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Hurricanes and tropical storms are something you keep an eye out while living near the gulf coast.  Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30 although you can have a tropical storm or hurricane even in the “off” months.  Peak season runs from about the middle of August to the middle of September.

Over the years we have been impacted by a few tropical storm that generally bring above average rainfall and a stronger wind.  We have also been impacted by two hurricanes, Rita in 2005 that passed over the park and Ike in 2008 that impacted the Houston area but caused power outage in our area for 36 hours and some tropical force winds for a couple of hours but hardly any rainfall. Below we have our stories about each hurricane below and each has their own slide show of pictures.  

Hurricane Rita
September 24, 2005

On September 17, 2005 a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean became a tropical depression and Rita was born.  She was the eighteenth depression to form in the very busy 2005 season.  Rita continued to strengthen and on September 20, 2005 became the tenth hurricane of the season.  Rita intensified to a category 5 storm on September 21, 2005 and was the fourth most intense hurricane recorded with a pressure of 895 mb and became the most intense hurricane ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico eclipsing Katrina from the month before.

Shortly before landfall Rita dropped to a Category 3 storm and came ashore about 3 a.m. in the morning at Sabine Pass, Texas.  Rita headed north following US-96 to the Lake Sam Rayburn area.  Rita passed over the Lake Sam Rayburn area a Category 2 storm and wind gusts were recorded at the Corps of Engineers office near the dam at over 100 mph before the instrument failed.  Rainfall at Rayburn RV Hideout totaled 14 inches.

After watching and tracking Hurricane Rita we made the decision to close the park the morning of September 23, 2005.  At about 11 p.m. that night we lost power and by dawn we were feeling hurricane gusts of wind. The eye of Rita passed over us about 10 a.m.  When the eye passed we experienced about a 30 minute window of calm although overcast before the winds returned from the opposite direction for about 45 minutes. The rest of the day we continued to have gusts of tropical force winds as well as higher than normal winds and light rain.  We remained without power until September 29, 2005 and we reopened for business the following day.  

Our buildings escaped damage from Rita.  We lost about 20 trees in the park and in the time we were closed we removed trees and raked up the tremendous amount of leaves and branches through out the park.  We completed the majority of the clean up by mid October and our last site reopened in December.

We appreciated and would like to thank all our friends, guests who had stayed with us, and family for the emails, phone calls, offer to help us getting back open.  We also would like to thank the two families that “hunkered” down with us and rode out the storm and the days after.  Special thanks to the former owner who procured a generator, borrowed his neighbors gas cans and his and filled them up and delivered it to us Monday morning!

Hurricane Ike

September 13, 2008

While the impact of Hurricane Ike was less here at Rayburn RV Hideout its impact on Texas was huge.  Ike was the ninth named storm and the fifth hurricane of the 2008 season and the costliest storm to hit Texas.  Ike became a tropical storm on September 1, 2008 and a hurricane on September 3, 2008.  Ike was expected to reach a category 3 or 4 storm in the Gulf of Mexico but did not grow stronger than a category 2.  Ike however did develop a huge wind field of tropical force winds 275 miles from the eye and hurricane force winds 120 miles from the eye as well as a huge storm surge.  

Ike was very unpredictable when entering the Gulf of Mexico and forecasted landfalls were from Brownsville to Sabine Pass, about 360 miles of Texas Gulf Coast.  Each day the projected landfall was reduced until it ended up at Galveston.  

Due to the uncertainty of the final landfall (the hurricane can “wobble” just before landfall shifting landfall many miles) Rayburn RV Hideout activated it’s hurricane plan and closed for business on September 11, 2008. Surge from Ike reached the coast early in the morning of September 12, 2008 flooding the coast from Galveston to Lake Charles, LA.  Ike came ashore in Galveston about 2 a.m. on September 13, 2008.  The eye of Ike passed west of Rayburn RV Hideout by about 100 miles.  In this time we received several hurricane gusts of wind and sustained tropical force winds.  We lost power about 7:00 a.m. on Saturday 13, 2008 and was restored about 36 hours later.  Damage to the park was minimal with two trees blown over and one snapped off, along with a tremendous amount of leaves, twigs and branches.  We reopened for business on a limited basis on September 15, 2008.

While hurricanes are a pretty rare event they do effect our operation
just as the rare snowfall also impacts our park but is much prettier.

Below are 3 photo gallery’s.

Two of Hurricane Rita

One of Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Rita Gallery #1

Hurricane Rita Gallery #2

Hurricane Ike Gallery #1