OT: Category 4 Hurricane Bret Closing In On South Texas Coast

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Yes, this is off topic. No, I don't think it has anything to do with Y2k. However, the storm has been upgraded to a Category 4 on a path that may take it over Corpus Christi and I want to make sure people who have friends and family in the area are notified....read on.


Hurricane Bret Closing In On South Texas Coast

Updated 1:59 AM ET August 22, 1999By Gabriela Lopez

MATAMOROS, Mexico (Reuters) - An extremely dangerous Hurricane Bret crept toward the south Texas coast Sunday, threatening to unleash flash floods and mudslides along the U.S.-Mexican border when due to hit landfall some time Sunday night.

Listed as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale that goes to five, Bret slowed its path as its northward course over the Gulf of Mexico took a slight turn to the west, putting it on a course for Corpus Christi, Texas, meteorologists said.

As of 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT), the eye of the storm was 155 miles (250 km) east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas, which borders Matamoros on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Packing winds of 135 mph (215 km/h), Bret also slowed its progress to 8 or 9 mph (13 to 14 km/h) from a previous speed of 14 mph (22 km/h). Slower hurricanes dump even more rain, so the Rio Grande Valley could expect 8 to 10 inches of rain or more.

"It could be very dangerous with some flooding problems along the Rio Grande," meteorologist Todd Kimberlain said. "There could be some severe flash floods and mudslides, especially on the Mexican side of the border." Texans along the Gulf Coast began boarding up windows in preparation for the hurricane, while authorities along Mexico's northeastern coast prepared emergency shelters for thousands of potential refugees. Bret was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane late Saturday, making it capable of causing extreme damage.

A Category 5 storm -- only two of which have ever hit the United States -- can be catastrophic, as was last year's Hurricane Mitch, which killed 9,000 people in Central America.

Its move west, or toward land, was caused by a high pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico.

"We're still waiting to see if that's a wobble or a longer term trend," Kimberlain said, adding that Bret could resume its more northward path and move closer toward Houston.

Hundreds of miles of coastline in south Texas and northeastern Mexico remained under a hurricane watch or hurricane warning.

Spinning like a slow pinwheel, hurricanes send out bands of powerful winds and rain that in Bret's cause could wreak havoc up to 80 miles (130 km) from the eye of the storm.

Much of south Texas and northeastern Mexico is sparsely populated, but Corpus Christi and the twin border cities of Brownsville and Matamoros could be affected.


-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), August 22, 1999


Pollies: "A hurricane? Hah! Let's get outside and have a picnic."

-- This is a (wake@up.call), August 22, 1999.

You mean this?

-- Y2KGardener (gardens@bigisland.net), August 22, 1999.


-- Y2KGardener (gardens@bigisland.net), August 22, 1999.

http://ww w.cnn.com/WEATHER/9908/22/hurricane.bret.01/

-- Another (top@story.com), August 22, 1999.

I'm not sure how the weather channel site works, so start from their home page www.weather.com to be sure that you have the most recent info, but here's the currentTropical Storm Watches/Warnings page. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), August 22, 1999.

The eye of this thing looks incredible. My thoughts are with those people down there.



-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), August 22, 1999.

Actually, just another reason to prepare...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), August 22, 1999.

Better then the Weather Channel, go to the Tropical Prediction Center, a section of the National Hurricane Center. You can get graphics like this while it is still off shore, giving you an idea of where it is going.

I went through Andrew, and know what one of these can be like. Good luck to the folks in Texas, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

-- Bob (bob@bob.bob), August 22, 1999.

Many in south Texas may later wish that they had been regulars to this forum. I believe that a 72 hour bug-out bag would be handy about now. Some will return home in a few days to start the clean up and find no food in the stores, water and other services out for a period of time. One can get mush more accomplished if they are not worried where their next meal or drik of water will come from. My heart goes out to these people and those under far worse conditions in Turkey. Yet another group of people who would be better served now had they had some preparations in terms of the heat, food and water.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), August 22, 1999.

It was StFrancis who posted on the 18th that "something is brewing on the Yucatan penisula". He also predicted that a big quake was in the picture for California, Mexico or Thailand within 5 to 7 days from the 18th of August. Has he returned home to Colorado yet...anyone heard from

-- B Parker (BParker201@aol.com), August 22, 1999.

Michael, thanks for starting this thread. The info. is helpful as I wouldn't have found some of the links provided. Since learning about Y2K, I've been more aware of the need to prepare. Got up at 6:30am and went to the store to buy some water and fill those "many" plastice bottles I've been saving. They still have a scent of juice or soda so I only filled two to "taste test". The rest I'll fill from my tap and use for non-drinking water. Also filled the tank with gas.

When I got home, I found out that the Bret did turn west and doesn't seem to be heading for Houston at the moment. Think I'll fill one of my 55gallon water barrels today. Right now the sun is out and it's going to be another hot day.

The CBS and NBC affiliates here have been covering the storm in south Texas all morning and doing some focus on Galveston which has voluntary evacuation.

I might be doing overkill here, however, better be safe. I started charging my batteries yesterday.

-- quietly (quietly@preparing.com), August 22, 1999.

http://www.cnn.com/WEATHER/9908/22/hurricane.03/ ... On South Padre Island, residents and tourists were ordered to vacate by 8 a.m. CDT Sunday -- or take a body tag so they could be identified more easily after the storm passes.

"You're not going to live if you stay on the island and the hurricane hits," said Cameron County Judge Gilberto Hinojosa. "You're going to drown." ...


Well, they have the option still, and so might we if Y2K forces evacuations and shelters. In a hurricane, we'd evacuate; for Y2K, excepting a chemhazard accident, we'd opt for the body tag.

Maybe. Nuclear blast? Hard to know what circumstances will come together ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), August 22, 1999.

nuthin but a little three day storm...dontcha know

-- King James (an.iceberg.is@straight.ahead), August 22, 1999.

Hi Mike! I've used the analogy of "preparing for a hurricane" to many people I've talked to about Y2K. It's something they can relate to! :-) When a hurricane is in the gulf, you don't know where it will hit until the last minute. (Bret has proved that!)

The possibility is too great to not prepare early. If you wait until the last minute, the store shelves are empty. You can't get what you need. The hurricane doesn't affect everyone the same. For some, it's a nightmare. For others: just a blustery, rainy day. The problem is, you don't know which you will get until it makes landfall.

If all you get is the rainy day, you can eat the food and drink the water. We use batteries for lots of things anyway. That is why I use this analogy to people in Houston. It is similar in several ways to how I see Y2K. The preps are just "insurance" that I will use anyway.

I'm thankful that Houston will not get the "brunt" of the storm, but my heart goes out to the people in and around Corpus Christi. How many of them will be without power for the next week? How many have alternative ways to cook food and boil water? To me, it seems SO foolish not to be prepared. Just in case!

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), August 22, 1999.

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