what's in it to sheltered storage of one sort or another.

#35 ::: Julie ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 04:00 PM:

Stefan Jones @33: How else do you drive the Democrats out of Texas before an election?

#36 ::: Greg Morrow ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 05:30 PM:

Like Network Geek and Lee, I'm in Jersey Village (or as near to as makes no difference), and the models' shift eastward is good news for us.

I'm also pleased by the lack of intensification; the energy that would go into the storm is spreading the winds across a wider area, which is dissipatory; and larger winds churn up more water, and that means colder water, which means less energy for future intensification. So Ike may make landfall on the weak side of the predictions, which is good news for everyone inland. Unfortunately, the broad windfront makes the storm surge worse, which is bad news for everyone near the coast.

Evac traffic is starting to lock up the freeways pretty good, although not as bad as Rita. We're being told to shelter in place, which is exactly what we weren't told with Rita, which made a whole lot of people who had no reason to evac try to evac, which caused a great deal of hardship to people who really did have to evac.

Here's hoping for the best, and hoping that everyone is preparing for the worst.

#37 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 05:37 PM:

Quoting Jeff @ Wunderground: "The latest Hurricane Local Statement from the Galveston National Weather Service office puts things in pretty stark perspective:

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."

Me: Be careful out there, and if there's anybody left in Galveston, sounds like now would be a good time to get out, rather than the last minute.

#38 ::: George Smiley ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 06:12 PM:

John and Clifton @ 26 & 37: Jeff @ Wunderground is the real deal. A co-founder of the best weather site on the web, and a Hurricane Hunter alum. At the site he has a long and gripping description of flying into the eye of the Cat 5 Hugo and nearly not making it out. A serious enough experience that he quit as a result.

#39 ::: frankly frank ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 06:13 PM:

i just cannot stand to hear all of these other states cry about supporting gulf coast states after a hurricane.Especially California.We in louisiana and texas gladly come to your rescue when you slide down those muddy hills and burn to a crispt in wild fires.please no more whinning and crying. Us southern folks just cannot tolerate it. We are built tough.

#40 ::: frankly frank ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 06:24 PM:

i just cannot stand to hear all of these other states cry about supporting gulf coast states after a hurricane.Especially California.We in louisiana and texas gladly come to your rescue when you slide down those muddy hills and burn to a crispt in wild fires.please no more whinning and crying. Us southern folks just cannot tolerate it. We are built tough.

#41 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 06:32 PM:

#39/40
sounds like whining and possibly driveby ... because CA pays to support the poorer folks in the Gulf states; we don't get money from y'all, just more people.

#42 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 07:53 PM:

My good wishes to all of you on the Texas Gulf Coast. May you come through safe.

#43 ::: frankly frank ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:02 PM:

hey fellow louisianians and texans. great news. we can all evacuate to CA. (beware)since they cannot manage their own problems we will be far better off riding out a (cat 5) or even worse if mother nature wants to throw it at us. It is confirmed that when the going gets tough. The tough gets going.

#44 ::: frankly frank ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:02 PM:

hey fellow louisianians and texans. great news. we can all evacuate to CA. (beware)since they cannot manage their own problems we will be far better off riding out a (cat 5) or even worse if mother nature wants to throw it at us. It is confirmed that when the going gets tough. The tough gets going.

#45 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:20 PM:

Property can be replaced. You can’t be.

Well, there goes your promising career in Big Corporate Management.

#46 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Frankly frank is clearly a troll.

#47 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:37 PM:

Lance Weber #45: True, but Jim would gain points with Confucius.

Analects X. 12: His stables having been burnt, the Master, on his return from court, said: “Is any one hurt?” He did not ask after the horses.

#48 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:45 PM:

Fragano franked Frankly Frank's frantic fractious frames.

#49 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:54 PM:

What's all the foofaraw with Frere F. Frank?

#50 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 08:58 PM:

(Besides the fact that he parachuted in here with a complaint that had nothing whatsoever to do with anything anybody had said, I mean.)

#51 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 09:02 PM:

Frank.... of course ya do. That's why I have a certificate of appreciation for Katrina Aid. I wasn't allowed (because I was studying russian) to help out for the Northridge Quake, but I didn't seen any Puking Pelicans, or Lone Star Patches showing up in the photos my buddies took.

We pay more in taxes to the feds than we get back, which isn't the case for the Gulf Coast. But, feel free to do it all yourself, and tell FEMA to go away, and the feds to refrain from declaring a disaster.

Go it alone if you want, but don't try to sell me on the idea that you guys are bailing us out and getting the shaft, it ain't so, and I've got the paperwork to prove it.

#52 ::: frankly frank ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 11:00 PM:

I recently survived gus-tav as i also did katrina in south east louisiana. my heart my thoughts and my prayers are forwarded to all of the beautiful citizens of louisiana and texas.

