Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's Raining. It's Pouring. The Old Man is...(er) isn't Snoring

Above is a National Geographic wallpaper photo of when Hurricane Allan hit Texas. I lived in Kingsville then and helped with the safety and recovery measures.

Hurricane Dolly is hitting the south Texas coast today. That's big news for Texas. Even though a good bit of our border sits on the Gulf of Mexico not that many hurricanes come straight into Texas. But when they's a doozy. Since I was born in 1952, there have been 9 hurricanes affecting Texas of which 6 actually made landfall on the Texas coast. There is a nice history list of them here.

San Antonio is getting 80% chance of rain today too. We are the disaster staging area. The last few times a hurricane hit the south Texas coast it bundled into Mexico shortly after landfall. That's what they are predicting this time too. The odd thing about our area is the Rio Grande river is the border between Mexico and Texas and it rides straight down to the coast where Dolly is supposed to hit. A bit of legality here...if the river bed shifts so does the Texas border. Citizenship issues have come out of river shifts before. Between Weslaco and Mercedes (5 miles away) there is a flood plain that I saw filled once when I was a little girl. There are 2 dams in place to help manage the water rise but you never know. South Texas soil has a fair bit of clay in it and the water table is only about 50 feet down.

When I was in high school hurricane Carla came into town and Weslaco got enough wind that it blew a huge branch down from one of the trees in the house we lived in back then. My folks still live in Weslaco, about 8 miles from the Rio Grande River.

When San Antonio had their 100 year flood way back in 2002 all the water ran down to the coast and inundated that area for a lot longer than it did San Antonio. I have friends who live in Corpus Christi and when I drove down to see them Lake Mathis, that had been small with campgrounds all around it, was a huge field of water and no one was living there anymore. It stayed that way for over a year. A lot of Corpus Christi has bay water inlets and such. You can drive back a fair bit from the city and find water ways and such. So even if the hurricane doesn't stay long in Texas the rains up and down the coast are going to make things a mess for a while. Sandi was the one who reminded me that, because of the drought Texas has been experiencing recently, the water will likely stay on the surface and cause more damage.

As I mentioned, we pretty much expect the hurricane to turn aside and affect another country even more and those people will be really hurting too. So I'm praying for the residents of Mexico too. In some cases what affects Texas will affect Mexico too. Where will the people of Mexico go?

If the dams on the river break my parents will evacuate. They'll leave in their own car. If that happens I hope the highways are still drivable. My parents can also move onto higher ground by moving from their cottage to the main building of their retirement community and going up a few floors. That would at least avoid the water which probably won't get as high as Katrina's waters did. There are of course other concerns like power outages and clean water shortages but I think my folks are savvy enough to have planned ahead. Dad is a strong one for safety measures.

If this sounds like I'm fretting a bit, I guess I am. And I can't do anything other than keep my hands together in prayer and monitor the news. So you know what I'm gonna do? Pray, keep the TV on, and try to enjoy the rain that is going to hit San Antonio. I just hope my nerves over my folks being down there so close to the gulf doesn't spoil the fact that rain, normal rain that is, is my favorite kind of weather. All prayers for those along the Texas coast and in Mexico appreciated. Peace! & Hope!


San said...

Ya'll are in my prayers, Lee. Here's hoping your parents won't have to evacuate after all.

Rain is such a blessing in the desert, but enough is enough is enough. And those winds are scary.

I'd never thought about the Rio Grande's changing contours affecting citizenship status. That is SO interesting.

Lee said...

Thanks San! I really appreciate the prayers. And yes, I hope my folks don't need to evacuate.

I've been keeping up with the weather reports. There's been a tornado near a town that's about a 30 minute drive from them.

Glad you find it interesting. So did I when I learned about it. Yep, it brings home the purpose of studying geography...where and what kind we live in affects our communities.


david mcmahon said...

Lee, you and all my other Texan friends are in my thoughts very specially.

Lee said...

Thank you David. The news is being checked as I type. There'll be an update.


Sandi McBride said...

I hope that you survived the storm without any damage or loss. I had just started with the Sheriff's Dept a month before Hugo hit us in1989 and we worked for 48 hours without a break or a nap...had a murder in the midst of it all and no was hell...but somehow we survived it...we haven't had one as bad hit us since...I'm praying that you are all well and your parents safe!

Lee said...

Thank you Sandi! I am fine! San Antonio only got a little rain. But the area my parents are in is really getting hit bad. There's an update posted now. Prayers are always appreciated.


Maggie May said...

Gosh Lee....... Hope it has all blown itself out by now. What a worry for you. Hope it doesn't flood your parents' place & that all will be well. Thoughts & prayers go out to you. Thanks for coming by my blog.

Lee said...

Thanks Maggie! Your prayers are very much appreciated.

It was a delight to visit your place. You tell a really good story.


Cath said...

You're all in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you all get through safely, and all those in Texas and Mexico.

Lee said...

Thanks Cath! By now it's a matter of bringing out the sun and working hard to clean it all up. :)

Your kindness and prayers are much appreciated!

Peace! Hope! & Joy!