Friday, August 25 at 4:00 p.m., the National Weather Service Corpus Christi announced hurricane force winds were to begin in less than two hours. At 5:02 an Extreme Wind Warning was issued as the Hurricane Harvey eye wall approached the coast with winds between 115 to 145 mph. TAKE COVER NOW! At 6:03 as the eye reached the coastline, NWSCC reported Harvey was now a Category 4 with landfall expected shortly.
Until now, the My Coastal World’s blogs have featured community activities, businesses and some of the people who make the communities unique. This one will be personal, as I recount my experience before and during Hurricane Harvey. I welcome any of my readers to add their own account of evacuating or staying in the comments on the website or social media. Each person who remained or left will have experienced Harvey from a different vantage point.
Tuesday, August 22, the evening weather reported the remnants of Harvey were expected to emerge into the Bay of Campeche and the southern Gulf of Mexico and strengthen into a tropical system which could possibly impact the Texas Coast. My level of concern was low as I went to sleep.
Throughout Wednesday morning, new weather reports popped up on social media and TV. Watch for updates, Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches for the Texas Coast, Tropical Depression and Tropical Storm…all before noon! My level of concern jumped slightly…located important papers, checked all prescriptions, shopped for the standard storm supplies and filled the gas tank. I have done these tasks often with most of the storm supplies remaining in the pantry until the expiration date is reached.
Thursday morning, I woke up hearing the news. The middle Texas coast, including My Coastal World, was under Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings. By 10:00 a.m., the forecast predicted Harvey would make landfall as a Category 3 Major Hurricane. Decisions to be made. Evacuate? San Antonio…flooding after storm would mean difficulty returning home. Houston…storm predicted to turn north after landfall. Do I want to drive by myself with a small frightened dog? I said no.
Plans to stay in a friend’s home in Ingleside on the Bay were finalized, the basic supplies and food were packed for a long weekend and we left our RV, hoping it would be there when we returned. As I settled in, I found my view of Ingleside Cove filled with boats anchored out.
Friday morning while I slept, Harvey grew to a Category 2 with winds of 100 mph. The outer rain banks reached the South Texas coast by 4:15 a.m. with landfall forecast for that night.
During the afternoon, I was either watching a national weather report or standing at the windows watching the waves grow on the Cove and the wind whip the tree branches.
NWSCC reported Harvey was Category 3 at 2:00 p.m. and Category 4 at 6:00 p.m. when the eye wall made landfall. Placing a hand on the window, I could feel it move as if it was breathing.
I watched as the winds carried the boats anchored in Ingleside Cove to the banks and private docks. The waves washed over the banks, through a lot with low elevation and rushed down the street.
Power was lost so Harvey continued through the darkness. By candlelight, small streams of water running down the walls below the window casements and doors on the northwest side of the house were noticed. Gathering every towel possible to find with a flashlight, the floors along the edges of each room were covered.
With nothing else to do, the candles were blown out and flashlights turned off.
In our safe refuge, I slept soundly until daybreak.
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