Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Hurricane/Flood Update for August 31, 2017

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Welcome to a short, extra late Hurricane/flooding update, since I was busy much of the day working on this giant post about my library on my non-political blog.

The death toll from Harvey is now up to 38.

Some links:

  • Beaumont had their water supply knocked out by the flood.
  • Waters begin to recede in Port Arthur, but tons of homes and businesses are still flooded.
  • The BBC offers up a rainfall total map for Harvey. 40+ inches over five days is pretty hard to plan for…
  • Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Greg Abbott visit Rockport.
  • President Donald Trump has pledged $1 million of his own money for Hurricane relief.
  • Direct FEMA Assistance website.
  • Salvation Army disaster recovery.
  • JJ Watt has raised $10 million for flood relief so far, including $1 million from Wal-Mart. Update: over $12 million now, and headed for a new $15 million goal.
  • Charlie Hebdo brings the dumbeth. My reply:

  • Houston Flood Update for August 30, 2017

    Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

    Houston may finally be drying out, but now Port Arthur is under water, Beaumont is flooding and a woman there died saving her infant daughter.

    Other flooding/Hurricane Harvey news:

  • The death total in Houston is now over 30 due to the grisly discovery of six family members drowned in a minivan.
  • If you haven’t seen it already, you probably want to read this post on leftwing jihad sweetheart Linda Sarsour scamming Hurricane Harvey relief dollars for her political PAC.
  • More than forty people have been arrested for looting.
  • An Arkema chemical plant in Crosby might explode due to the flooding.
  • “Hurricane Harvey has brought out the best in people.”
  • JJ Watt’s YouCaring’s original goal was to raise $200,000 for flood relief. Right now it’s sailed over $6 million and is closing in on $7 million.
  • That might be a better choice than the Red Cross.
  • The Texans-Cowboys preseason game, which had previously been moved to Arlington, has been cancelled.
  • Houston Flood Update for August 29, 2017

    Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

    The Great Houston Flood continues. Though rainfall has slackened, many parts of Houston are still flooded.

    Major items:

  • Addicks Reservoir overflows over spillway:

    Water levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs reached record levels early Tuesday, said Jeff Lindner, ‎Meteorologist at Harris County Flood Control District.

    Water in the Addicks Reservoir reached 108 feet early Tuesday, causing it to flow over the top of the spillway.

    The overflowing reservoir comes days after authorities announced controlled releases of water from both of the inundated dams.

    Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers expect the Barker Reservoir will also have uncontrolled releases in the coming days. Uncontrolled releases from both dams are expected to flow into Buffalo Bayou and increase the waterway’s already high levels.

    The water spilling out of the Addicks Reservoir Tuesday morning will likely reach subdivisions north of Tanner, left of west Eldridge Parkway to West Little York, and over to Beltway 8, Lindner said.

    Affected subdivisions include:

    Twin Lakes
    Eldridge Park
    Lakes on Eldridge
    Lakes on Eldridge North
    Independence Farms
    Tanner Heights
    Heritage Business Park

  • One third of Friendswood homes are still flooded.
  • Flooding along the Brazos River in Brazoria County is expected to happen today.
  • Last night mandatory evacuations for Inverness Forest and Northgate in north Harris County were issued due to Cypress Creek flooding.
  • President Donald Trump is visiting Texas today to inspect the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, starting with Corpus Christi.
  • Still a lot of road closures, especially on the east side of town.
  • HEB has reopened some area stores, though only until 3 PM today.
  • A series of Tweets that explain how Houston flood control plans developed, and why an evacuation notice for the entire city was not practical. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Legal Insurrection’s Kemberlee Kaye is reporting from her home in Houston. She also touches on the impossibility of evacuating the entire city.
  • List of school closures in Houston. Short answer: All of them.
  • A roundup of debunked rumors from Harvey. No sharks on the freeway, no planes flooded on the runway.
  • Two dumbasses trying looting homes following Harvey. Both get shot. Which part of “Texas” was unclear?
  • The Houston Texans final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys has been moved to Arlington.
  • Houston Astros to Texas Rangers: “Hey, we got this 1000 Year Flood thing going on here. Want to swap our upcoming home-and-home series?” Rangers: “Die in a flood.”
  • Update: Breaking news:

    Update 2

    Houston police officer drowns in Harvey flood waters:

    The officer, an HPD veteran who has been with the department for more than 30 years, was in his patrol car driving to work downtown Sunday morning when he got trapped in high water at I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road.

