Rita Closes In

By Leon H Wolf Posted in Comments (44) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

This is gonna get nasty. From CNN:

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- As more than 1 million people scurried to get out of the way of Hurricane Rita, the Category 5 hurricane grew more turbulent, becoming the third most intense storm in history, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday night.

Officials said the barometric pressure near the eye of the storm was 897 millibars, a lower reading than Hurricane Katrina, which slammed into the Gulf Coast August 29.

As of this moment, Galveston, TX is in the direct path of the hurricane, which is bad, bad news given the structural instability of the land upon which Galveston sits (among other factors). Also in the path for a beating: Houston and potentially Dallas. In other words, the areas where most of the New Orleans evacuees are currently staying.

Oh, and if the system happens to dump more than three inches of rain on New Orleans as it passes through the gulf, the levees may breach again. Our prayers are with everyone in the gulf coast at this moment, and all whose lives have been and will be disrupted by these hurricans.

Consider this an open thread for updates/other Rita info.

UPDATE: (09-22-05 10:02:00 EDT): I just spoke with some folks in the DFW area who are telling me that the traffic last night at 9pm generally approximated rush hour, so many people have fled to Dallas out of the path of Rita. We are hearing from various folks that the drive from Houston to Dallas is currently one that takes 24 hours (normally this is about a 4-hour proposition). Ditto the drive to San Antonion (normally about 2 hours). Because not many people have cars that can run for 24 hours without a refill, numerous vehicles are running out of gas/stalling/overheating on the roadway and being abandoned.

The problem is that Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin are already packed to capacity from Katrina evacuees. This means that the surge of folks leaving the Texas gulf coast will have to take refuge as far away as Amarillo, Lubbock, Oklahoma City and possibly even Albuquerque. An entire region of this country has effectively been displaced.

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The storm will pass to our east, if that track holds true.

The winds will blow from the northm and from the weak side.

The storm surge issue will be greatly diminished, with water being pushed out of Galveston Bay and away from low lying areas. This greatly diminsihes the risk of urban flooding in Houston. The wind will be strong enough to expose the bottom of some bodies of water. The barside of Galveston may flood, which is very unusual.

Personally this may drop a couple of trees on the north side of my house, but unless Dickie Scruggs steals the money, that is what insurance is for.

We will be staying through this storm. Getting our of town makes little sense for us.

I don't see how they get out of this with less than three inches of rain.

Lastyear it seems like Florida had a great big target painted on it, this year looks like it is the Gulf Coast.

Subject to dramatic changes in path, the storm will ahve no appreciable impact on NO.

I'm part of the 1st Air Cav Brigade here at Ft Hood, TX. We were put on standby yesterday morning to head down to the Houston/Galveston area for whatever relief effort is eventually needed. We've still got a few people out around New Orleans, also.

when the winds are up in the 170 mph range. But thank-God at least this hurricane has come with plenty of advance warning and lead time and everyone is taking it seriously. The destruction may well be horrendous but the loss of life should be less than Katrina's toll.

but with it being on the east side, which is where the heaviest rains are concentrated as well as the heaviest wind, and judging how massive the storm is, it could easily get more than 3 inches of rain, and also cause the tides to rise slightly higher.  1 inch higher might not seem alot, but when added together with the state of the levees it could mean N.O. floods again...-probably not nearly as bad as before, but still some flooding can, and probably will occur.

I hope you don't need to come except to enjoy some fine dining and adult beverages, but if things get rough, I can think of no group better to come in and lend a hand. We appreciate you r being ready willing and able more than you can know.

tend to fall off pretty rapidly from the eye, especially the weak side. If the storm goes up into Chambers County across Galveston Bay from Houston, we will do alright. Our neighborhood is about 60 miles away from that track and we would be on the edge of the hurricane force winds with winds out of the north, and relatively rain free. Which is too bad since we are having a really tough drought. But I will take drought over over hurricane any day.

 But my bigger concern for NO is that this storm seems to be turning even more northerly than predicted. A bit more, and NO could get a second storm, and this time on the dirty side.

While we are planning to rebuild NO, God may have something more to say about the idea.

and while you may not get the worst of the wind but you won't be sitting high and dry in sunshine either. I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. See how far the storm is from us on the map? At least 200 miles at its closest point! But yesterday we had rain and wind gusts up to 50 mph from Rita. And don't forget that New Orleans was on the "weak" side of Katrina too.

  1. That the Almighty God has mercy on the good people of Texas, and that it escapes with the minimum loss of life and property
  2. On a more partisan note, that the government performs well in both providing encouragement and physical support to the victims there. It is a good opportunity to show the country that the lessons of Katrina have been learned byu the Bush administration

Katrina had hurrican force winds over 130 miles from the eye.. yet the winds on Dennis earlier this year, while very powerful close to the eye, dropped off fairly quickly - only going out about 30 -40 miles (if i remember correctly) before dropping below hurricane force.

about the only thing you can ever be sure of is that the storm will be worse on the North east side than anywhere else.

it's truly,really Bush's fault.  This could have all been avoided if,a]  George Washington had signed the  Kyoto Treaty, b] if Haley Barbour hadn't sent that memo,which caused a 95 or 97 to 0 Senate vote. c] if George Bush didn't have rich friends unlike the Democrats who only have poor friends, d] and if we all rode only bicycles.  Which last is Bush's fault also,not passing a National Bicycle Law.  

are just that... projections, which are akin to opinions with computer models.

