MeFites in Texas, Ecuador, and Japan April 18, 2016 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Nature is being a real mother right now in Houston, Ecuador, and Japan. Just wanted to put out a quick note hoping that Mefites and their loved ones in these different regions are all doing well and staying safe, and to invite folks to drop lines if they are struggling.
posted by Going To Maine to MetaFilter-Related at 7:46 PM (29 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

That's the same stormfront in Houston that just buried Denver in snow, isn't it?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:13 PM on April 18, 2016

Is it? I just saw it pop up on Google News and my mind was blown. Hope Denver folks are all right, too.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:26 PM on April 18, 2016

Dunno, but I have my T.S. Alison and Hurricane Ike merit badges, and that was... hours upon hours of sustained lightning so close that you couldn't get to the "one" in "one-one-thousand" before you felt it. Indoors. It was a long night.

Flooding hurt some people. More than you'd want, obviously. We'll hold this against Dallas eventually. That's how we 'do.

Thank you, though, for the concern.
posted by Cyrano at 8:32 PM on April 18, 2016 [7 favorites]

Man, what the fuck, Kumamoto? Another 5+ intensity aftershock just now? If I'm reading my Yahoo Disaster Alert thingie app correctly, that's 14 aftershocks with an intensity of 5 or over since the first quake.
posted by Bugbread at 1:59 AM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

With Kumamoto, I'm getting flashbacks of how constant the quakes were after the Tohoku earthquakes, and all the various reports about how many people are displaced, every time there's another quake, it hurts my heart in sympathy. Enough already, nature, you've made your point, ease up, would you?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:07 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Even over in Austin the thunder and the lighting from that storm were seriously scary. I can't imagine how bad you guys over in Houston had it.
posted by sciatrix at 8:21 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nature is being a real mother right now

They're rioting in Africa,
They're starving in Spain,
There's hurricanes in Florida,
And Texas needs rain.
posted by Melismata at 8:37 AM on April 19, 2016

My brother's wife and their youngest son happen to be in Ecuador this week on an educational tour of the Galapagos Islands. They were actually on the islands at the time the quake hit the mainland, so they weren't affected by that directly, but they are likely going to be impacted once they get back there and need to manage their travel home. They're also with other students and chaperones, but I don't know how large the entire group is.

At one point, we had discussed sending our 14-year-old daughter with them, as it seemed like seeing the Galapagos was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it was too expensive. Not sorry about that now, and keeping our fingers crossed for the entire group.
posted by briank at 8:57 AM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Houston was indeed pretty hard hit--I know folks who were flooded out of their homes and also apparently I know that befuddled guy who was rescued by the TV crew when he asked them what to do with his flooded car--but we're starting to dry out. Just keep your fingers crossed that we don't get the rain that is forecast for the next two days.

Thinking good thoughts towards Ecuador and Japan. Big earthquakes are no joke, as this displaced Californian knows.
posted by librarylis at 7:18 AM on April 20, 2016

In Austin, it looks like our mountain bike trails aren't going to dry enough to ride until Sunday, and maybe even Monday. Keep us in your prayers.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:28 AM on April 20, 2016

Luckily our house is fine, but my son's daycare flooded as did my office. So, making do. We bought our house after a big flood and make sure it was out of the flood zone, but these shift so you never really know.

Drone footage that starts and ends with my office building, about 2ft of water in the first floor.
posted by beowulf573 at 9:00 AM on April 20, 2016 [7 favorites]

Wow, beowulf573. Wow.
posted by rtha at 11:07 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

beowulf since you're near the area do you know if any of the halliburton locations got flooded? I would be most pleased if they they were flooded today esp welldynamics in Spring. I would let out a belly laugh.
posted by barchan at 11:34 AM on April 20, 2016

I would refrain from expressing happiness about anyone being flooded out. People have lost their lives here, barchan.
posted by blurker at 11:56 AM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

I can feel bad for people dying, which I do, and also feel other emotions when halliburton, for whom I have a deep belly burning hate, being flooded today of all days because I am person of complexities.
posted by barchan at 12:00 PM on April 20, 2016

Mod note: Heya, probably better to just leave the corporate schadenfreude stuff, however understandable, out of this particular "is everybody okay" context.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:05 PM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

You're right and I'm sorry.
posted by barchan at 12:07 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

No idea, most of my friends who worked there have moved on and it's much further south from where I'm at. The worst flooding is on the northwest side where I live, we had 13 inches of rain Sunday night to Monday morning.

