Turning Archive 2008

Good Bye Dolly

Jerry Whitaker
>FOR YOU MESQUITE LOVERS, THERE ARE 100 AND 200 YEAR OLD MESQUITE TREES WITH THEIR ROOTS UP IN THE AIR ALL OVER SOUTH TEXAS. At first it was Hello Dolly and finally Good Bye Dolly. Hurricane Dolly was a bad one. The thing hovered along the coast just north of South Padre Island for several hours spinning at abut 105 mph and took a slightly northern turn still hugging the coast and finally started crossing land just south of Port Mansfield. She slowed down to a forward crawl at about 5 to 6 miles per hour forward motion and remained a hurricane farther inland than most do. A guy on the TV news who went through Hurricane Andrew in Florida said Dolly was every bit as bad as Andrew even though Dolly was only a category 2. The bottom end of the eye passed just north of Edinburg where I live in the early evening hours last night and we had wind gusts this far inland (70 miles from the coast) at near category 1 wind speed of 72 miles per hour according to the anemometer at the University of Texas at Edinburg. The rain was continuous for about 12 hours, not real heavy but steady. I have 7 1/2 inches in my rain gauge. On TV they said that no rain gauge would record an accurate amount of rain due to the horizontal forces of the wind and that a more realistic figure would be nearly twice as what a gauge would register. Based on this, we received somewhere near 15 inches. Don't know how accurate this really is but I would say that we got at least 12 inches on top of the 8 1/2 inches we got over the July 4th weekend. The ground was already saturated. I woke up this morning with water at my front door step and a little bit of water entered the garage. Got real lucky on this one. On the way to McAllen this morning we got wet feet getting into the truck. There was several places where deep water was still on the roadways. We saw hundreds of trees and bushes that had broken limbs, with many of them being uprooted. One radio station has reported that area wide damage estimate would top 780 million dollars. We lost electricity about a dozen times yesterday afternoon and the next time it flickered, that was the end. Also lost cable and Al Gore's internet service. It came back on today about noon. There is still over 100,000 homes without power.

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