    Search and rescue crews are currently recovering his body. The department has not yet formally notified the officer’s family.

    Hence the lack of a name at this point.

    “The officer’s death is the 15th fatality in Texas claimed by Hurricane Harvey.”

    Update 3

    Bridge collapse in east Houston:

    I think this is the bridge:

    Update 4

    HPD officer who drowned today identified as Sergeant Steve Perez:

    Update 5

    Some insight into the scope of the problem:

    3:49 p.m.: How much of Harris County is actually covered by water?

    According to meteorologist Jeff Lindner, between 20 and 30 percent of Harris County is under water as of Tuesday afternoon.

    Harris County is 1,777 square miles. Let’s take the low end of Lindner’s estimation — 20 percent. That would be 355.4 square miles.

    Or:

    Bigger than the entire city of Austin.
    Bigger than 15 times the size of Manhattan, which is about 23 square miles.
    Bigger than 7 times the size of San Francisco, which is about 47 square miles.

    University of Tampa associate professor fired for saying Hurricane Harvey was ‘karma’ for Texas voting for Trump. Which I’m sure went over really well in another Hurricane-prone state that also voted for Trump…

    Update 6

    Houston death toll now stands at 24.

    The convention center is full of storm refugees, so they’re opening up the Toyota Center and NRG Stadium.

    Houston Flood Update for August 28, 2017

    Monday, August 28th, 2017

    As now-tropical storm Harvey continues to slowly move eastward, Houston is still recovering. Though experiencing a lull right now, there’s still more rain to come tonight, and runoff will swell rivers and bayous. “Houston is likely to endure heavy rain and catastrophic flooding through Wednesday.”

    More mandatory evacuations have been announced for parts of Waller, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties, Conroe, Missouri City, Bay City, and Rosenberg, among others.

    The death toll still stands at six. Which happens to be one less than the number killed by violence in Chicago over the weekend.

    8:15 a.m.: Corps continuing Addicks, Barker releases

    By some measures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is talking about Harvey not in terms of the storm of the century, but the storm of the millennium for the Houston area.

    Balancing flooding and damage on both sides of Addicks and Barker reservoirs, Corps officials said they will continue releases downstream along Buffalo Bayou via the two dams. More than 25 inches of rainfall behind the two mammoth earthen dams has the reservoirs spilling into suburban developments.

    “The volume of water flowing into the reservoirs is unprecedented in the dams’ history,” Edmond Russo with the Corps said.

    With more rain possible, officials said the best course is send some of the water along Buffalo Bayou. Designed to handle a 1,000 year storm, Russo said in a Monday morning news conference the reservoirs are teetering on exceeding that level of flooding if worst-case rain scenarios occur.

    There are almost 100,000 people without power, but 96% of Houstonians do have power. Remember that more than 3 million people lost power after Ike, and for some people it took several weeks to restore, possibly indicating lessons learned.

    Hundreds of intersections are still closed due to high water, including just about all of Houston’s freeways.

    Many Houston refineries have shut down in the wake of Harvey. This has lead to predictions of skyrocketing gas prices in some quarters, but it will probably only temporarily offset the oil glut, and I would expect most if not all of those will be up and running again within a week.

    An explosion and fire at the Lone Star Legal Aid building on Fanin in downtown Houston. No word yet on any injuries or whether it was actually caused by the flood.

    More drone footage of flooding:

    More flood footage (including, for some reason, non-flood footage at the airport). Some NSFW language and repeats footage at the end for some reason.

