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Hurricane Ike

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Mayor White's doing a press conference at 7am.

***Update***

Updating as I watch...

Mayor

Employers recommended to not require non-essential employees to go to work on Friday, and to take into account recommended and mandatory evacuations (which the County Judge will speak to). Non-essential city employees will be off on Friday.

All school districts recommended to close Friday.

County Judge

Special needs evacuations beginning this morning. If you are in an evacuation zone, have special needs, but have not registered, call 3-1-1.

Mandatory evacuations of Zones A&B (zip codes ending in 058, 059, 062, 520, 546, 571, 586, 598) starting at noon today. Please wait until noon to evacuate and let Galveston get out.

Others - Unless you're in an unsafe structure (e.g., a mobile home), hunker down. If the power goes out later, you can leave then. Let those who need to get out now for their safety evacuate now.

Contraflow lanes not being opened now - it sounds like they are going to reevaluate the need for the contraflow lanes later today (sounded like during or after evening rush hour is the earliest they'd reevaluate).

Edited by tmariar

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Houston has required 110 mph wind rated residential building for upwards of 25 years. Additionally, all homes built in the last 5-7 years have to be built to withstand 120 mph winds. However, up until around 2001, when the 120mph standards went into effect, it was hit or miss whether code inspectors really demanded wind rated construction. Anything built in the last 5 or 6 years has been closely inspected for wind rating, and is probably a good structure.

I have no idea what Pearland requires, or how well the standards are enforced. If your house is new, it is probably wind rated to get home insurance, but only you can verify that. If it has hurricane straps on the studs and rafters, and plywood on the walls, you are in good shape. Go into your attic and look around for the metal straps around your rafters and at the spots where the roof joists meet the walls. Hopefully you can see them.

This is what you are looking for....

I don't have those things, from what I can tell. I live in a 1984, heavily-bricked townhouse in Montrose - basically a big box, with 6 southern facing windows. Any clue as to whether this should be able to take 110 mph winds? We'd be facing just short bursts of those kinds of winds in the city, right?

Edit: Crap, and I just remembered that they are building a couple of new townhouses across the street. Projectile city!

Edited by OkieEric

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tmariar got it first, but here's the official version:

-----------------

HARRIS COUNTY EVACUATIONS FOR ZONES A & B

(Harris County, TX) - Due to changes in the track of Hurricane Ike and the expected storm surge of up to 15 ft. in some areas, Harris County and City of Houston officials are calling for the evacuation of citizens residing in Zones A & B of the evacuation plan.

A mandatory evacuation has been called for noon today for residents living in zip codes 77586 (Zone A), 77058, 77059, 77062, 77520, 77546, 77571, 77598 (Zone B).

Harris County will begin evacuating citizens with special needs that registered with 2-1-1 as soon as possible. Those not registered should call 3-1-1 immediately if they need help evacuating.

The routes identified for emergency evacuation by the state are Interstate 10 West to San Antonio, Interstate 45 North to Dallas, Interstate 59 North to Nacogdoches and Highway 290 West to Austin or Waco. The Texas Department of Public Safety will stage contraflow in coordination with local plans when needed. Refueling stations will be placed along the routes.

In order to minimize traffic of highways, emergency officials recommend that major employees allow non-essential personnel to not report to work on Friday. However, service providers such as grocery stores, restaurants and service stations are encouraged to remain open to serve the public.

Those who have registered already with the state's 2-1-1 system can expect to be picked up and transported to one of the transportation staging areas for evacuation.

Any other special needs persons who need help evacuating need to call 3-1-1.

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I don't have those things, from what I can tell. I live in a 1984, heavily-bricked townhouse in Montrose - basically a big box, with 6 southern facing windows. Any clue as to whether this should be able to take 110 mph winds? We'd be facing just short bursts of those kinds of winds in the city, right?

Edit: Crap, and I just remembered that they are building a couple of new townhouses across the street. Projectile city!

You should be alright. Like Judge Emmett said in his press conference, the wind will howl, you'll probably be nervous or even scared, but in all likelihood, you'll come out fine. Even if you lose shingles and stuff, the structure will likely hold. And, most importantly, it will probably not hit 110 mph in the Montrose. Alicia barely hit the mid 70s. This one might hit 90 in Houston.

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I just saw the mayor (on television) when I was at the Honda dealership dropping off my car for service (hey, I want to be ready in case I flee to Dallas).

Anyhow, one thing you gotta give Mayor White is that he is steady-as-she-blows. He is not prone to sensationalism and is really kinda plain, boring and reassuring to listen to in times like this.

Edited by houstonmacbro

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You should be alright. Like Judge Emmett said in his press conference, the wind will howl, you'll probably be nervous or even scared, but in all likelihood, you'll come out fine. Even if you lose shingles and stuff, the structure will likely hold. And, most importantly, it will probably not hit 110 mph in the Montrose. Alicia barely hit the mid 70s. This one might hit 90 in Houston.

