Subject:

Natural Disasters

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2014

    Ten Things All Houstonians Should Have Now in Preparation for Hurricane Season

    Sunday was the first day of Hurricane Season 2014. It is an annual ritual along the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines to get ready for potential tropical storms. Depressions can drop boatloads of rain, as can tropical storms (Allison, anyone?), so we would do well to be wary of even non-hurricane events. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    Weekend Weather: Rainy Start to a Much Cooler Weekend

    Plenty of rain pushed through the area yesterday. Most of Houston recorded at least a quarter of an inch and some areas got more than an inch of rain. That will continue today and into Saturday as a cool front sags towards the coast pulling moisture from the Gulf and destabilizing the atmosphere ove ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2013

    Cover Story: The Dark Wall

    Most people take one look at a tornado -- a whirling vortex of power capable of obliterating everything in its path -- and run the other way, but most people aren't storm chasers. It takes a certain kind of person, a specific hunger, to make someone want to find the worst weather possible, the epit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2013

    Weekend Weather: A Chance of Rain and the Tropics Heat Up

    I hope you have had a nice week. It's been damn hot out there meaning your a/c bills are probably going to be through the roof, but on the positive side, you're probably sweating off that water weight. The heat will most definitely continue into the weekend. This is summer in Houston after all. But, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2013

    Weather Week: Hot and Muggy with a Chance of a Cape Verde Storm on the Horizon

    Muggy is a word that often describes Houston and not just in the summer. But, when it does happen to be in the summer, it's damn unpleasant. As we enter the final two weeks of July (can you believe it?), we should expect typical Houston summer weather meaning it will be hot and muggy all week long. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2013

    Galveston's $140,000 Seaweed Project Could Protect Against Storm Damage

    Galveston beachgoers are familiar with the smelly, unsightly seaweed plaguing many of the coast's shorelines and interrupting a pleasant day at the beach. We've all seen kids shriek and throw it at each other and have walked around the uncomfortable stuff as it dried on the shore. Rather than get r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2013

    Weather Week: A Little Rain, a Lot of Sun and Plenty of Heat

    The past few nights, I've sat outside on a patio for dinner. This was not my choice, but I gladly obliged. When the breeze did blow, it wasn't bad. When it was still, I felt every sweat gland in my physical being activate. Summertime in Houston is like that, and that warm, sticky weather is with us ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2013

    Weather Week: Heat, Rain, Possible Severe Weather But Probably No Tornadoes

    It's tough not to think about weather after the devastating tornadoes that hit Oklahoma the last two days. The probably F-5 tornado that struck Moore just south of Oklahoma City could be one of the largest on record, an incredible two miles wide at its peak. Tornadoes are certainly nature's most ins ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2012

    Hurricane Season is Over for Houston!! (According To Our Bold Prediction); Cooler Weather On the Way, God's In His Heaven, Etc., Etc.

    Yeah, you heard me. It might sound like a bold prediction, but it's actually safer than you think. I've often told my friends that my favorite day of the year is October 1. The reason for this is that football season has started, basketball training camp is about to open, the holidays are on the wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2012

    Galveston's Historic Elissa To Get $1.4 Million In FEMA Repair Funds

    Hurricane Ike can seem like a lifetime ago, but the feds are still doling out the cash to deal with the devastation along the Galveston waterfront. Some of that devastation involved the Elissa, the historic tall ship that has long been giving island visitors a taste of Galveston's past in the age o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    UPDATED: Flash Flooding Will Be a Problem Through Early Afternoon

    UPDATE 8:30 a.m. - More than 14,000 residents are without power thanks to the storms rolling through. A line of storms is moving very slowly through the entire area and will continue to be a problem through lunch. Original Post:The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch yesterday that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2012

    Update: Rough Weather, Tornados Rolling Through Houston, Affecting Airports

    As has been mentioned by weather forecasters in recent days, some pretty rough weather is passing through Houston this morning as part of a cold front. The storms are spanning high winds, torrential rain (some areas could receive up to five inches), flash flooding and potential tornadoes. According ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    Drought Madness: Houston, You Want a Hurricane. Overwhelmingly

    ​It's clear the Drought of '11 has had some effect on the minds of Texans: They are actively in favor of getting hit with a tropical storm or hurricane if it will help bring about the end of the über-dry spell. Does everyone forget Ike or Allison? We asked readers if they would take a tropi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2011

    Tropical Storm Don: Will Houston See Any Effects?

