Hey, VatulBloggers, do you remember how to say HURRICANE? Now a Houston resident hunkering down for Hurricane Harvey, the blog has reawakened for some old school hurricane liveblogging. You can also find me @Maitri on Twitter and Instagram for quick updates in the case that power, wireless network, will to update blog, etc. get knocked out here at VatulBlog World HQ.
Was it really 2005 when a Category 3 last made landfall on these United States? The number of and accessibility to media outlets sure have grown since then, when this medium was really the only way to reach and inform a mass audience. A dozen years in which to increase the signal, but with it grew the noise and walled gardens, so here we are. Back at the old personal, archived liveblog again, where I control the timeline and feed.
Updates From The Front:
September 4th, 2017 14:27 CDT My office building ostensibly reopens tomorrow, but questions remain about mobility and safety in the greater Energy Corridor area, given the ongoing release of water from the large west Houston dams into Buffalo Bayou. Further, wastewater plants in the area have flooded and are still being repaired, raising concerns over the normal use of office buildings. I warned folks that re-entry is not going to be straightforward.
September 3rd, 2017 22:45 CDT Flooding in Kingwood, where we evacuated to right before Katrina made landfall and where we slept through Rita. That smell of decay takes months, sometimes years, to dissipate completely, and haunts my olfactory memory still.
September 3rd, 2017 0:12 CDT Dear Houston, here’s what you can expect next
There of course were some differences. Our flooding came thanks to failed levees designed to protect us, while your flooding came from rains of biblical proportions thanks to a stubborn storm that refused to leave. How you came to suffer, though, is not as important as the fact that you are suffering and for many the toughest part is yet to come. You’ll be challenged emotionally again and again and again.
September 2nd, 2017 17:19 CDT Advice I received from Karen Gadbois, friend, OG NOLA blogger and co-founder of the New Orleans Lens. “Take care of you and yours. Scream at people and agencies that deserve it and write or record every conversation with insurance agents. And breathe breathe breathe.”
September 2nd, 2017 13:46 CDT Lt. General Russel Honoré, former commander of Joint Task Force Katrina and ultimate badass, says, “Stop congratulating each other.” This goes double for humblebragging by some members of the mainstream and citizen media (and Houston chef-lebrities). The disaster has just begun.
September 2nd, 2017 08:30 CDT Buffalo Bayou Harvey timelapse
September 1st, 2017 10:48 CDT Overhearing casual talk of insurance fraud and how to profit from the upcoming FEMA recovery business opportunities. But, by all means, let’s condemn, arrest and prosecute those who steal small amounts of necessities so that they can stay ALIVE DURING A DISASTER. If the moneyed thieve, they’re canny and strategic. The desperate poor looking out for themselves? Throw them in the dungeons!
September 1st, 2017 CDT Houston resources if you can help, or you need help, compiled by photographer, awesome person and fellow nerd Chuck Cook:
- Connecting chefs, commercial kitchens and food suppliers with shelters and services who need meals: https://ihavefoodineedfood.com/
- Connecting people who have flooded homes with volunteers to clean them out: https://www.texasrescuemap.com/muckmap
- Volunteer for High Water Rescue: http://tinyurl.com/harvey-VOLUNTEER
- If you NEED High Water Rescue: http://tinyurl.com/Harvey-I-NEED-RESCUE
- Year-round 501(c)(3) organization feeding Houstonians; volunteer or donate: http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/
- Teachers Aide is an organization within Houston Food Bank which gets supplies to schools and kids in Houston who need them — and they will definitely need them.
- Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation 501(c)(3) organization: https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/
August 30th, 2017 21:20 CDT ArsTechnica | This is probably the worst US flood storm ever, and I’ll never be the same by Eric Berger of Space City Weather. It’s always the tragedy after the tragedy. We never fail at making things worse. Read the paragraph below and commit it to memory.
If Houston is to remain the prosperous, vibrant, great city that it was before Harvey, we are going to have to take a hard look at our unfettered development and willingness to let almost anyone build almost anywhere, including in floodplains. Our state officials are going to have to recognize that these events will be possible again, especially in a warmer world. I’m not holding my breath for all that to happen. And as dark as these last five days have been, that may be the biggest tragedy of all.
August 29th, 2017 13:20 CDT Map of Houston area flooded streets.
August 29th, 2017 11:00 CDT Still high and dry, but we probably have one or two more big whips of rain to get through before this system moves to the east. Not like I want it to move east over New Orleans on the 12th anniversary of Katrina or any day, for that matter. Each rescue chopper that flies southward over the house tears my heart open a little more, and once again, I feel so useless just sitting here as I did a dozen years ago. Domingo and I will head down to the George R Brown convention center to drop off clothing and supplies, and volunteer if required, and I am helping raise money for Houston Food Bank. Even a dollar you can spare will go a long way to help exhausted and hungry people in need. Houstonians, if you need anything, my home is open to you.
August 28th, 2017 15:45 CDT Pictures from today’s survey. We managed to leave Oak Forest after checking out White Oak Bayou, made it all the way down to Sawyer Heights and Rice Military in the Buffalo Bayou watershed and then drove back home through Timbergrove and Shady Acres. The water has gone down quite a bit across the northern Inner Loop as of this morning, but expect flood levels to fluctuate over the next few days.
August 27th, 2017 13:00 CDT Pictures from our mid-morning survey of Oak Forest. All major roadways out of Oak Forest are Difficult Navigation to Impassable, so stay put! White Oak Bayou has crested and has overflown TC Jester Blvd, Rosslyn and Watonga, making its way into the neighborhood. Our area within Oak Forest is an island with a wide moat forming around us.
August 26th, 2017 19:53 CDT The skies were quiet all day with rain and damaging winds going around Houston’s inner loop. Well, we’ve gone from 0 to Tornado Warning, with the power flickering, winds picking up, and us preparing to take shelter in an inner room. Stay tuned.August 26th, 2017 08:00 CDT Power still on. Cable and internet out. Local rain gauge measures roughly 4″ in the last 24 hours. Harvey is now a tropical storm that is expected to sit and swirl over Houston until Wednesday morning. Great, I always wanted a large moat around my property.
August 25th, 2017 22:45 CDT Neighborhood hurricane party! Harvey is making landfall right now as a Category 4 between Port O’Connor and Port Aransas. This is me at this time. Seriously, I hope everyone on the coast evacuated and we don’t hear of deaths and stranded residents in the coming days.
August 25th, 2017 18:36 CDT Harvey is now a Category 4 storm ~60 miles offshore. Swell. And swell.
August 25th, 2017 17:39 CDT The second band of rains is here. Bayou levels in the Greater Heights and Near Northwest – “Water just out of the channel, but well below the grass at W 34th and TC Jester”
August 25th, 2017 15:54 CDT
- Space City Weather – Another “hype-free forecast for greater Houston with Eric Berger and Matt Lanza” predicts “Flooding. Lots of flooding.”
- Harris County Flood Warning System shows rainfall totals in your area of interest over the last 24 hours
- Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management (FBC OEM) map of Mandatory Evacuation zones
- Harris County Flood Control District, where you can find your watershed. This is mine.
- Jeff Masters at Weather Underground’s Category 6 blog
- Houston Press
- My favorite Houston weather station – KHOU.com
- And don’t forget to take this Refresher Course on Hurricane Season!