September 12, 2008

Aftermath

From the Galveston Weather Service:

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.

It is not the hurricane hitting itself for which I worry. People will evacuate. Overall, the area hit will make it through the actual... hit.

Areas will be destroyed and rebuilding will take years.

It is all a given.

But the anxiety I feel is truly the aftermath, that absolute misery that follows. People realizing their homes are gone. Evacuees coming home to... nothing. Those hunkered down in high or inland areas with no power, no running water, in some cases no sewage system.

Sometimes sewage systems overflow and so NOBODY is allowed to use their system at home. Sewage backs into the streets. People's homes smell.

Boil water alerts... yet you don't have power.

Water is always warm. After the ice melts, there are no cold drinks... something so trivial can become such a big deal.

Homes are sweltering during the day and sleep does not come at night for it is still Summer in the tropics.

Hot and humid, no power, and much misery.

THAT is what worries me for people. The average person will make it through with their lives and the lives of their families intact.

But the days and weeks following... can be physically and mentally torturous.

Doubt me? Look into Baton Rouge. Those folks are STILL without power... and its been awhile since they took their hit.

It is the misery that follows... that bothers me most.

Posted by Boudicca at September 12, 2008 07:38 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Talked to my stepmother in Houston last night. Living on the northwest fringe of the city (off of 290, for those familiar with the area) her home has become refuge to a number of friends who live farther south in the more threatened areas. She says they have plenty of food and liquor, hopefully the power won't go out for an extended period of time. Probably safe from flooding, but I'm still concerned about high winds and especially the aftermath, particularly if power fails. She's hoping Ike will go through there fast and get it all over with, so everybody can get about the business of cleaning up and going on with life.

Posted by: diamond dave at September 12, 2008 02:21 PM

Ack!! This is the stuff that makes going through winter with sub zero temps and inches of snow worthwhile...

Posted by: Richmond at September 12, 2008 03:09 PM