Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 29, 2015

Texas Floods

NewsALERT™
AIR WORLDWIDE

Texas and Oklahoma Hammered by Rain and Flooding
Location: Texas and southern Oklahoma
Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph
Precipitation levels: More than 4 inches per hour
Disruptions to travel and power: Highways closed, METRO service suspended, travel discouraged
Reported damage: Homes washed away or flooded, buildings damaged, trees and utility poles downed, power outages
Forecast: More storms expected
Webinar icon
This was already the wettest May on record for many parts of the southern Plains states (ending five years of extreme drought in some areas), when a storm system delivered torrential downpours Monday afternoon into early Tuesday morning and sparked severe flash flooding, hail, and tornadoes. Hundreds of homes have been flooded or destroyed, eight people have been reported dead, and at least a dozen more are missing.

Meteorological Summary
The slow-moving, upper-level, low-pressure system traveled across Texas, producing thunderstorms and heavy rains in the western Houston metro area. Within a few hours Monday night, 6 to 8 inches of rain had fallen across the area from these mesoscale convective systems. The torrential rains can be attributed to a large feed of low-level moisture pushing into the region from the Gulf of Mexico, combined with the slow movement of the storm system. “Training echoes”—successive downpours that occur over the same area due to slow storm movement in the same direction as the storm’s axis of orientation—broke out across the region. These systems tend to develop when upper-level winds are largely aligned with a low-level frontal zone. As a result, rainfall peak totals were concentrated where banding occurred.

Houston Rainfall
Houston area rainfall totals for the 24 hours before 11 a.m. CDT May 25 (Source: Harris County Flood warning System)

On the west side of Houston yesterday, rainfall rates of more than 4 inches per hour were observed, and a total of almost 11 inches was recorded in Harris County. At Houston Intercontinental Airport, the all-time record for the most rainfall in one day, set in 1946, was almost doubled on Monday as 4.34 inches were recorded.

Flood levels in many parts of the region have neared, and in some cases exceeded, record levels. At Shepherd Drive in downtown Houston this morning, the Buffalo Bayou had a maximum observed water level of 33.73 feet with a flow of 13,900 cubic feet per second. The White Oak Bayou in Houston had a maximum observed water level of 36.51 feet and a maximum observed flow of 19,500 cubic feet per second. These and several other bayous have broken their banks.

Houston Bayou
Graphical representation of flood inundation along the Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston (Source: National Weather Service)

The Bianco River, which reaches flood stage at 13 feet, rose 26 feet within an hour and crested at more than 40 feet. The Trinity River in Dallas rose above its 30-foot flood stage to more than 40 feet on Sunday night as continued rainfall prompted the National Weather Service to extend flood advisories along the river until Thursday or Friday. Water levels in the river have fallen since late Monday morning but, with more rain forecast, may rise again.

Reported Impacts
In the Houston area, some people were stranded last night in gridlocked cars while 200 or so took refuge in a shopping mall and at the Toyota Center following an NBA playoff game. With stretches of major freeways blocked by flooding and hundreds of vehicles submerged or abandoned, travel is discouraged. METRO suspended all transportation services, and the Houston Independent School District and several other metro area districts canceled classes for today. More than 80,000 people lost power in the Houston area, and hundreds of homes were flooded. West of Houston in Wimberley, one of the worst affected areas, more than 350 homes along the Blanco River were washed away by flash floods.

In Central Texas, Shoal Creek and several other creeks overflowed their banks in downtown Austin, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for Williamson, Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop, and Lee counties. A dam in Bastrop State Park failed on Monday evening, prompting evacuations downstream. Widespread on- and off-floodplain flooding are reported in Oklahoma and Kansas. According to KFSM-TV, homes along the Arkansas River in Van Buren, Arkansas, are threatened.

Nineteen tornadoes and at least two tornado-related deaths have been reported in Texas and Oklahoma. Reported damage from high winds includes damage to buildings in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, the loss of a gas station canopy northeast of Jackson, Mississippi, and many reports of downed trees and utility poles and related loss of power. Hailstones 4.75 inches in diameter (larger than softballs) were reported in northeast Kansas on Monday afternoon, and golfball-size hail was noted near Nebraska City in the evening.

Outlook
The storm system is continuing to move eastward and severe storms are possible again late this afternoon and evening, particularly in north-central Texas and southern Oklahoma. Although less severe than the most recent storms, they may still deliver damaging winds (some in excess of 65 mph), large hail, more flash flooding, and possibly even tornadoes. In Southeast Texas, Flash Flood Watches continue until 6 p.m. CDT for Harris and Fort Bend counties in the Houston metropolitan area, including much of the city of Houston. AIR is continuing to monitor the situation and additional information will be made available as warranted.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/noaa-2015-hurricane-season-forecast-what-to-expect/

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 27, 2015

Extreme weather strikes Texas, Louisiana, Mexico.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/26/us/texas-oklahoma-flooding-victims/

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

 

 

Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 26, 2015

2015 to be warmest on record.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3097299/Brace-scorcher-2015-set-warmest-record-warn-climate-scientists.html

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

 

 

Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 25, 2015

Portugal, dead whales washing up on the beach.

http://www.benchmarkreporter.com/series-of-dead-whales-washing-up-ashore-28-foot-whale-found-dead-in-portuguese-beach/3960/

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

 

 

Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 24, 2015

The Ladies of Plum Island.

Chapter 11

The Ladies of Grape Island

1680’s

 

 

Elizabeth Perkins had always been too outspoken for the good people of Ipswich. As a young girl she used to talk back to her parents, but it was only when she accused the minister of her church of immoral acts that she came to the attention of the town fathers.

 

They found her guilty of being a “virulent, reproachful, and wicked-tongued woman,” sentencing her to sit in the meeting house during services with a sign pinned to her bodice proclaiming in capital letters that she had reproached, “ministers, parents and relations.” She was further ordered to be, “severely whipped on her naked body,” but the elders were to be disappointed. She was able to come up with the three pounds to pay off the fine instead.

 

It was only when her husband also ran afoul of the law that Elizabeth decided:

 

“Luke, we have to get out of this town. I can’t stand these people!”

 

“Where are we to go? I have no decent prospects.”

 

“But you have a strong back, Luke. You have always loved haying. We can rent Wainwrights’ farm on Plum Island.”

 

“How do you know he will rent to us?”

 

“I spoke to him yesterday on the town green. He likes you and has also had enough of the town fathers.”

 

“Do you really think we could make a living out there all year long?”

 

“We wont know unless we try now will we?’

 

“Tis better than living beside these fools. How much is he asking?”

 

“Five pounds for the year.”

 

“Let’s take it. No questions asked!”

 

“You can scythe hay all summer and I shall plant a garden.”

 

“Good man Wainwright would probably even ferry his cows over so we could care for them on Grape Island.”

 

“Yes that the spot. The deep creeks will keep the cows fenced in and those damn free ranging Newbury cattle out so they wont trample your turnips.”

 

“And all the clams we can dig and all the fish we can catch for the rest of the year.”

 

The hard working young couple were soon accepted by the Pulsifers, Treadwells and Wainwrights who had farms on the island. Luke helped with their extra farm work and Elizabeth cared for their houses during the winter months.

 

 

 

But Miss Jewett was a little frightened when she arrived on Grape Island in 1881.

 

“Thank you for the ride over Mr. Pulsifer.”

 

“Not at all young lady, not at all.”

 

“Do you know where Mr. Wainwright’s house is? I’m to stay there all summer to teach the island children.”

 

“Of course you are, and you will do a fine job too.”

 

“Oh I’m not too sure of that. I don’t know how I’ll keep them concentrating on their books when this beautiful island beckons outside.”

 

“Well I’ll give you a hint. When the children start to get restive, just say you have to go to the outhouse and act astonished when you return and find the hands of the clock have been advanced by one of the taller students.”

 

“Oh yes I’ll just say, ‘Oh my, doesn’t time fly by fast on this island,’ and let them out five minutes early!”

 

“They will love you.”

 

“Perhaps you could take us out on your boat every August. It would be a small compensation to the children for having keep their minds on their books all month while the mainland kids are enjoying their vacations.”

 

“That is a splendid idea. I’ll see if Good Man Appleton will give us some fresh milk and I will bring my wife’s ice cream maker. The children can churn it up on the way to the beach.”

 

“Oh I think I will love teaching on this island, Mr. Pulsifer.

 

“Of course you will.”

 

And she did. Miss Jewett taught in the old one-room schoolhouse on Grape Island until she retired 35 years later.

 

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Gasp In Awe

The presence of black right whales visible from Duxbury beach has people really excited, and “rightly” so. The presence of an estimated 100 of the animals in Cape Cod Bay this month is even more exciting, since that number represents a quarter of the world’s living population of a species that once numbered in the many thousands in all the oceans.
In November 1620, as the Mayflower lay at anchor in Cape Cod Bay before selecting a place to land, passengers could see hundreds of whales “hard by us.” These, it is believed, were black right whales, also known as Sarda.
The beasts weighed 70 tons – a size so protecting that, unlike other whales, it had evolved no protective behaviors. Men bearing harpoons and later grenades were, and would be today, greeted bemusedly. When its young were attacked it always reacted to protect them, it never fled. Advantage to the whaler.
The black right whale feeds on plankton, which it filters through its baleen, a huge bone. It grows to be so large that the many products a single animal could provide were always lucrative; and there were so many of them in coastal waters that early hunters only had to kill as many as they could. Then (unlike some species) this whale’s 20 inches of blubber kept it afloat after death. Another advantage for the whaler willing to take stench in return for dollars.
The extinction of the black right whale probably began with Spanish Basque fishermen hunting them off Newfoundland in the 1400s. His reign ended abruptly with the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Thereafter the slaughter of the right whale would be carried out by men mostly speaking English or French. (Also Norwegian, when a separate population was found in the North Sea.)
The destruction in New England’s waters was such that by 1720 local whalers had to become “pelagic” – hunting in the open sea, far from land. The abundance of animals the Pilgrims had seen in Cape Cod Bay 100 years earlier was no more. The North Atlantic black right whale’s destruction took another 200 years to complete. The last recorded taking was off Amaganset, Long Island, in 1918.
The species had also filled other oceans, where it was also brought to the point of extinction. Today, it is extinct, or close to it, in the South Atlantic, North and South Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
That should put the whales we see off Duxbury Beach and in Cape Cod Bay into perspective. A child will gasp in awe at the first sighting of this magnificent beast. Last summer, The Boston Globe reported that the population of North Atlantic black right whales has recently grown by 100 animals, to an estimated 400. Seeing them off Duxbury this spring, and knowing that there are 100 of them within Cape Cod Bay, should be enough to make the child of every age gasp in awe.
For much of the history of the worldwide fate of the black right whale we are indebted to Farley Mowat’s 1984 Sea of Slaughter – a beautifully-written book previously cited in this space.
–D.A. Mittell, Jr.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/science/scientists-sample-the-ocean-and-find-tiny-additions-to-the-tree-of-life.html?emc=eta1

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 21, 2015

Santa Barbara Oil Spill

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/20/408176115/oil-spill-off-california-coast-fouls-4-miles-of-coastline

 

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | May 21, 2015

$250 surcharge for homes in flood zone.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/05/19/flood-zone-vacation-homes-hit-with-surcharge/ccEKdmTXh7snC0SV0p62KJ/story.html

 

 

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 115 other followers