    Houston Suffers Catastrophic Flooding

    Sunday, August 27th, 2017

    Houston in now suffering from catastrophic, historic flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey:

    Tropical Storm Harvey officially became Houston’s worst storm on record overnight, dumping heavy rains across the city and into overflowing bayous, leaving swaths of the city submerged in floodwater.

    “It’s catastrophic, unprecedented, epic — whatever adjective you want to use,” said Patrick Blood, a NWS meteorologist. “It’s pretty horrible right now.”

    Brock Long, FEMA’s administrator, said on CNN that Harvey is “a storm the United States has not seen yet.”

    Some parts of Houston have gotten more than 20 inches of rain, and at least five people have died.

    Houston’s CBS affiliate KHOU is off the air because their office has flooded.

    Here’s some video. Street flooding:

    Flooding and tornadoes:

    Drone-eye view of neighborhood flooding, I think from somewhere in suburban SE Houston:

    Compilation of various flooding footage, including bats swimming because they can’t get back to their home under the bridge (and some NSFW language at the end):

    And keep in mind Houston suffered severe flooding not only from Ike in 2008, but also in the Memorial Day flood in 2015.

    Update: 15 seniors rescued from Dickinson nursing home.

    Some official tweets:

    Update 2:

    Ben Taub hospital being evacuated due to flooding and power failures.

    Update 3

    It’s bad:

    FEMA director says Harvey could be worst to ever hit Texas.

    In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director William “Brock” Long said Harvey could top all previous Texas storms in terms of total damage.

    “This will be a devastating disaster, probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” Long told The Washington Post from FEMA headquarters in Washington.

    Casualties, thankfully, remain well below record Texas storms.

    The 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston, essentially scrubbing the island by tossing the bay across it, killed an estimated 6,000 to 12,00 people.

    1:35: Two Houston-area airports cease flights

    Hobby and Bush Intercontinental airports have ceased operations until further notice.

    Roughly 850 travelers are stranded at the two Houston-area airports.

    Hobby Airport closed around 3:30 a.m. when water reached the runways. Roughly 500 travelers were stuck at the airport Sunday morning. The airport facilities haven’t suffered any structural damages. Bush followed suit.

    11:14 a.m.: MD Anderson closed Sunday and Monday

    With roads in the Texas Medical Center impassable, MD Anderson Cancer Center said outpatient services, surgeries and all appointments are canceled for Sunday and Monday.

    “Statewide, Abbott said there are 316,000 people without power, not including the Houston area.”

    “As of 1 p.m., more than 76,000 customers in the area were without power.”

    Cruise ships are unable to dock in Galveston because the port is closed and they couldn’t go anywhere if they could disembark due to flooded roads.

    Note: Houston water has NOT been shut off.

    Update 4

    Six Houston deaths total including a homeless man in La Marque who may have just dropped dead.

    Update 5

    Mandatory evacuations have been called for parts of La Grange as well as parts of Fayette County along the Colorado River.

    La Grange is more than 100 miles inland of the Gulf of Mexico…

    Also, President Trump is coming to visit on Tuesday.

    Update 6

    Took a break to take care of three downed trees in my front yard using lopers and a hatchet. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow…

    Footage of the aftermath of Harvey’s destruction in Rockport.

    Compilation of more Houston flooding, including some overlap with previous clips (the KHOU flooding):

    Update 7

    Both FEMA and the Coast Guard are on the scene assisting with rescue operations.

    6:13 p.m.: Harvey flooding forces release from Addicks and Barker

    Col. Lars N. Zetterstrom with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced late Sunday afternoon that rising levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs will force authorities to release water from both dams. Based on the corps data, the rising waters will place residents and their homes in dangerous situations.

    “We will have to release water to reduce the risk flooding in the Houston metropolitan,” he said. “Until we realize the actual rise we can predict how many homes would be impacted.”

    Homeowners near the reservoirs will likely have water seep into their homes prior to the release.

