Wednesday, September 17, 2008

From Gulfport to Galveston

Mayor Lyda Thomas of Galveston and other city officials have requested help from the City of Gulfport Mississippi. Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and others are heading to Galveston to share the lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina. But even before Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast, Mayor Warr spoke with Mayor Thomas. I can only speculate but maybe he influenced her for her to finally order a mandatory evacuation of Galveston.

Three days before Ike struck Texas, even with Ike well to the south of us, Mississippi experienced two days of flooding from the massive amounts of water Ike was pushing. The storm surge affected Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas days before landfall.

Others along the Mississippi Coast gave warnings of just what a massive storm surge could do. The storm surge from Hurricane Katrina is officially estimated at 28 feet. Evidence points to it being between 30-35 feet. The 66 miles of Mississippi Coastline were defenseless against the onslaught the massive wall of water. The images of Crystal Beach and the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas bring flashbacks of what we in Mississippi experienced from Katrina's storm surge. Ricky Mathews wrote an editorial pleading days before Ike made landfall in Texas.

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST -- For whatever reason it now appears that thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of the residents of Galveston Island, and untold others along the Texas Coast have chosen to stay and face the wrath of Hurricane Ike. As your neighbors in South Mississippi, who have watched the deadly surge of Katrina destroy virtually every mile of our coast, we care for your survival, and beg you to leave now. You should know further that in a nighttime storm your chances will be further reduced.

The hours dwindle, but it is not too late for you to flee and save your lives. There is something deceptive about the idea that Ike is only a Category 2 hurricane. The developing science of Integrated Kinetic Energy (ironically IKE) which expresses the destructive power of a hurricane’s surge, shows that Ike represents a force exceeding even Katrina’s surge, which was the largest ever seen against an American Coast.

The people of the Mississippi Coast know all of the excuses to stay “hunkered down” in their homes and comfort zones.

They survived the previous big storm(Camille for us), there was no place for their pets, they were old, sick, tired, etc. Some were just skeptical. Many of them now lie in the sandy soil of their homeland, victims of the storm surge.

We ask our citizens to join us in this heartfelt mission to save those who may otherwise die where they are making their stand against Ike. If you know someone in Galveston or the South Texas Coast, please call them or e-mail them and tell them your stories of Katrina. Pass along this editorial and the links to our Katrina photos and stories. Make your comments on the reader commenting opportunity with this editorial.

It is not too late but with every passing hour your possibility of evacuating to safety is diminished. We implore you – do not become a casualty of Ike. Its deadly surge is coming, and no seawall, no plywood nor your false notion of safety will save you from its destructive force.

He also made a video pleading for those in harm's way to get out.

Both his editorial and video were made in an effort to warn those in Texas what wascoming. Both can be a warning for anyone who faces the threat of a hurricane heading their way. The message is clear: No excuse is worth putting you and your family in harms way. You cannot judge what will happen based on previous hurricanes. If you are told to get out, get out!

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