Rita’s Rage

File Under: Hurricane Rita

The big question we’ll be facing in the coming day(s) is this: Will Hurricane Rita be a Francis, or a Katrina? As I type this, Rita has maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, making it a category 2 storm. It is expected to be a category 4 by Wednesday. And there it will make landfall next, no one really knows.

New Orleans has begun evacuating again, after Rita battered the Florida Keys. 2 busloads of people have already evacuated, and 500 other buses were ready to bring people out. Mayor Nagin says that they’re better prepared this time, that they’ve “learned a lot of hard lessons.” Really? Thankfully, the most powerful sections of the storm stayed far enough offshore to spare the Keys’ the worst of the damage.

While the Gulf states prepare for a Katrina-like path, Texas is preparing itself as well, as most storm tracks have Rita slamming into the popular state. But forecasters will admit that this storm is highly difficult to track. But they do warn that conditions over the central Gulf are much like they were for Katrina.

Galveston, Texas, which theoretically could see a 20-foot storm surge from Rita, has begun voluntary evacuations of the often-battered city. In 1900, 8,000-12,000 died in one of the deadliest hurricanes on record.

Wherever it hits, it is projected to hit this weekend, probably on Friday. TDI will bring you updates and coverage, as events warrent. Hopefully, Rita does not live up to the hype. However, forecast models and all our man-made equipment seems to indicate that, well, it just might.

It’s the second most-anticipated storm of the season. As the deep south boards up for another tough one, we’ll give you the most comprehensive rundown of events. Because here at TDI, we bring the web to your fingertips.

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