    Some of the released water will flow into the Buffalo Bayou and increase the already bulging water levels. This will lead to officials issuing a voluntary evacuation for residents living along bayou.

    The corps plans to release water by 2 a.m. Monday at Addicks and 11 a.m. at Barker.

    Footage From Hurricane Harvey

    Saturday, August 26th, 2017

    Hurricane Harvey has brought lots of destruction and flooding to the Texas coast, but, so far, no reported deaths.

    The guy who seems to have gotten the best and most footage of Harvey coming ashore seems to be Jeff Piotrowski, a storm chaser who rode out the storm in his car in Rockport while live-streaming the event.

    I think this is a much shorter segment of footage from him:

    And here’s footage of the car wash he had his car parked under collapsing:

    Here’s footage from Fulton, a small township directly adjoining Rockport on the coast:

    Compilation of various footage of the Harvey and its devastation:

    Update: Huston Chronicle had pictures of the devastation.

    Live coverage from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

    Update 2: First confirmed death from Harvey: A Rockport citizen died in a house fire.

    Harvey Makes Landfall as Category 4 Hurricane

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    Hurricane Harvey barrelled into the Texas coast around 10 p..m. Friday as one of the most powerful hurricane to strike the Texas coast in decades.The Category 4 storm made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, according to the National Hurricane Center.”

    Remember, by the time Hurricane Ike hit Texas, it was only a Category 2 hurricane. Ike caused over $27 billion in damage and left 37 people dead.

    “Forecasters said it has the potential of being the strongest hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961, which killed 34 and injured 465 when it made landfall near Port Lavaca. The storm had maximum sustained winds near 130 mph with higher gusts ”

    More:

    The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches for the following counties: Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Montgomery, Waller, Liberty, Grimes, Chambers, Brazos, Colorado, Austin, Washington, Jackson, Burleson and Wharton.

    Harvey is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 15 to 35 inches, with isolated pockets of 40 inches through next Wednesday. The weather service said “rainfall of this magnitude will cause catastrophic and life-threatening flooding.”

    Part of Rockport High School has collapsed.

    President Donald Trump, as requested by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, issued a disaster proclamation:

    Here’s a report from the coast in Corpus Christi at 5 PM, when the storm was still offshore and only a category 3, and it’s still almost blowing the reporter over:

    Residents of the rest of the state should get ready for a whole lot of rain over the next few days…

    Hurricane Harvey Update: Officially Category 3

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    Harvey has officially been upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane.

    Texas officials announced mandatory evacuations for all seven counties on the coast: Calhoun County, San Patricio County, Refugio County, Brazoria County, Jackson County, Victoria County and Matagorda County. In four of those countries, officials ordered their entire county to evacuate and warned those who chose to stay behind that their rescue could not be guaranteed. Voluntary evacuations have been urged for residents in other areas.

    Galveston is already experiencing flooding and there have been tornado warnings in Galveston and Brazoria counties.

    Here’s the Governor’s official hurricane information page.

    Stay safe…

    LinkSwarm for August 25, 2017

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    Harvey has intensified into a Class 2 Hurricane overnight, and is expected to make landfall sometime around 1 AM, then stall and dump as much as 15-25 inches of rain from Brownsville to Houston.

    Naturally Houstonians are stocking up on the essentials: booze.

    Stay safe.

    Now enjoy your regularly scheduled Friday LinkSwarm:

  • “The Very Strange Indictment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Scammers:”

    To summarize, the indictment is an exercise in omission. No mention of the Awan group’s theft of information from Congress. Not a hint about the astronomical sums the family was paid, much of it for no-show “work.” Not a word about Wasserman Schultz’s keeping Awan on the payroll for six months during which (a) he was known to be under investigation, (b) his wife was known to have fled to Pakistan, and (c) he was not credentialed to do the IT work for which he had been hired. Nothing about Wasserman Schultz’s energetic efforts to prevent investigators from examining Awan’s laptop. A likely currency-transportation offense against Alvi goes uncharged. And, as for the offenses that are charged, prosecutors plead them in a manner that avoids any reference to what should be their best evidence.

