Monday, July 28, 2008

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Three years ago we went down to South Padre Island with my family as we had the year before. We wanted to make it a tradition and we thought, "to hell with Hurricane Emily." Before hitting the Yucatan peninsula, Emily was a Category 5. By the time it hit SPI, it was barely a Category 1 Hurricane.

Everyone deserted the Island with the exception of us and some other fools. The fools won out that day as Emily came and went with some wind (matched by my Dad) and little damage. The rest of the vacation was great as were the huge waves generated by the storm.

This was Hurricane Emily before hitting SPI:

So this year we thought it would be even less so considering that Hurricane Dolly started out as a tropical storm BEFORE hitting the Yucatan. Obviously, we were wrong:

In case you can't tell, Dolly is tighter and more dense. You can look at the eye for scale.

Dolly stalled out in the Gulf some 30 miles off the coast and just sat there gaining strength and then moved in slowly as a Category 2. By that time, we didn't have power and didn't know enough to leave. We were also asleep at the time.

Here are some of the things we saw on our way off the Island after the storm had passed. The sun even came out for a bit that morning.

The Stripes will never be the same again. This happened to every single Stripes on the Island and every gas station that used the same tin, umbrella-like roof.

I've never seen a traffic light on the ground, it was big.

This was not the only power line pole that was snapped like this.

More power line poles. Electricity is not supposed to be restored to the Island for weeks. That is the only reason we left.

Don't let the light fool you, it had stopped raining by then. I was too hungover to worry much, but after we got passed the bridge, Port Isabel and State Highway 100 with no problems, we figured we were solid.

Sadly No!

US 83 was flooded in Weslaco, which is about 20 miles East of McAllen. To make matters worse, the dumbasses were turning traffic away into flooded frontage roads with no detour. Luckily, my parents, who were headin up this convoy, figured out that Business 83, which ran along the railroad would probably be safe so they tried that. Because of spotty cell phone reception, we didn't get the message for some time so we were 5 miles East of my parents. We drove through 2.5 feet floodwaters in our Toyota Camry with water splashing onto the windshield from slow moving school buses going the other way. That was the end of my hangover.

Today, I barely even remember the perfect 3 days we had before the storm came. Maybe better luck next year. Until then, I'll leave you with an image that will convince you never to take a dog to the beach (which we didn't do).

This is from our backyard.

1 comment:

Booklahver said...

I'm sorry that the hurricane shortened or even ruined your vacation. I know y'all were looking forward to it. :( Glad to hear that you and your parents are safe!