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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Check here for a compilation of our online coverage of Hurricane Ike for Saturday, September 13th, 2008.


10:00pm: Tune in tomorrow for live local coverage with the KUHF News Team. Rod Rice will host from 7:00am to 11:00am & Debra Fraser from 11:00am to 3:00pm

7:45pm: As a brilliant orange sunset lights up the sky, night falls on a city largely without power and water- but with crews working through the night to restore both.

6:55pm: With so many trees and power lines down across streets, citizens are urged to stay home and not attempt to travel. A curfew is in effect in the mandatory evacuations zones at 7:00pm CST. This includes the following zip codes: 77058, 77059, 77062, 77520, 77546, 77571, 77586, 77598, 77507

6:30pm: Although some freeway mainlanes are clear, many if not most freeway feeder intersections are blocked and/or underwater. Exiting freeways, especially in the dark, is therefore very dangerous.

4:45pm: Due to continuing unsafe road conditions, METRO has cancelled service for Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008.

2:15pm: Houston’s downtown area has been closed for cleanup and assessment of storm damage. Only authorized personnel will be allowed to enter the downtown area.

5:45pm: St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital requests that all Recovery Team employees come to the hospital as soon as safely possible to help relieve those who have ridden out Hurricane Ike. All Recovery Team employees must report to the hospital by 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Employees need to call 832-355-2647 for details.

5:00pm: Due to conditions which have occurred recently in the water system, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) wants to notify all Webster customers to boil their water prior to consumption.

4:30pm: M. D. Anderson will remain closed tomorrow to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Another concern is the availability of water services. Normal operations cannot resume until that is resolved.

3:30pm: HISD schools will be closed on Monday.

3:00pm: The Johnson Space Center reports that a portion of the Mission Control Center roof was damaged and has been on generator power since 5am.

2:30pm: Ike has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

2:00pm: In support of the Hurricane Ike emergency response, the Houston SPCA has launched the Animal Rescue line to report lost or found animals and to report animal related information. The Animal Rescue line will remain open until 6:00 pm today and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm in the following days. The Pet Hotline phone number is 713-861-0161.

1:45pm: The National Hurricane Center in Miami reports the storm’s center is just southeast of Palestine, Texas, and moving toward the north near 16 mph.

1:30pm: The Harris County Medical Examiner is reminding everyone who is using a gas-powered generator to operate the generator outside the home and away from windows. A gas-powered generator produces carbon monoxide.

1:15pm: Harris County Flood Control District wants to remind citizens to “Never walk or drive into floodwaters: ‘Turn around. Don’t drown!’.”

1:00pm: The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch until 7pm Saturday for Chambers and Galveston counties.

12:45pm: Texas Children’s Hospital’s Relief Team members are asked to contact their unit or department supervisor as soon as possible regarding Relief Team responsibilities.

12:30pm: President Bush declared Texas as a major disaster in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

12:15pm: At&T urges customers to text messages instead of calls.

12:00pm: Convent Church at 4990 Caroline has no worship service tomorrow.

11:45am: The city of La Porte is not allowing citizens to return at this time. There has been an amended mandatory curfew for La Porte — 10:30am on Saturday September 13 until 6:00am on Sunday September 14 and continuing thereafter nightly from 7:00pm until 6:00am until further notice.

11:30am: Impact weather reporter Dave Gorham reports “tropical winds force winds will take us into through the afternoon. As they begin to fade, we are left with a lot of high standing water…Do not drive into any water. It takes 6in to sweep you off your feet.”

11:00am:Impact weather reporter Dave Gorham reports that the Doppler Radar shows that rain is still out there — 4-8 in, 10 in some areas.

10:45am: Assume all down power lines are live. If you see a down power line or smell gas, contact Centerpoint Energy at 713-207-2222. Centerpoint is aware of all the power outages.

10:40am: Mayor Bill White advises people to stay off the roads to allow emergency vehicles to do their job. At 9am the fire fighters were able to begin work again.

10:30am: Laurie Johnson reports that TransStar has has just lost power and the generators are not coming online.

10:25am: Baytown tells residents that are clearing debris at their homes, should place it at the curb for collection. And should be no longer than 6 feet and not block traffic or drainage.

10:20am: Mayor Bill White reported “street sweeps” last night looking for the injured and exposed.

10:15am: Judge Ed Emmett: “Before you try to enter where you live contact the city” to access flooding conditions.

