Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hurricane Rita destroyed all the things.

Hurricane Rita spread watery desolation anew across Louisiana on Saturday, rolling over bayou country on the southwest coast and trapping hundreds on rooftops. Texas was spared widespread destruction, but some shoreline oil towns struggled with high water and wind damage.
Hurricane Rita Evacuations and Preparations At least 1,000 Louisiana residents were rescued by Coast Guard helicopter teams and volunteers in airboats. But as daylight faded, hundreds more remained atop buildings, water levels rising.

Despite the dire situation in southwest Louisiana and across the Sabine River into east Texas, authorities were relieved that Houston and cities along the vulnerable coastline in both states appeared to have been spared widespread destruction.

Authorities said a tornado killed one person in the Mississippi Delta. In the storm's direct path, no other fatalities and few injuries were initially reported.

According to latest Internet posts of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), Rita was downgraded to Category 2 with winds of 167 kph at 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), and was centered between Jasper and Beaumont, Texas.

Complete Hurricane Coverage Now storm moving northwest,could produce 25 to 38 cm of rain over the next day or two and it may stall and remain stationary.

He said people should not take it easy since the impact seems to be smaller than anticipated, because more floodings could come,especially on the east flank of the storm's eye.

Mayfield said the water will not subside until Rita's winds diedown, which is not expected before Saturday afternoon.

A key natural gas installation in southern Louisiana known as Henry Hub, through which a third of the nation's natural gas flows and where spot gas prices are determined, was damaged by Rita, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said.

"We understand there is a gas leak and ... a possible shearing of an oil storage tank," Blanco told CNN.

She gave no other details about the damage or its effects on gas delivery, but said the leak would have to be plugged.

"We're watching the situation very carefully," Blanco said.

Rita and Katrina knocked out nearly all energy production in the offshore oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico and 30 percent of the U.S. refining capacity onshore.

At least three oil refineries were damaged by Rita, oil companies said.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mass evacuations as Rita heads for Texas

Hurricane Rita was today bearing down on the Texas coastline ahead of its expected landfall north-east of Houston tomorrow.

Almost 2 million people in the path of the storm - which will bring 140mph winds and a storm surge of up to 20ft - have been told to evacuate.

They include most of the 1.2 million residents of Houston and up to 58,000 people in Galveston, a city that was devastated by a hurricane in 1900 with the loss of up to 12,000 lives.

Traffic jams stretched 100 miles north of Houston and crossed the state line into Louisiana even after the Texas governor, Rick Perry, ruled that every lane of the Interstate-45 motorway should be used to help traffic flow out of the city.