I think seven people have died, all from driving into high water. We had another storm today, but luckily it was a narrow band and quick moving.
posted by beowulf573 at 1:03 PM on April 20, 2016

I live on the northeast side of Houston, and no problems on my end - although we're starting to see some flooding now from the San Jacinto river (which is well over its banks) being fed by all of the water flowing in from the west side. It's strangely interesting how the flooding peaks for different communities based on location - Monday in Greenspoint, Tuesday/Wednesday in Cypress, and now Wednesday/Thursday in my neck of the woods. You can really trace the way the water moves through the city.

It's hard to read about the people who died from driving into the high water. The Houston Chronicle actually posted the traffic video of a young woman who deliberately drove around a tow truck blocking a flooded underpass, and...I wish I hadn't indulged my curiosity and watched it. Nothing gruesome, but you can see that she definitely survived driving into the water and didn't make it out of the car. I can't stop thinking about how terrified she must have been. I hope posting that serves some larger purpose, in the "maybe others will think twice before doing this" way, but it's hard to see the life of someone who died so senselessly and left behind people who loved her being used as a warning to others.
posted by Salieri at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

North Houston suburbanite reporting in- we haven't had it as bad as others, but the wind and the rain just started up again and the tree outside my window looks about ready to give up. It's been reassuring to see the community rallying around, but I wish it didn't have to. I think we'll be seeing the impact of the storms for weeks, if not months, to come.

Salieri, I agree- they released another video of an SUV driving into an underpass and you can see the light from their phone moving around as the car goes under. Truly chilling.
posted by Torosaurus at 7:30 AM on April 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by Going To Maine at 8:48 AM on April 21, 2016

Yeah, Torosaurus, those flashing lights from inside the car are exactly what I was thinking about. Watching that was horrifying.
posted by Salieri at 3:30 PM on April 21, 2016

I don't mean to be insensitive, truly I don't! But... who drives into a flooded underpass in a huge rainstorm?!!! Do they not have the foot markers on the sides of the bridges to show you how deep the water is? I just can not wrap my head around such bizarre behavior.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:38 AM on April 22, 2016

That underpass has foot markers. They were installed 2 months ago, after the underpass claimed a life in last years flooding.

Over three decades in Houston, I have learned that people just have to get where they are going. This overwhelming desire to complete the journey makes them take foolish chances. A friend relates that, in a previous flood, he waded across an intersection (because he just had to get to work). After he did so, wet to his waist, a driver asked him if it was OK to enter the intersection. Told "No", he did it anyway, and was last seen drifting sideways down the road. I have talked to hospital nurses who were driving in vain through my neighborhood, trying desperately to get to work, because they were needed there.

This week my co-worker described how she spend several hours trying to get to work on Monday. She took two routes, only to be blocked. On her third attempt she made it though. If she had not, she swore that she would have turned for home. Why was she so intent on getting to work? Several $Billion in wire transfers had to go out, and she was the only one who could do it.

The people who lost their cars, but were otherwise unharmed, in this flood no doubt had places they had to get to. I am sure that this compulsion is not restricted to drivers around here.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2016

if we're talking about this video then i don't see how depth markers would help. it appears (at least to me) that there's some kind of sinkhole obscured by the water. look at how the dry road is visible the other side of the water, and how the suv "falls in".
posted by andrewcooke at 11:43 AM on April 22, 2016

The compulsion to drive through floodwater seems to be overwhelming. They warn about it so much, but it didn't stop an old lady here driving around stopped car (stopped because that driver assessed the danger correctly) after a bad storm last year. People risked their lives trying to save her but nope. I wish people would PLEASE realise they aren't going to be the exception and to stay safe :-(
posted by kitten magic at 4:49 AM on April 23, 2016

I don't believe there was a sink hole there, I saw photos after it dried out and the road appeared intact. I think the angle of the camera is deceiving, she appears to have stopped short of the deepest portion, the car rolled deeper, and more water was pouring in.
posted by beowulf573 at 11:08 AM on April 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sometimes it's hard to tell from the viewpoint of the driver. And a lot of people are afraid they will lose their jobs if they don't get to work. Thus this rant.
posted by blurker at 3:04 PM on April 23, 2016

Tokyo here. As most folks will know by now, the big quakes down in Kumamoto didn't effect the Kanto region. We keep having our little tremors now and again, as ever. Hoping all the while that the Big One... never comes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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