    Is that a cone of uncertainty in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?​As we thought, the forecast models, using the data from the National Hurricane Center reconnaissance aircraft came into fairly good agreement last night on the track of Tropical Storm Don and, unfortunately, it d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    Wildfires in Spring Cause Evacuations

    Spring residents, watch out.​The Houston area has been mostly spared the wildfires that have been hitting other parts of Texas, but an abnormally large grass fire is causing problems this afternoon in Spring. The blaze is near FM 1960 and the Hardy Toll Road, which should also make the aftern ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2011

    This Hurricane Season, Stock Up the Right Way

    Hey, Hurricane Ike Bear; quit dicking around and go buy some bottled water.​Weather agencies across the nation are predicting a much busier hurricane season this year than usual. NOAA predicts up to 10 hurricanes between now and November, with three to six of those being major hurricanes. Rem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Remembering Hurricanes Alicia and Claudette

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 22, 2011

    Sprinkles' Efforts to Help Japan

    ​With the recent disasters that have occurred in Japan, we're all looking for a way to help out however we can. There are numerous benefits and texting campaigns that have successfully raised money for relief efforts. Today Sprinkles Cupcakes is selling Red Cross Red Velvet cupcakes to ben ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    Patrick Ita: The Genius Who Combined Medicare and Katrina Fraud

    Like combining chocolate and peanut butter​In the Southern District of Texas, U.S. Attorneys often deal with two kinds of fraud: scams involving a) Medicare, or b) Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. It takes a special genius to combine the two, and apparently Patrick Ita is that man. Prosecutors un ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2010

    Hurricane Rita, Five Years Later: What's Your Story?

    As you sit in a bit of stalled traffic today or tomorrow, you can ease your annoyance a bit by remembering what was happening five years ago this week.Just weeks after Houstonians watched horrified as Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans and spawned jaw-dropping scenes of just how bad things can be ... More >>

  • Calendar

    August 26, 2010

    10 by 10

    Local playwrights show off their short works

  • Calendar

    August 26, 2010

    10 by 10

    Local playwrights show off their short works

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2010

    Hurricanes: Rice Says Ike Was Nothing

    Just a fresh seabreeze compared to what could have been​Just in time for hurricane season, a group created in the wake of Ike has issued a report that should be entitled "The Bejesus, And Scaring It Out Of You."Remember Ike and how much that sucked? Destruction in Galveston, no electricity in Hous ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2010

    And I Would Have Gotten Away With It, Too, If It Wasn't For That Meddling Hurricane!!

    ​Deanne Snowball had a sweet deal going, and we don't just mean her name.Her dad died in 1998 (that's not the sweet part), but the Louisiana Carpenters Regional Council Pension Plan had continued to send his monthly pension checks (that is). Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Snowball cash ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 24, 2009
  • Blogs

    September 1, 2009

    If Who's On First, What's On Second: A Post-Ike Diary Documenting One Family's Attempt To Get Past First Base With The Houston Housing Authority

    ​Ike's anniversary is coming up, an event which will be well-covered locally. We're doing out part with the September 10 issue; until then we'll be posting some Ike-related items to whet the appetite.In the 1950s the famous comedy team of Abbott and Costello developed what is probably their most ... More >>

  • Culture

    July 9, 2009
  • Blogs

    June 1, 2009

    June 1: And So It Begins......

    NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!! (MUST CREDIT HAIR BALLS!!!!!) Today is the beginning of the hurricane season.While the rest of the so-called mainstream media will ignore this important milestone simply because writing or airing stuff about hurricanes in Houston results in cheap increases in ratings and clic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2009

    How Much More Clear Than "Certain Death" Can You Be?