I've read that Matagorda bay is showing up on some projections as the place where the center of the storm will land, which would put Galveston/houston on the "dirty" side of the storm. Ah, well, these things are terribly unpredictable.  Here's for hoping that it disapates well short of landfall.

I live about 200 miles from the Texas coast, but well within all projected paths of Rita.  I went to the store yesterday (me and just about everyone else in town) to stock up on non-perishables, batteries, water and the like, and there was already a run on bottled water and bateries.  I couldnt' find gallon containers of water at all, nor any D batteries, and that was canvassing several stores.  There are no portable generators for sell or rent anywhere nearby.

If anyone else is in the projected path of the storm, but well outside of the evacuation zones, what are you doing to prepare (Austin, Dallas, or East Texas)?

How are the race-baiters gonna explain this one?

Best wishes and prayers for EVERYONE in the path of Rita.  We need to dig deep and help as many displaced people as we can.

I could not leave, too much traffic and my car has limited driving range, all the gas is gone. SO my wife and I will ride it out. We have plenty of supplies and are at a high elevation so unless our house is knocked down we should be ok.

Rita is probably going to give the refineries another hard whack, and even if it doesn't damage them (much), it's still going to shut them down for a few days.  And you don't need Adam Smith to tell you what happens when supply drops significantly and rapidly.

If there is a low loss of life for Rita, that is just proof that america cares for the white man but not the black man.

The History News Network had a good interview a couple of weeks ago with the author of <u>Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History.</u&gt, the story of the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston.  


Let's pray that they don't get hit with this one.

Did very little wind damage to NO.

My family in town during the storm was celebrating that Monday evening about how they had dodged the bullet.

The max winds in most of NO proper were in the 100 mph range. Most cities can stand that pretty well.

I have an insured who lives on the north side of Galveston bay in a mobile home that I am now pretty concerned for, but they are tough people.

I am betting pretty heavily on Rita being a tease to Houston.

And from the way it is tracking, I would be very very nervous if I was in NO right now....as I was scheduled to be this weekend, as a matter of fact.

This late summer's weather is rich in irony on so many levels.

I've got a friend in the 4th Brigage, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Hood. Do you have any idea whether they are involved in this operation?

Many thanks.

Hit the link to the NOAA loop, let it load and then click on MSLP(2). What you will see could be a hurricane highway into NO. At the very least it should contribute to a more NW track


Oh, and if the system happens to dump more than three inches of rain on New Orleans as it passes through the gulf, the levees may breach again.

That says it all, don't it?

Here by Raven

Have some dice from Las Vegas.  You may need them.

And Good Luck.

It was CAT IVs left, right and center all over Florida.  Heck, one was so bad that it remained at tropical storm strength Overland, long enough to hit NY and then swung out East and South to come around and hit Florida again.

Now we're dealing with CAT Vs hitting the Gulf Coast.  Sheesh.

As for those who keep saying "Yeah, I'm 60 miles away from Rita,"  Keep in mind, Rita's Eye was 50 miles across last night.

Good Luck to you all.

It lies a long ways inland after all, and would not have to worry about being drowned by a storm surge. I can see Dallas could get some some severe storms and heavy rain, but would any of that require evacuation?

It starting to sound like the Texans are rediscovering what Florida learned when hurricane Floyd turned the state into a vast parking lot. It just is not practical or possible to evacuate whole cities long distances. While a low lying, coastal place like Galveston does need to be emptied out, further inland the emphasis should be on getting people in flood prone areas into nearby shelter on high ground. God help these folks if they are trapped out of gas on highways when the storm comes in. Most of them would be safer at home.

I'm much more worried about southwest Louisiana at this point, and all the poor so-and-sos who are currently evacuating the Galveston/Houston area directly into the likely strike area - between Sabine Pass and Morgan City.  Don't believe the current consensus reports.  We were just looking at the satellite loop.  She's definitely making a strong break north.  It's going to be deep into Louisiana.

west of us, and we are still getting rain in St Pete FL!

My preparations: Billing hours at my firm and a Kahr .40 with plenty of ammunition...

On a serious note though, we are having gas shortages here. The guy who kindly delivered my dinner reports that North Austin (where 290 from Houston comes into town) is out of gas, and my partner at the firm (who lives on the SW side) reports that the gas station he found would only sell him $15 worth of gas.  Good thing I don't need to go anywhere.

Even if you don't need to go anywhere, 35 won't be your friend.

Oh, wait, you're a new associate. Never mind. You probably haven't even gnawed your leg free yet.

Take care, man.

I live downtown in a high rise, and I work downtown in a high rise... if we actually get wind I guess I'll go to a hallway to avoid my windows.

Were I not anonymous.

Back when I was in the area, I used to chant "Pflugerville" as a sort of ward against evil. Dubious effectiveness, but lots of fun.

gnawing your own leg? Can't you at least do your own leg pro bono?

Gotta put food on the table.

Pflugerville = North Austin = Suburb == almost evil in my book.

Now Coupland or Driftwood - that's good stuff.

I'm rather fond of the suburbs.

Then again, I remember them when they were country, and drive to Lake Travis wasn't a headache.

But not like I see even a third of that...

Hope it isn't leg for dinner...the other other white meat...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 Sounds like Ballerina talk.

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