Ike: Galveston is in deep trouble

A couple disparate pieces of information have come together in a way that’s potentially a little scary. Earlier, Ann Ivins noted that:

Even with the terrible planning and deadly highway gridlock, San Antonio was full by the time Rita hit – and she was headed further north. Galveston’s already flooding. There’s no one here. The hotels and motels along 37 and 35 have tons of rooms available; I called three just now to check. Why haven’t people been leaving?

That is, there ought to be more evidence in the way of hotel bookings that Galveston has been abandoned. Now Ann updates this item by noting that, “according to the mayor, Phil Hardberger, there are about 13,500 spaces available in four shelters, but he’s saying that it doesn’t look like that many will be needed, which makes me think that the evacuee load so far is much, much less than expected.”

So they’re not in San Antonio and they’re not in the shelters. Hmmm….

Then Brian Angliss passes along some disturbing satellite imagery:

Brian says:

The Geospatial Intelligence Agency put these out. Note that the last one – the one that shows nearly all of Galveston flooded – is at a 15 foot storm surge, and forecasts are for a 20-25 foot surge with 50 foot waves. [emphasis added]

If all those people we’d expect to be in San Antonio or in local shelters have opted to ride it out, we could be looking at an epic disaster. Hopefully all those Galvestonians are out and simply went somewhere else. If you have some insight, let us know.

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