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a story up today about how the National Weather Service plans to offer guidelines on changing the warnings it gives for hurricanes and tornadoes, because not enough people are paying attention to them.Reports the paper:"It's not necessarily an overhaul. It's just b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2009

    Can't Get It Out of My Head: "New Madrid"

    Wilco, "New Madrid," live at the Fox Theater, Boulder, Colorado, May 1995 Rocks Off is never really not on an Uncle Tupelo kick, but it sure came flooding back after he heard "New Madrid" on Fred Imus' Saturday-morning Trailer Park Bash satellite-radio show last weekend. Even among such futur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 1, 2008

    First The Hurricanes, Now The Grassfires, Soon The Locusts

    Now that hurricane season is over, the weather gods have another trick up their sleeves, or whatever garments weather gods wear -- grass fires.Officials from Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties issued a warning this afternoon to look out for brushfires."Until today, grass fires in this area ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 27, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 30, 2008

    Always Look On The Bright Side Of Ike

    Over the past couple of weeks, we've heard ad nauseam about the painful effects of Hurricane Ike -- the flooded homes and businesses, the damaged rooftops, the rampant power outages, the lingering failures of Comcast not only to provide cable and Internet but also to explain coherently why they are ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 18, 2008
  • News

    September 18, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 12, 2008

    Ike's Effects Reach Into Space

    You think you have it tough going without your Whole Foods? Imagine going without Tang. Hurricane Ike has forced the cancellation of the planned docking of a Russian cargo ship with the International Space Station. When the Johnson Space Center closed, there was no one to guide it to the ISS, so e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2008

    Can't Anyone Just Predict "Slightly Breezy And Seasonably Cool"?

    You want your warnings of catastrophe? We got `em right here. From CNN: "Forecasters warned Ike would bring "certain death" to anyone who remained in Galveston Bay homes. Rarely do forecasters use such forceful language." Weather Underground's Jeff Masters: "We must assume Ike will intensify to a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 12, 2008

    "Certain Death" Doesn't Bar Commercials

    In the past, when I've talked to TV meteorologists about whether or not they hype hurricanes, at some point they're quick to point out that there'd be no reason to hype, because hurricanes are a losing proposition money-wise for stations. As KPRC's Frank Billingsley put it to us last May: Billings ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2008

    Art Rock: Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit and Seth Kauffman at Walter's on Washington

    Stay tuned to Rocks Off for news on any show cancellations due to Hurricane Ike.

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2008
  • Blogs

    July 18, 2008
  • Calendar

    August 9, 2007

    “Seeing Beneath Mount Everest: Probing a Breeding Ground of Destructive Earthquakes

    Anne Sheehan talks about earthquakes, Mount Everest and scorpions

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2007
  • Blogs

    March 30, 2007

    Holy Shit!

    Oh, damn. It was only a matter of time before Jose Luis De Jess Miranda 's followers brought up the G-word. As you might recall, first De Jess claimed to be the Apostle. Then he went with the J-man. Then the Antichrist. There really was nowhere else to go but up, as this press release attests:

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2006

    Adventures in Flood Insurance

    Thanks to FEMA's new flood maps, you can move from that neighborhood that flooded to a new neighborhood that, um, will probably flood. Leave it to the foresighted, hyperaware folks at FEMA to release their final flood plain maps of Harris County on such a perfectly overcast, drizzly day. In the b ... More >>

  • Music

    October 19, 2006

    Stealing the Show

    New Orleans musicians blew into Houston on Katrina's winds and everything was magic for a while

  • Music

    July 20, 2006

    Life in a Hurricane

    The New Orleans sound of The Morning 40 Federation

  • News

    January 26, 2006

    La Mordita

    Check cashers and furniture rental companies take a big chunk out of post-hurricane FEMA checks

  • News

    September 8, 2005

    Katrina & The Waves

    Houston gets hit with its own hurricane surge

  • More >>
Loading...