#53 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2008, 11:15 PM:

Wunderground's tracking page, via the liveblog at Daily Kos:
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200809.html

The Weather Service has told everyone in one and two-story buildings along the coast and Galveston Bay to get out of there like-right-now because they're expecting a storm surge of 15 to 20 feet. They used the words 'certain death', so they are absolutely not kidding. People in Galveston are already dealing with street flooding, and may not be able to get out even tomorrow morning.

The current forecast for the path takes it over east TX, southwestern OK, and all of Arkansas, into MO on Sunday. Tropical storms winds into DFW, too.

#54 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 12:27 AM:

debcha, #11, I do donate to our local foodbank, but I give them a bit of money because they can buy food from manufacturers for much cheaper than I can get it at the grocery.

Stefan, #12, I have a solar oven and if there isn't enough sun for that, you can eat canned things as-is. They're already cooked, you're just heating them to make them nicer to eat. You do need a manual can opener.

Earl, #13, your water heater will be full of water that you can drink.

#55 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 04:02 AM:

Marilee @54: Assuming he has a hot-water heater. When I lived in an apartment, there was a communal one for the whole complex. I wouldn't have had any idea how to start draining it in a potable-water-safe way.

#56 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 04:56 AM:

All the projections have converged in the area of Galveston Bay. What's still uncertain is whether Ike will run up the western side of the bay or the eastern side. Western side puts us back toward the "strong winds" rotation; the further eastward it slides, the better off we'll be.

We didn't get as much done today as we would have liked, for various reasons. I hope there's time enough to get it finished tomorrow before the real wind and rain get here.

#57 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 05:13 AM:

@38: If you have any prejudice about planes with propellers, you're recommended to read that. There's a reason why NOAA uses P3s (Lockheed Electras in civil life) and the USAF C-130s for that job.

#58 ::: Elaine ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 07:36 AM:

@38 Thanks for the link: I'd never read it before. Amazing that the plane managed to survive despite so far exceeding its design specs.

#59 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 12:13 PM:

Darksyde on Daily Kos says this storm is a 200 mile tsunami with hurricane force winds.

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 12:15 PM:

I forgot to post this (it's been a little hectic)

re raw ramen. It's crunchy. I eat it as a block... sprinkling a little of the seasoning packet onto it. It's about as crunchy as potato chips. Doesn't destroy my gums.

The flavor (I think from the coconut oil) is a little nutty, a litte pasty. Like nuts, chips, etc., it's a little habit forming.

#61 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 01:03 PM:

I have many friends in the Houston area. They're not evacuating, because they're on relatively high ground for Houston. They should be on the "good" side of the hurricane, unless it goes west of where it's currently predicted to go.

For all of them, and all of you on here, whether I've met you or not, I'll be keeping a good thought. And for everyone in Ike's path, of course, but focusing on you all.

#62 ::: Julie ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 01:05 PM:

No matter where you live, you may want to consider gassing up your car. Prices here in the DFW area spiked 15 cents overnight and the current predictions don't look good for the refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Get it while it's (relatively) cheap.

The first outer bands have moved in here, though we don't expect rain until after midnight. I'll be posting updates and pictures on the blog as long as we have power.

#63 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 01:13 PM:

I am very grateful today that my sister-in-law is no longer living on the wildlife refuge on the Texas Coast just east of Galveston (almost exactly where Rita made landfall -- she evacuated for Rita, but has been well inland for a month now, writing up her masters' thesis.) They're forecasting a 20' storm surge for the area of her refuge, and it's on the east side of the track.

#64 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 01:42 PM:

Mighty Day

The Galveston Hurricane, September 8, 1900.

#65 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 01:53 PM:

Marilee, #11: I do donate to our local foodbank, but I give them a bit of money because they can buy food from manufacturers for much cheaper than I can get it at the grocery.

Yeah, that's an issue for me too (I don't shop at Costco, like Kathryn does, where it's pretty break-even). I'm a big fan of the vouchers that some grocery stores sell - you can tack five or ten bucks onto your bill and the money goes to food banks to get food at cost. Since I am well-meaning but lazy, it works well for me.

#66 ::: Bob L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 03:47 PM:

Constance said, "The chlorine we used for water purification in Cuba was just plain old laundry chlorine bleach. It worked perfectly, and cost far, far, far less than a tiny bottle of water purification drops bought at the pharmacy."

Well, that just disgusting. Here in America most municipalities have devices that distribute measured amounts of chlorine into the water supply system. In the case of the supply system getting muddied up, like after a storm, citizens can just hit their local Walmarts for chlorine.

