Skip to comments.Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part VIII
Posted on 09/24/2005 9:58:36 AM PDT by Howlin
Hurricane Rita landfall is anticipated within the next few hours. Strong winds and heavy rains are battering southern Louisiana and southeastern Texas.
MSM news crews are shouting over the howling winds as they foolishly describe blowing rain, swaying trees, and crashing waves through rain splattered camera lenses. It's a hurricane. We know these things already.
An 18 wheeler rig reportedly overturned on an I-10 bridge. The fate of the truck driver is unknown at this time. Reports of widespread power outages in Lake Charles. KPLC-TV Lake Charles local news has remarkably improvised their reporting from a remote location. They are taking calls from residents, NWS, and public utility representatives, and alerting residents to local conditions.
On the flip side, CNN announced to the world that law enforcement officers had evacuated from Port Arthur TX with the rest of the population. Engraved looter invitations would have been more elegant.
Godspeed to all those in the path of this storm.
The following links are self-updating:
Public Advisory Currently published every 3 hours 5A, 8A, 11A, 2P, etc. ET
NHC Discussion Published every six hours 6A, 11A, 6P, 11P
Three Day Forecast Track
Five Day Forecast Track
Rita Forecast Track Archive
Buoy Data Western Gulf of Mexico
Houston/Galveston/Beaumont/Lake Charles Wx Watches/Warnings
Jefferson Co TX NWS Weather
Current Weather Warnings and Watches for Texas
Current Weather Warnings and Watches for Louisiana
Hi Res Houston Flood Zone Map Slow load, great detail
Lake Charles Long Range Radar Still image, with loop link
Houston/Galveston Long Range Radar Still image, with loop link
Lake Charles Experimental Radar Outages and Delays May Occur
Storm Floater IR Loop
GOM WV Loop
GOM IR Still Image
Visible Storm Floater Still (only visible during daylight hours)
Color Enhanced Atlantic Loop
Streaming Video: (coverage may be intermittent)
KPLC-TV/DT Lake Charles/Lafayette
Hurricane Rita Freeper CHECK IN THREAD
FReeper Sign In Thread (LOCKED) Check in to let us know whether you are staying, going, and when you get there
FReepers Offering Lodging To Rita Evacuees People and/or Pet Friendly FReepers Offering Shelter
KTRK ABC News Houston
KPLC Lake Charles Evac Routes, news
KFDM Beaumont/Port Arthur News, evac info
Golden Triangle Weather Page Provides Galveston Weather, Warnings, Radar, etc.
|Category||Wind Speed||Barometric Pressure||Storm Surge||Damage Potential|
|< 39 mph
< 34 kts
|39 - 73 mph
34 - 63 kts
|74 - 95 mph
64 - 82 kts
|28.94" or more
980.02 mb or more
|4.0' - 5.0'
1.2 m - 1.5 m
|Minimal damage to vegetation|
|96 - 110 mph
83 - 95 kts
|28.50" - 28.93"
965.12 mb - 979.68 mb
|6.0' - 8.0'
1.8 m - 2.4 m
|Moderate damage to houses|
|111 - 130 mph
96 - 112 kts
|27.91" - 28.49"
945.14 mb - 964.78 mb
|9.0' - 12.0'
2.7 m - 3.7 m
|Extensive damage to small buildings|
|131 - 155 mph
113 - 135 kts
|27.17" - 27.90"
920.08 mb - 944.80 mb
|13.0' - 18.0'
3.9 m - 5.5 m
|Extreme structural damage|
|Greater than 155 mph
Greater than 135 kts
|Less than 27.17"
Less than 920.08 mb
|Greater than 18.0'
Greater than 5.5m
|Catastrophic building failures possible|
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part VII
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part VI
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part V
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part IV
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part III
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part II
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part I
Tropical Storm Rita
Tropical Depression 18
Heh. Heh. Sure does.
"Were the trees in your neighborhood built to withstand a hurricane?"
Nope, trees fall over. But I have yet to see a tree that would flatten a subdivision house -- in the Houston area at least. Alabama might be different. But even if one of the trees next to my house fell on my house the most it would do is cause roof damage.
Flying debris? Even at 100 mph debris that hits the wall is not going to shatter it. In fact, during Alicia I did not see one window that got shattered by flying debris in my Forest Bend neighborhood. That hurrican blew up too quickly for most people to board up their windows, too. There was a lot of roof damage, but the only house that took serious structural damage was one that got hit by a tornado. One -- in a subdivision of about 150 houses. You are just as likely to get hit by one in Austin as in Katy.
There were some houses in that subdivision that got totaled, however. The ones near the creek that got flooded.
I just learned about a problem with the Lake Livingston dam. Does anyone KNOW what is going on with this? Is this release precautionary or is there a major problem?
Here's another one for you: Guess who is the founder and one of the principle owners of Entergy?
I did not know that about Entergy. Interesting.
Guess I should be glad I have DEMCO.....
You wouldn't happen to have a photo... electronic or otherwise ... of that red sequin dress?
Please FReepmail me if you do... she's definitely my favorite.
It is amazing that two states right next to each other offer such a stark contast. Two different worlds entirely.
As the Texas Tourism Bureau used to advertise: "Texas: It's like a whole other country!" /grin
We survived the hurricane at Granny's in Pasadena unscathed, after returning from our 24 hour gridlock ordeal trying to get out of town. We returned home yesterday morning to find our home totally fine. We just got electric on in the last hour.
I am anxious to hear how everyone else did. I don't know if I will have time to read all of the thread.
Thanks for all your prayers freepers after we had that horrible situation trying to leave, and then having to come back. It all worked out for us to stay anyway.
