Rita Closes In
By Leon H Wolf Posted in Breaking News — 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.