Saturday, September 20, 2008

Post Hurricane Damage and Other Developments

I am posting the latest Centerpoint Outage map as usual...this one as of 8 am Saturday, showing 47% without power (which means 53% have power). So, more than half have power!!! We have passed the halfway mark! The new color coded map is great, showing by zip code, when power should return to a majority of residents in that zip code.

Here is the link so you can check it all out in detail.

What I noticed from a quick review of the zip code map is that every zip code within Beltway 8 should have power by Thursday, September 25th, except for the zip code 77027 which will take longer. Again, these are projections from Centerpoint. And, the majority of the Sugar Land/Galveston area will be up by Monday, 9/22. That is when school starts in FBISD. Remember that Centerpoint is only 1 of 4 companies supplying power in the area. I hope you will forgive me for not talking about the others. I focus on Centerpoint as it affects the largest population.

There are some interesting before/after Ike aerial photos for Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula and High Island available through the USGS web site. I am including a 2 locations at right with the map showing the path of Ike. For Bolivar, I am showing the picture from point #2 (on the map) and for Galveston I ams showing the picture from point #5 (on the map). I believe that Galveston photo is showing the Balinese room--a structure of historical interest which has had to be rebuilt before. The after photo shows no structure at all, but you can make out the remains of the pier. See the hotel on shore? I think that is the Galvez. If this is wrong, please let me now. See the link below for more photos:

Weather will be hot (according to whether you have electricity) and humid for the weekend and coming week. Everyone needs to slow down and drink lots and lots of water. Please take someone in who does not have electricity. We might get a weak push of drier air through a backdoor cold front toward the early part of the coming week...around the 28th or 29th but even this does not look very promising.

The area of disturbed weather in the eastern Caribbean is getting slightly better organized. Steering environment looks like it will push it toward Florida or the Bahamas. This could become a tropical depression in a day or so.

As I spoke to one friend in Sugar Land who is still without power, he said his irritability is directly correlated with the length of time without power. It is extremely hard to be patient especially as it gets hotter. So patience is our word for Spanish it is paciencia, pronounced pah-see-ane-see-ah. We need lots of paciencia right now!

HISD is now planning to phase in the return to school according to which schools have power. They may use generators in some capacity for the others, if the return to power takes too long. They are thinking about having 7 days of makeup and/or possibly making the kids go an extra hour each day for a while. Of course, there are criticisms and concerns. So, we shall see what they ultimately decide.

I know that the requirement to make up days can be waived if there were fewer than 2 weeks missed. But after 2 weeks of missed school, some days have to be made up. It is at the discretion of the school districts to decide if they want to use the waiver or not.

I hope that those of you who have a broken weatherhead on your home (that is where the line drop brings power into the house) know that you have to have a the weatherhead fixed before power can be returned. The power companies can not do this for you. In fact, usually a permit is required to make the fix. But that requirement has been waived in Houston. You will need a certified electrician to come out and fix it.

Galveston is considering allowing a phased in return to the island. But there are huge concerns about health issues as water, power, sewage are nearly nonexistent. If the phase-in is implemented, residents will be allowed to return to the least affected areas first. Stay tuned for more developments on that.

I hope that everyone who has lost power has cleaned out their refrigerators. Phillip Free suggests you put a layer of foil with about 20 pieces of charcoal in the fridge. He did that before he left town. He wasn't sure if this would help get rid of odors after the stink sets in. But he said it would be worth a try. I would suggest that if you left food in your fridge/freezer and you are still out of town and you know there is no power, you have someone clean it out for you and put in some charcoal no matter what.

Be safe everyone!

Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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