    There is something very strange going on here.

  • Jihadists wanted to blow up Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona with a massive truck bomb.
  • DNC fundraising still sucking wind:

    The Democratic National Committee just posted its worst July fundraising numbers in a decade, raising questions about why the party machine cannot capitalize on President Trump’s low approval ratings and whether new Chairman Tom Perez is up to the task.

    The DNC raised $3.8 million last month, compared to $10.2 million for the Republican National Committee. The tally fit a pattern for the Democrats, who have posted a string of depressed fundraising numbers month after month this year, even after new party boss Perez took charge in February.

    Why, it’s almost like Russian conspiracy theories, LARP Nazis and the the imminent threat of Confederate statues doesn’t motivate Democratic donors to open their wallets. Or that Bernie Sanders supporters realize that the DNC is still the the hands of the same corrupt Clinton cronies who rigged the 2016 primaries…

  • “Ask yourself a few questions: Does the typical ‘swing’ voter who made the difference for Trump in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin consider monuments to Robert E. Lee a major social problem?”
  • “Antifa Declares: ‘F**k Your F***ing Constitution, We’re Here to Punch Nazis.'” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Antifa beats their own ally at a rally. Way to win friends and influence people!
  • Arrest warrants are out for three men who skipped their arraignments yesterday after being cuffed following the ‘Free Speech Rally’ on the Boston Common Saturday and massive counterdemonstration.” So if you spot Antifa dumbasses Adan Daroba, Roberto Bonilla or Chad Cruger, contact the police… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • It’s all fun and games until you take one in the yarbles.
  • Update: Joshua Stuart Cobin, AKA “tear gas in the nads guy” has been arrested for assault, evidently for kicking the tear gas canister back toward police. There are a lot of real crimes numerous Antifa protestors should be arrested for, but this one seems a very dubious charge if that’s all it’s for.
  • Kurt Schlichter wonders just what the hell does #NeverTrump think they’re accomplishing?

    Oh yeah, we’ll repeal Obamacare. Oh yeah, we’ll defend the border. Oh yeah, we’ll defund the baby-butchering cartel. Oh yeah, blah blah blah blah blah. All lies, but they didn’t care. They had their power and prestige and the promise of a fat paycheck down the road when they moved from Congress to K Street. Actual conservative ideology? Well, that was for the rubes. And we were the rubes. We in the base, who are suffering from the establishment’s incompetent mismanagement of the society it had been foolish to try to micromanage in the first place, tried to warn them. But the Fredocons wouldn’t listen, because they’re smart, not like everyone says, like dumb…

    That warning was called ‘the Tea Party,” and the GOP establishment didn’t like it either. Remember how all those activated Republican voters helped recapture Congress, yet most of the establishment types looked at them like they were something nasty that was smeared on their shoes? See, the base isn’t supposed to be activated. It’s supposed to be obedient. It’s supposed to turn out on election day to do volunteer work and write checks. It’s not supposed to try to have input. That’s for our betters, not for us.

    But the thing is, now we’re woke, and we’ve realized that our establishment sucks, and that we’re tired of being the suckees. They didn’t listen to us when we gave them the Tea Party, so now we gave them Trump. And they’re very, very upset with us. That’s a key reason they want to undercut Trump. Some people are just always going to want to trash the guy getting the attention and wielding the influence they think rightfully belongs to them. That’s true whether they are some donkey–looking senator from Arizona or Nebraska pimping a book about his agonizing moral struggles, or some tiresome op-ed scribbler serving as the domesticated house conservative on a failing liberal rag, or the invasion-happy beneficiary of his parents’ success who finds he can’t fill the cabins on his brochure’s cruises anymore.

