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August 26th, 2008
Hays County Blog: Hurricane Gustav could hit Texas coastline

The following statement was issued by Jeff Turner, the county’s emergency management coordinator:

Probabilities are increasing that a major hurricane could be in the Gulf by Sunday and poses a quantifiable risk for western Gulf landfall by the middle or late next week. This morning, the models are coming into better agreement, and their spread across a 45 degree arc that stretches from Belize & the Yucatan area to the Western Gulf Coast states. Although there is still a very slight chance the storm could remain on a northward track and effect Florida, the most likely scenarios are falling into two other solutions:

The first solution, preferred by some of the global models, takes the storm into the Yucatan area. Such a path would pose a minimal risk for strike to the Western Gulf states. The second, and more likely solution, is that Gustav takes ‘S’ shaped path that takes it around or near the northern tip of Cuba and into the central Gulf of Mexico by Sunday. This is the solution preferred by the National Hurricane Center, and is close to this morning’s official path. However, they want to see some more consistencies in the models before the fully buy into this solution. These same solutions also want to make Gustav into a MAJOR Category 4 or 5 hurricane by Sunday. This path would also pose a quantifiable degree of risk for a landfall in the Western Gulf.  Projecting out beyond the model solutions in the second scenario, the highest likelihood of landfall would be somewhere between Victoria Tx and New Orleans sometime between Wednesday and Friday with the Thursday-Friday time frame being the most likely time for a projected land fall. However this projection is not based upon any model data.Although it can’t be completely ruled out, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that there will be any call for major evacuations during the labor day weekend. Based upon the forecast track and strength, I expect that the State will begin to mobilize resources including Texas Task Force 1 and incident management teams no later than this weekend. Although its still to early to call the need for CASHP, I suspect they will be in touch with us regarding the readiness of our plans. The State had a 10:30 conference call this morning. On the call, the NHC expressed that Gustav will become a major hurricane. The State of Texas will begin its H-120 the 28th at 01:00.

Hays County along with our partners in the region will begin our contingency planning efforts. If this storms continues on the anticipated path, shelter operations are possible. Future updates will be disseminated to everyone as they become available. Conference calls will begin on a regular basis starting tomorrow.

Be safe everyone.

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