10:00am: Mayor Bill White says there is “no evidence that there is a water contamination.” The pressure is too low, risk is intrusion of contamination. Conserve the use of water — this will help allow the pumps to come back online. Boil water as a precaution for at least one minute.
9:50am: KUHF is back on the air and live again.

8:24am: Galveston Fire Department has announced it will concentrate on worst-hit areas in the west end first when services resume.

8:09am: Mayor White: Over 10,000 fire, EMS, public health personnel on standby- waiting for storm to clear.

7:30am: The SPCA reports it got through the storm fine and said its Animal Response Disaster Hotline will be online from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1-877-661-0161 or 713-861-0161. []

7:00am: As dawn breaks, send us your hurricane photos :

6:37: The storm continues to be intense with gusts as high as 70-80mph, especially in southern Harris county, as the eye of the storm passes just east of Conroe.

6:04am: 90% of local electricity customers are without power- the highest percentage out ever in Houston. Here at KUHF studios on the University of Houston campus we seem to be the exception, although power is out at both of our transmitter locations- taking us off the air, as is true for most Houston radio stations. John Steele, our chief engineer, reports that our antenna is damaged in some way and possibly has been torn from its tower.

5:48am: National Weather Service is reporting gusting up to 72 mph, with sustained winds of 55 mph at Intercontinental Airport. University of Houston has seen winds gusting as high as 80 mph.

4:57am: Houston Fire Department has announced that they are not responding during this intense period of the storm.

4:41am: Downtown buildings have extensive broken glass. Falling glass is a major & deadly hazard. Do not travel through that area.

5:15am: HCTRA has closed the ship channel toll bridge until further notice

4:28am: We are off the air. We’ve lost power to both our primary and backup transmitter sites. Our simulcast of channel 13 KTRK continues via streaming.

3:45am: Here at KUHF we will witness the eye of the storm within minutes. We are at I-45 and Elgin.

3:30am: The Red Cross says: “Before you go to bed, pack your perishables into your coolers if you haven’t already done so and put in as much ice as you can. Also, when you go to bed, leave a bedroom light switched on. When the power goes back on, it will wake you, so you can check the condition of your foods in the freezer. If freezer foods still have ice crystals, they can be refrozen.”

3:15am: Impact weather reporter Dave Gorham has been with us all evening-morning to update us on the weather. The eye has made landfall working its way northward.

3:00am: The Houston Chronicle reported on the Brennan’s fire stating that fire officials said the blaze could pose a significant risk to adjacent buildings. Three people were injured in the two-alarm fire. 2:45am: Ed Mayberry in Galveston says the Galveston fires are hard to fight due to the hurricane winds.

2:30am: Impact weather reporter Dave Gorham has been with us all evening-morning to update us on the weather. Hurricane Ike is moving 10 to 13 mph. The center of the eye is moving into Galveston Bay.

2:15am: The eye will give us an hour break from the hurricane, but for only an hour.

2:00am: Houston is under a flood watch through Sunday. This storm has heavy bands of rain. Other counties will be effected as well due to the broad range of rainfall due to the massive span of it.

1:45am: Hurricane Ike’s eye landfall is at approximately 3:00am. Ike will accelerate by late today. It will in a way follow I-45. We will have hours of hurricane winds to look forward to.

1:30am: Centerpoint reports 1,000,000 million customers are without power and no service can be restored until after the storm. Only report down power lines. Unplug everything and turn

1:20am: It seems the wind speed measures are consistent, a wind gust of 83 mph was measured at Freeport, Texas.

1:15am: The Southeast Texas Regional Airport — northwest of Port Arthur — has recently clocked a gust of 84 mph.

1:00am: In Baytown the sustained wind speeds have reached a level that makes it unsafe for residents, city personnel and emergency response personnel to be in the open or on the streets and roads. As of 11:10 p.m. the City is unable to respond to calls for assistance. Life threatening emergencies will be analyzed on a case by case issue based on the safety of the responders. Once wind speeds drop to a safe level, responses will resume. Those calls holding will receive service first. All storm related inquiries should be directed to the City’s Emergency Phone Bank at 281-420-5311.

12:45am: Brennan’s restaurant has burned in one of several fires sparked by power line & transformer damage.

12:33am: The eye wall- the most intense part of the storm, will reach Pasadena at 3:30am, and downtown at around 4:15am. Major damage to high rises expected throughout Houston. If you are in a high rise building, evacuate immediately.

12:12am: Inner eye wall is crossing Galveston Island. 11 feet of water at UTMB. Gusts measured as high as 120 mph.