  • Chief Obamacare Architect Fired, Forced To Settle Fraudulent Billing Investigation In Vermont.” I know we were all hoping he’d be pushed off the Nakatomi Tower…
  • Mike Rowe smacks down a moron who called him a white nationalist:

    You say that White Nationalists believe that everyone who goes to college is an “academic elite.” You then say that Republicans promote “anti-intellectualism.” You offer no proof to support either claim, but it really doesn’t matter – your statements successfully connect two radically different organizations by alleging a shared belief. Thus, White Nationalists and The Republican Party suddenly have something in common – a contempt for higher education. Then, you make it personal. You say that Republicans “love” me because they believe that my initiative and “their” initiative are one and the same. But of course, “their” initiative is now the same initiative as White Nationalists.

    Very clever. Without offering a shred of evidence, you’ve implied that Republicans who support mikeroweWORKS do so because they believe I share their disdain for all things “intellectual.” And poof – just like that, Republicans, White Nationalists, and mikeroweWORKS are suddenly conflated, and the next thing you know, I’m off on a press tour to disavow rumors of my troubling association with the Nazis!

    Far-fetched? Far from it. That’s how logical fallacies work. A flaw in reasoning or a mistaken belief undermines the logic of a conclusion, often leading to real-world consequences. And right now, logical fallacies are not limited to the warped beliefs of morons with tiki torches, and other morons calling for “more dead cops.” Logical fallacies are everywhere.

  • “A Thorium-Salt Reactor Has Fired Up for the First Time in Four Decades.”
  • “One Statistics Professor Was Just Banned By Google.” Statistics professor Salil Mehta, adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science, was banned by Google last Friday. “On Friday afternoon East Coast Time by surprise, I was completely shut down in all my Google accounts (all of my gmail accounts, blog, all of my university pages that were on google sites, etc.) for no reason and no warning.” His blog isn’t political and his Twitter account follows several prominent Democrats. (Update: restored.)
  • Mapping terrorist groups operating in Pakistan.
  • “After applying the latest big data technique to six 2,000 year-long proxy-temperature series we cannot confirm that recent warming is anything but natural – what might have occurred anyway, even if there was no industrial revolution.”
  • “For many Republicans, what matters most about Donald Trump is that he’s demonstrated resolve against the enemy — not the Islamic State or the Taliban, but the media.”
  • The Village Voice to end print publication. “Under its current ownership, the paper eliminated sex advertising.” Given that’s the only way “alternative” weeklies make money, I bet that was the final nail in the coffin. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Empower Texas has released their legislature ratings. A lot of Republicans ranked a lot lower than you might think…
  • Go to Cancun, do shots, get raped. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Freedom Center demands a retraction from the SPLC.
  • San Antonio ends ShotSpotters, one of those acoustic gunshot locator systems, because it doesn’t work. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Whole Paycheck no more?
  • Trump’s ‘energy dominance’ strategy starting to crack Eastern European markets.” Shipping coal to Ukraine and LNG to Lithuania to replace Russian sources. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Why it took time for electricity to replace the steam engine.
  • “A rising number of young Chinese people are failing fitness tests required to join the army because they are too fat and masturbate too much.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Captain Kirk destroys social justice warrior cling-ons.
  • Heh:

  • Nearing its 50th Anniversary, here’s a look back at how The Prisoner TV show got made.
  • Ladies, important safety tip: never allow a loaded gun in your vagina. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Hurricane Harvey Update

    Thursday, August 24th, 2017

    Harvey is expected to be a Class III Hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday. Predictions are for as much as 30 inches of rain in some places, as well as up to a 12 foot storm surge in coastal areas.

    Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Aransas Pass and Calhoun County, as well as parts of Brazoria and Matagorda Counties.

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott has preemptively declared 30 counties disaster areas, which automatically makes a lot of state resources available to local officials.

    Here’s a list of official closures in the Texas Coastal Bend area.

    If you live on or near the Texas coast between Brownsville and Port Lavaca, now would be a darn good to to load up your car, tape your windows, lock your doors and evacuate.

    Even in central Texas, be prepared for flooding in low-lying areas, avoid low water crossings, and have adequate food and water supplies in the event of a loss of power.

    In short: Don’t be this guy: