Friday, September 12, 2008

Tracking Ike online

A number of truckers have contacted Land Line and recommended weather Web sites, official and unofficial. Online weather sites, if you haven’t checked them out, are nothing short of amazing.

OOIDA member Kenneth Becker, Montgomery, TX, likes wunderground.com, the Weather Underground site. Ken was in North Dakota Friday and called me from some oil field. He was getting ready to see how his hometown fares with Ike. Armed with satellite and laptop, he told me he’s got his hometown punched in and can monitor everything.

He can even get a Google image of what his neighborhood looks like, live. I am sure that’s reassuring to Ken since his wife and the kids are home in Montgomery, 55 miles northwest of Houston. Ken says he’s talked to her on the phone a lot and at noon Friday, she watched her neighbors pack up and head north.

Ken – who missed Katrina and Rita because he was trucking – said his wife was getting the place nailed down so it “won’t blow away.”

I went to wunderground.com and tried to see Ken’s house and I am pretty sure I see it, along with an image of Elizabeth out there looking at the sky, hands on hips. OK, so I am kidding, I really can’t see Elizabeth.

Incidentally, Ken is an OOIDA board member and I’ve known him for a long time. I know Elizabeth, too and believe me, Ike really doesn’t want to mess with her.

I’m also keeping in touch with Danny Schnautz, Pasadena, TX, near Houston and Galveston Bay. He was actually at work Friday. His wife, Celessa, was home battening down the hatches. They are not evacuating. Danny’s a longtime member of OOIDA who is operations manager for Clark Freight Lines in Pasadena. In an e-mail Friday a.m., Danny said he and some “volunteers” were in the office doing paperwork, getting trucks paid, taking calls from brokers looking for empty trucks, and watching Ike online.

Danny likes stormpulse.com. He also goes to http://web.tampabay.rr.com/wolfy/. Check out those satellite images. Wow.

Any bloggers out there who have favorite weather spots? Let me know and I’ll share with truckers with homes or freight in the Gulf states.

One last note: At shortly before 1 p.m. – just as I was finishing this blog – I got an e-mail reporting Danny had left the office and was driving home. He reported a lot of wind, dust, overcast conditions.

Via his BlackBerry, he messaged: “It’s here.”

(Incidentally, the picture of Hurricane Ike was taken from space by NASA.)

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