Galveston residents hopeful Harvey has mercy

Some sandbags are already down in Galveston as of Wednesday night.

GALVESTON, Texas - Galveston Island is preparing for whatever Harvey brings. Right now, officials are planning for heavy rain but they know how quickly things can change.

“I’m hoping it’s not as bad as they say it’s going to be,” said Allison Corgey of Katy. Her family moved up their visit to the island just in case.

“We were going to come tomorrow, but we ended up moving it up a day so that we could beat the rain,” said Corgey.

Right now, island officials are planning for possibly major flooding. Crews are making sure storm drains and other infrastructure are cleared of debris.

Some sandbags are already down in Galveston as of Wednesday night.

“We are looking at this as a rain event at this point,” said Galveston EMA Coordinator Niki Bender.  “We are watching, like everyone else, what the National Weather Service and the hurricane center are putting out.”

One issue is called tidal inundation. That’s when the island’s gravity-based drainage system gets overwhelmed.

“It’s a problem when we have high tide of rain coming in, or any type of storm surge on top of what normal tides are,” said Bender.  “So, the water doesn’t have anywhere to go.”

Harvey’s winds may not wreak as much havoc as Hurricane Ike in 2008. Although, storm shutters are already closed on many homes in the Pirate’s Beach community and elsewhere. Electronic traffic signs on the way onto the island remind people to be prepared and, among other things, fill up your gas tank.

"The marina has been here since 1968 so it's seen all the storms since that time and it's stood up remarkably well," said Lance Parks, general manager of the Galveston Yacht Basin.

On Wednesday evening our cameras watched crews putting a boat into the water that's planning to go fishing Thursday morning

Parks said they're going to start shutting down normal operations Thursday depending on the forecast.

"Hopefully, it's all for naught," he said, adding that they've already begun to tie up some of the more than 650 boats in the marina.

Many people say they’re not worried about Harvey, saying they survived Ike and other storms.

But officials say complacency is one thing they battle. They believe everyone should always have an emergency plan is place.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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