"Rita Damage to SW Louisiana worse than being reported"
I think hurricanes can smell unpreparedness the way that animals smell fear. Rita sniffed at Texas. "Those folk are ready." Rita sniffed at Louisiana. "Those folks ain't as ready. Let's go there. More fun."
Starting to wonder if figuring out hurricanes is nothing more than getting enough sleep and having the map at the right zoom level.
Around the same time as reports about the dam started coming out, we also got reports of significant structural damage at Nacogdoches and Lufkin, Texas.
On the map, those two cities and the dam (plus the towns of Livingston and Coldspring too) are all in a straight line. That points to some kind of a downburst type event, not unexpected in a hurricane which is in the process of coming ashore and collapsing.
Warm air always wants to rise and the process of condensation generates tremendous heat, which accelerates the ascent. But what goes up must come down, and in certain collapsing systems, a sort of unnatural equilibrium can occur, where the system is in stasis, but with tremendous potential energy, in the classic case of potential energy.
A huge mass of barely rising or falling wet air can be a time bomb waiting to happen, and when the right trigger comes along, it detonates.
A small pocket of descending air can accomodate more moisture as it warms adiabatically, and under the right conditions, it does, entraining moisture from the surrounding air. The process is essentially evaporation when viewed in terms of the overall energy budget, which removes that same tremendous quantity of heat and (again, under the right conditions) can initiate a cascade. The more that descends, the more that cools. The more that cools, the more that falls. It can be a very vicious cycle, I've seen marble headstones snapped clean off six inches above ground level across a fair sized cemetary resulting from a thunderstorm's collapse.
I think there's a good chance we had some sort of a downburst event along the line from Nacogdoches to Livingston, and that that downburst caught hold of a significant volume of already choppy lake water and shoved it up against the dam.
If all that's true, I predict you'll find wind damage at Cold Spring, southwest of the Lake, and possible surge damage on the southwest side of the lake as well. An aerial survey should also show a clearly defined damage path between Nacogdoches and Lufkin, and between Lufkin and the Lake.
In any event, the "wall" of water would have smacked into the dam at an oblique angle and at the very least, removed the riprap (chunks of old broken up concrete roadbed are sometimes used) facing. Odds are that there was some cratering on the upstream face as well, since the removal of tons of broken concrete or rock doesn't happen without affecting the underlying earthen fill. It may well have topped the dam and done some cratering on the other side, notched the dam's crest, transported some fill around, whatever it was that they first saw that raised the possibility in their minds that they could lose the whole dam.
You don't deliberately create a full scale flood without serious reason. The question then becomes how big a wave hit the dam. Enough mass, moving at a high enough velocity can raise questions as to the entire structure's integrity.
You can bet that they are watching the downstream face of the dam for any sign of seepage, which can take some time to manifest after any cracks or percolation are effected on the upstream face or in the core block structure. One tiny crack breaching the integrity of the core block (usually clay, sometimes concrete) can be all it takes, but full failure may take days to occur afterwards. Once water reaches the downstream face unnoticed, it's usually all over. It's very hard to stop water once a quantity of it starts flowing.
In the meantime, they get the water levels low as fast as they can. It allows them to see more of what has been damaged, and it reduces the pressure on the now questionable structure.
Unless you go looking for it (or the dam fails), you may not hear much more about this. Dam authorities like for the people downstream to regard their dams as monoliths, unfazed by wind or storm, always safe. There will be an assessment, and several reports released, but they might not be calling press conferences when they do.
This case may be an exception to that general policy, because once you roust the downstream residents out of their homes for an evacuation, there is also a need to reassure them that all has been inspected and pronounced safe.
We'll just have to watch the news and see what comes out.
Here is a lamestream quote for you. AP is p!ssed that this did not fit their agenda:
"Not all Texans were happy with a slow return home. John Willy, the top elected official in Brazoria County, southwest of Houston, said he would ignore the state's staggered return plan.
"I am not going to wait for our neighbors to the north to get home and take a nap, before I ask our good people to come home," he said in a statement. "Our people are tired of the state's plan! They have a plan too and it's real simple. They plan to come home when they want."
True story. I heard Sheila Jackson Lee say this in a press conference just hours ago. Eckels, White etc.. are encouraging people who work at gas stations/convenience stores to get back to work so gas can come in and Sheila takes the podium and says the "jobbers" need to return to work. I am NOT making this up.
She didn't mention if the people working on Mars should.
Glad to hear that about Mayor White. He sounds like a good man. When I lived in Texas (Irving), Houston had Kathy Whitmire as Mayor - she was a real trip! I remember one controversy she provoked when she decided that western-style cowboy hats were inappropriate accessories for the uniforms for Houston law enforcement, and tried to force them to change to the Eastern big-city style peaked caps. Don't remember if she got away with it, though.
Be safe, and well, and best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Jobbers are the independent fuel distributors. They even have trade groups. This was not derogatory rhetoric (this time).
"I just learned about a problem with the Lake Livingston dam. Does anyone KNOW what is going on with this? Is this release precautionary or is there a major problem?"
I just know what I read in the papers. I am in the Hill Country right now, waiting to return to my house in League City. But what I read was that the dam was damaged and the authorities that manage the dam did a precautionary release. But that might be a preliminary report.
Jobbers are the independent and privately owned oil sales and delivery companies.
We have hundreds of 100-foot tall 3-foot diameter trees here. You would be surprised about how much damage they can do to a house.
Okay, my apologies to the Congresswoman. I have heard her say so many stupid things, I thought this was one of them.
Yeah, just found that out. Now I feel stupid.