Saturday, September 24, 2005

Rita and an interesting morning

Last night, I woke and decided to turn on the TV and check on Rita. She was just making landfall. I watched for almost an hour, taking a break to go out on my deck. There was a pleasant warm breeze.

When I woke up again at dawn, the wind was very light, but I noticed Oso Bay a few hundred yards behind my house was up. I investigated, and it was as high as I’ve ever seen.

When I drove to check out the beach at Bob Hall Pier, I found out why. Big concrete blocks of the pier were knocked out of place. Railings were torn up in places. Big picnic tables where scattered across the beach road and parking lot. It was clear the surf and storm tide just went crazy overnight.

Yet, by the time I got out there about 8am, the waves were very mellow and clean, very ridable – not typical Corpus surf. It surprised me how quickly it had calmed down. I grabbed my bodyboard and ran on out there and caught a bunch of waves.

Afterward on the pier, I met a surfer who evacuated Galveston. We talked a bit including about TxDOT. I said he was smart for going south. But he told me it was a mess. Among other things, he said US 59 was narrowed to one lane going south, causing gridlock. If I wasn’t familiar with the Texas Department of Transportation, I’d have trouble believing it.

As I drove off the island later, the big bulletin sign above the highway said, “Traffic heavy to Houston. Travel not advised.” Good advice.

Oso Bay is still high as I type this. The storm tide overnight put a lot of water into the bays.

And remember, folks, I’m about 300 miles from Rita’s landfall.

UPDATE: Later the road message got more serious: “Massive Delays to Houston. Gasoline Shortage.”

No comments: