Harvey brings it to Texas

It appears Gulf Hurricane Harvey may make landfall tomorrow, as a Cat 3 or Cat 4 hurricane, along the South Texas coast between Port Mansfield and Port Lavaca.


I grew up spending “hurricane seasons” on the Texas coast.  I have clear memories of Hurricane Beulah, which brought a high storm surge and rainfall/flooding in San Antonio and South Texas.  I remember the fam gathered up in the back of our San Antonio home, watching the storm progress on our old GE black & white TV, as severe thunderstorms and lightning persisted through the night.

It was Hurricane Celia, though, when I was ten years old, that I best remember.  Our family had a wonderful old beach house at Rockport TX, and we barely got inland before Celia struck.  That hurricane, which made landfall across Port Aransas and St. Jo’s Island then crossed inland at Aransas Pass, dealt a severe blow to the communities on the North end of Padre Island.  More significantly, Celia spawned dozens of tornadoes across the Corpus Christi area.  Winds clocked at Corpus Christi exceeded 200 mph, arguably the highest wind speeds of any hurricane in history; though it’s since been argued those were tornadoes and not recordings of actual hurricane winds.

You say tomato and I say tomAto.  Celia shut down the city of Corpus Christi for over a week.  Overhead photos of the city were evidence enough the storm had virtually erased large swaths of Corpus Christi and surrounding communities.

Famous story I remember of a woman in a volkswagen on the CC causeway.  She claimed the car had been spun overhead and lengthwise for nearly 2 minutes before she was set down in the oil & gas terminal 3-4 miles away.  Plenty of those weird photos of sticks driven through large trees, glass shards that cut cement columns in half.  Celia was the last really bad hurricane we’ve had on the South Texas coast.