Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita set to slam into Texas and Louisiana

Click here for CNN's hurricane tracker.

Click here for the latest bulletin from the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Rita is about 9 hours away from making landfall along the coast of Texas and Louisiana. It's turned slightly to the north, away from Galveston, and now it's taking aim at Beaumont and Port Arthur, a fairly low-lying, marshy area of Texas. Beaumont, in fact (and I'm watching Anderson Cooper reporting live from there right now), is just a few feet above sea level at its highest point. Much of it, like New Orleans, is below sea level.

As CNN's tracker shows, a hurricane warning extends from the area between Corpus Christi and Galveston, through Beaumont and Port Arthur, and along the Louisiana coast to the area just south of Lafayette. As well, a tropical storm warning extends all the way to Corpus Christi in the west and to New Orleans in the east. Plus, New Orleans lies on the strong side of the storm, with the counter-clockwise rotation of the storm pounding it with rain and wind.

For the latest developments from CNN, updated regularly, click here.

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