On Sept 11, I flew from Denver to San Antonio, Texas for the intercept of Hurricane Ike. My plan was to get a rental car, provisions and fuel, and then make my way to Galveston for landfall. Because I had a group of people with me, and the promise I made to their families of not staying out where the surge could cut us off, I took us back across I-45 to the mainland at dark on the 12th. Even the drive across the high bridge from Galveston Island to Bayou Vista was intense as we were raked with 70 MPH winds, a shaking bridge and waves galore. We rode Ike out at the Mall of the Mainland in Texas City and then did not go back towards Galveston due to blocked roads and the local authorities coming in to help the victims. Check out the two videos below, one from daytime hours on the 12th and then the other from the landfall in the dark. The images of the damage in Galveston were from Stuart Robinson (www.stormtrack.co.uk).
August 31st and September 1st I traveled to Louisiana to intercept Hurricane Gustav. It was an intense Category 4 storm when it crossed Cuba, weakening to a Category 3 storm as hit approached Louisiana. I wanted the eye and thus Stuart Robinson and I, along with a cameraman from North One, positioned ourselves first in Houma, then near Morgan City. The eye approached by the noon hour and the eyewall blasted us with nearly 100 MPH wind gusts, causing damage to trees, roofs, power poles and lines, along with damage to weak structures.
August took me for the first time to the Florida Keys waterspout chasing. As we arrived, Hurricane Charley intensified and we decided to chased it. After encountering 90 mph winds, we left and headed out of harms way. During our week in the Keys we saw several funnels and a waterspout. Next year we will go back!! It was a blast!!!!!