WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Ike Bears Down

Posted September 12, 2008 9:08 a.m. EDT

This morning's newscasts featured a number of live looks in the Galveston area, some 12-18 hours before Ike makes landfall.  We're already seeing waves crashing into the seawall, splashing quite a bit of water over the top -- and the storm center is still 200 miles from making landfall!  Some roads in Galveston are already flooded, and the worst is still yet to come.

To put this into context, Galveston Island a barrier island, very similar to our Outer Banks.  It is very narrow and no more than a few feet above sea level ay any point.  The forecast storm surge from Ike -- forecast to be up to 20 feet! -- will easily inundate most of the island, and if Ike makes landfall to the west of the island, it's likely that some reshaping of the island will take place.

Perhaps the most chilling pictures from the island I've seen are of the waves crashing into the 16' seawall, tossing water across Seawall Boulevard.  Having walking along Seawall Boulevard, I can tell you that it normally stands tall over the beach below.  Now, the water is splashing across the top of the wall with relative ease.


All that said, local media are reporting that people are still staying on Galveston as of this morning, in spite of the mandatory evacuation that's been in place for more than two days! There's no way, no how that I'd be on Galveston Island now, much less tonight.  Read into that what you'd like.