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Harvey Update #1 – Thursday, August 24, 2017, 4:00 pm.

Bob’s Harvey Update #1
August 24, 2017 4:00 p.m.

I’m not a meteorologist, but I’m an experienced Gulf Coast weather watcher, so I’m planning to do updates of my thoughts on Hurricane Harvey and both my personal plans and plans for the church.

At this moment Harvey is a category 1 hurricane about 30 hours from landfall (late Friday or early Saturday) on the other side of Port O’Conner but north of Corpus Christi. The intensity forecasts are hovering between category 3 and category 4 at landfall. Houston might see tropical storm force winds and heavy rain from this event, but probably little or no storm surge.

Normally that would be the end of the story. Harvey would proceed inland, weaken and disperse. But there is a high pressure air mass coming in from the west that will probably block that. The current National Weather Service forecast has Harvey stuck near the coast for a while and then moving up the coast toward Houston late Saturday, either just inland or just offshore. Either way, but particularly if the center of the (by then) tropical storm is offshore, this could be a major, major rain event for Houston. The NWS forecast discussion mentions 25 inches of rain, and my favorite non-panicky local forecaster is saying 20.

So what should the plan be?

My personal plan is to make sure I’ve got a decent hurricane kit stocked. Looks like the only thing I’ll need to buy is a propane exchange. I hope I can still get one. My house is pretty high, so I don’t expect to try an evacuation.

For church, I think Iva and I will try to unplug electronics and get them off the floor. I suspect the building will be substantially un-occupied on Saturday, though Peter and Kathie Derrick may put their boats into the LIFE room. At the moment there is no way to predict the weather Sunday morning. Normally the constraining factor is whether people can (or should) drive. We’ll see. If I can safely get there, I’ll preach. If the forecast holds we will probably choose to cancel Sunday School, Pizza Lunch and the Slovakia update. I’ll let you know in later updates.

Our small group is supposed to meet at the Winkler’s Friday. I suspect that’s still possible, but given the need to prepare, etc. I would recommend we go ahead and cancel.

The other purpose of these updates is to get feedback from people as to their plans. Please reply to the Facebook posts, the e-mail or the web page and let others know what you’re doing and thinking.

Future updates will not be this long!