OK, good...they keep bringing up the whole 100 - 110 mph in downtown, which can be a little disconcerting. I would imagine these skyscrapers will get hit with some pretty good winds a few floors up.

I'm going to be ticked if those builders don't put away their scraps today. That'll show 'em, lol

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I just found this posted by a guy over on the KHOU forums. This is supposedly a table of wind speeds for areas inside the loop. EEEEK!

middleofhouston.png

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I, too, am in total oh ____ ____ ____ freak out mode.

If you're referring to the Urban Lofts town homes, they are most certainly not metal structures. Only the siding and roof covering is metal. I know because I'm sitting in one right now. In fact, I'm about to climb up into the attic to check for roof braces.

I meant in terms of attaching plywood--the window frame is metal, and the exterior of the house is metal. I didn't mean the whole house was metal.

by the way, did you find any braces up there? I've never noticed any.

you could hammer it in from the inside and get some contents protection but window itself could be damaged.

I think that's the best idea. I'm not going to do it this time, but if we're still here next hurricane season I'll prepare better.

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The computer models are still pretty clustered. Don't expect much of a track shift from the NHC's next update. It's looking more like the eye will pass over Houston on Friday/Saturday, so hopefully if it strengthens it also weakens before landfall. There will probably be hurricane conditions over a couple hundred miles of the coast.

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I just got a big chunk of information from Harris County OEM about what evacuating people should do about their animals.

There's a lot of info there, including a list of places with phone numbers that will take dogs, cats, even horses.

Since there's a lot of information and probably a lot of interest that will yield discussion, I've split it into its own thread here: Hurricane Ike: Animal Evacuation Information

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My boss took heed of the mayor's recommendation and closed the office tomorrow. My coworker said that in the 10 years she's worked here, this is the first time they've closed up shop because of inclement weather.

We were also instructed by the VP of operations to cover up our monitors and phones with trash bags before we leave the office today. Working in downtown with tunnel level offices, 4-story high windows and a 100+ foot atrium, our office is especially susceptible to wind & water damage. It's kind of amusing looking across the office and seeing a sea of black bags.

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I have split the messages on prayer during the hurricane into its own thread. Please keep this thread on topic.

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We were also instructed by the VP of operations to cover up our monitors and phones with trash bags before we leave the office today. Working in downtown with tunnel level offices, 4-story high windows and a 100+ foot atrium, our office is especially susceptible to wind & water damage. It's kind of amusing looking across the office and seeing a sea of black bags

LOL

I am in 5 Houston (which is the last building in downtown on the east end) and the windows in my office face east (I can see the ship channel) and south. Our building management has advised us to lower our blinds to protect our offices. I am not a rocket scientist, but I am pretty sure miniblinds aren't going to protect our offices from flying debris and glass when the windows shatter.

I am jokingly telling people it would be funny if a cow ended up in our offices, alive and well of course (you know like in the movie Twister, when you see the cow go by mooing, LOL)

Edited by Daniepwils

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Speaking of winds, I haven't seen this posted on here yet:

http://houstonhidefromthewind.org/

Interesting map by ZIP code of forecasted maximum sustained winds based on current hurricane data from the NHC.

It really get's me how some people bank on the idea that mere TAPE is going to secure their big bay windows of the homes. :wacko:

Not only is flying debris an issue what about the suction or rather the power/energy of wind of a possible twister?

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I office in the Galleria are (4 oaks place) and they have instructed us to raise the blinds to cut down on them becoming projectiles...it's bad enough the glass could break, lol. I'm on the 27th floor and all they have said to do is move evertying into interior offices...and from the latest projections, Katy/Sugarland looks like its in the direct path of the eye....If you remember Alicia...Downtown was descimated....multiple buildings with windows blown out...it was a site for my young eyes....god speed to all...

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So here's a scenario.

Brazoria county advises on College Station and Benton TX, N-NW of here for evacuation destinations.

But the storm is heading in that direction anyways.

So a few residents in a brazoria county town decide to head towards San Antonio via I-10 as early as 6pm today.

SA is a distance, but negotiable.

How is the route between SA & Houston?

How safe is SA itself?

OR, would it be just as easy to find a motel/hotel in Northwest Houston????????????

Edited by Samsoner

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JUDGE EMMETT DECLARES STATE OF DISASTER IN HARRIS COUNTY DUE TO HURRICANE IKE

Declaration Prevents Price Gouging, Grants Emergency Powers

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett declared a "state of disaster" in Harris County this morning, granting him wide-ranging powers to control evacuations, rescue efforts and the closure of county facilities. In addition, the declaration prevents local merchants from taking advantage of Hurricane Ike by charging exorbitant prices for emergency supplies.

Harris County Attorney Mike Stafford said the declaration allows his office to file suit against merchants or contractors who charge exorbitant or excessive fees. Stafford's office may also seek penalties up to $20,000 or, if the victim is over 65, up to $250,000. Stafford recommends that consumers who believe they are being overcharged keep all receipts and file complaints with his office after Ike has passed.

The state of disaster remains in effect for seven days, unless extended by Commissioners Court.

