Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dolly Déjà Vu

Yesterday, I took some teenagers down North Padre Island to check out the after effects of Hurricane Dolly – which is why I didn’t blog. North Padre is the longest barrier island in the U. S., about 80 miles and you can drive down the last 60 miles of it on the beach. And that’s what we did.

But what we found was surprising. The first 15 or 20 miles, those nearest Corpus Christi, had a lot of seaweed, debris, tree limbs and trunks. I thought it would really be a mess and perhaps impassable as we drove further south. But then the beach cleared up remarkably. On the south 30 miles, those closest to Dolly’s landfall (which was on South Padre Island), the only clear signs I could see of Dolly were the steep banks on the bottom of the dunes from the storm tides, and the abundance of water behind the dunes.

My theory is that the arm of Dolly that stayed so long over the Corpus area focused effects on that area more than much of area actually closer to the hurricane. But that’s just my theory. If any hurricane experts want to add their thoughts, please do so.

Something else strange about Dolly. When I was looking for stories on the aftermath of Dolly, I came across this story. I noticed some details seemed off, then I noticed the date – 1996. I sniffed around some more, and discovered the Hurricane Dolly of 1996, which took a track similar to the track of Dolly of 2008 and provided drought relief to areas of South and West Texas.

Dolly déjà vu indeed!

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