#67 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 03:56 PM:

NC's governor has activated a price gouging law to combat rapidly rising gas prices as Ike reaches the coast. Prices for gas have gone from $3.60/gallon last night to $4.80/gallon in some situations, and others are now restricting how much gas one purchase is allowed to 10 gallons.

This is all due to the shutdown of refineries along the Gulf from both Gustav last week and Ike now. Depending on how long it takes the refineries to get back to full speed, the price of gas could spike to near $5.00/gallon in the upcoming weeks.

#68 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 05:29 PM:

Price update; gas prices here in Raleigh have spiked to nearly $5.00/gallon already, and in Fayetteville (50 miles south of Raleigh) there are stations selling gas for $5.49/gallon. Down in South Carolina there were images of gas selling for over $5.70/gallon.

There are reports of panic buying here in Raleigh at gas stations that didn't raise prices, lines backing up on our interstates, and fights breaking out in lines when the station ran out of fuel.

#69 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 06:04 PM:

They're forecasting that the storm surge may overtop the levies protecting the refineries along significant chunks of the Texas coast.

If that happens, the effects on the economy will be rather interesting.

#70 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 06:08 PM:

John L @ 68, I just saw $3.89 at the station near my house -- it was $3.65 this morning. Haven't seen it significantly break $4 here in Durham yet, but I imagine it's coming, if Raleigh is over $4 and climbing. The gas station near my house was packed full of commuters, probably heading back to Raleigh and wanting to grab it while it was cheap.


#71 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 07:50 PM:

It now appears definite that Ike will come in on the western side of Galveston Bay and run right up thru downtown Houston. Things are going to be Interesting around here.

Prep is making good progress; the front windows are covered, the wall across the covered patio is 1 panel shy of being finished (and as much of the yard stuff as will fit has been crammed onto the patio, up to about 6' deep), and after that there are only 3 smallish windows on the back wall to worry about -- plus shoring up the garage, if there's time for that.

Almost no one else on our street has even put up window shutters. That seems insane to me. There's beginning to be some significant wind out there, but no rain as yet.

I've activated the phone-post capability on my LiveJournal: http://starcat-jewel.livejournal.com. If we lose Internet access, I may still be able to post some updates there; our landline has been very reliable for the 10 years I've lived here.

#72 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 07:59 PM:

You be safe, Lee!

#73 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2008, 08:05 PM:

Seconded--stay safe. It sounds like you're getting more adventure than you were hoping for. FWIW, you (and lots of other people about to get clobbered by Ike) are in my prayers.

#74 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2008, 12:39 AM:

According to MSNBC, a quarter million people refused to evacuate.

Please let this be a dud.

And please God, tell George Bush to STF away.

#75 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Stefan, I don't think a quarter-million people even live on the island. It's *really* small.

#76 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2008, 01:55 AM:

Maybe that includes low-lying areas of Houston?

Ah:

"About half of the nearly 300,000 residents of coastal Brazoria County stayed behind in defiance of evacuation orders, officials told NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston, as did about half of the 110,000 people in Beaumont."

In any case . . .

. . . I Don't Like Ike.

#77 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2008, 01:02 PM:

I don't know if that spike in gas prices is supposed to be local or widespread. I'm in Northern CA. I have a lot of driving to do this weekend, so I filled my tank yesterday at the local El Cheapo Station: gas was at 3.77 per gallon there, and as of this morning it remained at that price, though I noticed regular priced at 3.88 per gallon at the local Chevron station.

Lee, I hope you and your neighbors stay safe.

#78 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2008, 02:21 PM:

This is from Lee, over on LJ, at 5 am:

“Well we are now officially a casualty. We've lost a big huge chunk of roof over the bedroom and there's water coming in. We've moved what we can out of the immediate danger zone. Russ and Blair are trying to control the water. There's not enough room back there for 2 people. If someone from making light sees this please post it over there, I have no way to post there without getting internet access. It's about 5:00, we have a couple of hours left of rain blowing directly into the hall. I don't know what's going to happen.”

#79 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2008, 07:17 PM:

Lizzy L@77

I suspect it varies greatly by area.

I'm in the DC area. There seems to have been some upward movement (the two stations I most often fill up at raised their prices about 6 cents/gallon at least as of today, and I've seen some local stations above $4/gallon for regular) but nothing yet as massive as some of the posters up above have seen.

#80 ::: Network Geek ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2008, 04:48 PM:

Hey, just thought I'd check in here and let everyone know I finally got power, and thus an internet connection, back yesterday around 4:00pm. My office had power Monday, so I've been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest since then. Most of Jersey Village, my area of Houston, should have power now, but if anyone needs anything, hit my blog and leave a comment with contact info!

#81 ::: Gabrielle ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2009, 12:47 PM:

Somehow that comment made me let out a giggle.. But, you're right anyways.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.