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OK, good...they keep bringing up the whole 100 - 110 mph in downtown, which can be a little disconcerting. I would imagine these skyscrapers will get hit with some pretty good winds a few floors up.

I'm going to be ticked if those builders don't put away their scraps today. That'll show 'em, lol

The rooftops downtown were full of folks before Edouard picking up, so we should already be in pretty good shape as far as random debris. Let's just hope that they nolonger have rocks on top of the Tenneco (now El Paso) building. That's what wreaked havoc during Alicia.

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Looks like a solid eye is finally about to form on the latest satellite images...I'm no wx, but that doesn't seem like a good thing

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The lowest wind speed project right now is in Cove, TX (81 mph), which is east of Baytown. Everyone in the Houston area is around 90-98 mph, while earlier today they projected the low 80s.

That's the jist of it, in case you are having trouble connecting to that website.

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LOL

I am in 5 Houston (which is the last building in downtown on the east end) and the windows in my office face east (I can see the ship channel) and south. Our building management has advised us to lower our blinds to protect our offices. I am not a rocket scientist, but I am pretty sure miniblinds aren't going to protect our offices from flying debris and glass when the windows shatter.

I am jokingly telling people it would be funny if a cow ended up in our offices, alive and well of course (you know like in the movie Twister, when you see the cow go by mooing, LOL)

Hines told us before Edouard to lower the blinds. This time, it's blinds up. Downed blinds are not going to do jack but give the wind something to grab onto and end up taking flight.

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Looks like a solid eye is finally about to form on the latest satellite images...I'm no wx, but that doesn't seem like a good thing

I think its actually a slot of dry air. The good news is that Ike has missed the best chance it had for rapid strengthening. The bad news is that the Gulf could support more moderate strengthening. Either way this is a huge surge threat.

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Cool wind web site, sheeats. Thanks for posting that.

For those thinking of getting out of town, the HAIF:Traffic interactive map is turning redder every time I check it.

11:15am:

gallery_1_65_76588.jpg

12:45pm:

gallery_1_65_44024.jpg

Normally at the noon hour on a weekday the only red is along the West Loop southbound.

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I think its actually a slot of dry air. The good news is that Ike has missed the best chance it had for rapid strengthening. The bad news is that the Gulf could support more moderate strengthening. Either way this is a huge surge threat.

Yeah...I only said that b/c it was "still" for a couple of frames there, but then disappeared - no complaints here!

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It's beginning to jog more to the northwest... is it a wobble or is this thing pulling a Rita???

Edited by HtownWxBoy

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I think its actually a slot of dry air. The good news is that Ike has missed the best chance it had for rapid strengthening. The bad news is that the Gulf could support more moderate strengthening. Either way this is a huge surge threat.

I've been hearing that also with it being so huge of a storm. Still, i expect at least 65mph winds thru Sugarland...

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It's looking like a Galveston Bay landfall now... that's good for Houston in that we are now west of the center though it's very close... could still go right over us. This could pull a Rita.

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The pressure's risen a bit, which is good. (It went from 945 mb to 952 in their intermediate update.) They're still forecasting a category 3 hurricane, but a weaker hurricane isn't out of the question. Don't go home yet because the biggest danger is the surge that it could cause.

Edited by westguy

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Jim Cantore on WC was just reporting that he is certain it will hit Galveston. Just passing that on, take it for what it is worth. The worst part of what he said was talking about the boarding up of the windows and said "I am standing in front of...what are these things called...oh yeah, a strip mall..."

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Jim Cantore on WC was just reporting that he is certain it will hit Galveston. Just passing that on, take it for what it is worth. The worst part of what he said was talking about the boarding up of the windows and said "I am standing in front of...what are these things called...oh yeah, a strip mall..."

Uuugh I hate The Weather Channel... and I am a Meteorologist! First... will Galveston see "something"... yes, almost definitely... will it take a direct hit... not sure yet! Right now it's looking like Freeport to Sabine Pass... more likely Galveston to Beaumont.

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Uuugh I hate The Weather Channel... and I am a Meteorologist! First... will Galveston see "something"... yes, almost definitely... will it take a direct hit... not sure yet! Right now it's looking like Freeport to Sabine Pass... more likely Galveston to Beaumont.

hehe..that is why I said take it for what it is worth. I know a lot of people don't like his judgment.

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Latest National Hurricane Center forecast... direct hit over Houston... could still go east of Houston but the last 3 hours it's been going more westerly as opposed to northwesterly... not good for Houston.

201346W_sm.gif

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I predict a non-event... the winds will slow by the time it gets here, and it is moving too quickly to cause major flooding.

As an aside, why are there so many Ike-related threads -- just one wouldn't do??

Edited by wernicke

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I predict a non-event... the winds will slow by the time it gets here, and it is moving too quickly to cause major flooding.

As an aside, why are there so many Ike-related threads -- just one wouldn't do??

I predict that those who take a direct hit from Ike will not consider it a 'non-event'... just my opinion.

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