“Galveston Sinks”

September 12, 2008

Yes, that is the current headline on the Chronicle’s web site.  The headline links to this, where Michael Cherthoff is calling it a “worst case scenario.”

We finished out lunch-cum-dinner, and since then the power has been going off and on,  We’re finishing up the last things we want to do before there is no power at all, hoping the power will last a few more hours.  It’s quarter-after-six in the evening now.

Channel 2 has live video from a large warehouse fire in downtown Galveston.  The reporter has a dash-cam on her vehicle.  She says she is on Broadway looking up 19th Street.  That would place the fire just a block or two north of our old house.  We were almost at the corner of 19th and Church.  The winds and water are so high that it looks like the Fire Department won’t be able to put out the fire.  I know just where this is, probably at 19th and the Strand or Harborside, maybe at 19th and Market.

Back at the height of Rita there was a fire at 19th and Postoffice just a block from our house.  The streets weren’t flooded then, but the winds were over sixty mph.  We were very fortunate then that the Fire Department was able to respond and put out the flames with only a couple of buildings destroyed: No firestorm.  With this?  Sigh…

I’m so glad we moved, I’m so glad we moved…

I stepped out into our backyard a little while ago to take the dogs to potty.  The wind was up, and I couldn’t help humming the song that Dorothy sings to the Munchkins to describe how her house was lifted up by the tornado in the Wizard of Oz.  I may be a “Friend of Dorothy,” and the dogs are Cousins of Toto:  West Highland White Terriers, they are fearless and love to stand against the wind.  Usually.  This wind, I know, will keep us safely inside.

I can hear it moaning now, and the trees are bending in the back yard.

Updated: They now report that the fire was not in a warehouse, but in an old house converted into apartment.  There’s a couple of those right at 19th and Church, and around the corner, and so on.  The flames are diminishing, so maybe they got it under control.

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5 Responses to ““Galveston Sinks””

  1. Liz Says:

    I’m so glad you moved, I’m so glad you moved…

  2. Ray Says:

    We’re glad you moved, too. You’re probably too young to remember the typhoon in Japan that blew water under the doors and flooded the floors. The building had recently been painted yellow and we all sang that new Beatles hit “We all live in a Yellow Submarine”. The day before some of the kids were surfing down the street on homemade skateboards (you couldn’t buy them in stores back then), powered by wind-filled parachutes.

    Then again, perhaps you remember the typhoon we experienced in 1970? The house at Mango Court was more typhoon proof, so we didn’t have any leakage issues, but if I remember right our adopted island cat – Poochie – was at her butt-dragging worst.

    My most recent experience with cyclonic storms was when Hurricane Opal passed through Alabama. They eye went right over Anniston-Jacksonville, but except for some blown down branches there was very little damage. Tornadoes were another story.

  3. Zorya Says:

    I remember that there was some sort of old industrial building/warehouse that had a major fire before the storm. The typhoon blew debris all around the area.

  4. absoluteguy Says:

    The photos now online show not much left. Unbelievable. Almost 1903 all over again. I am so thankful you guys moved to higher ground!! Cannot imagine if you had stayed. Have not yet seen a pic of the old place but frankly, would not rather not look.

  5. robertangelo Says:

    I do remember that house on Mango Court and how the cul-de-sac filled up with water and turned into a lake. For what it’s worth, we have some dwarf poinciana bushes here. There’s very similar to the “Flame Tree” in that house’s front yard. That’s the one that Mom grew again from seed in that patio pot in San Antonio. Our bushes are six or seven feet tall this year, and are making a lot of seed pods (if you want some).


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