Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Not-so-lovely Rita takes aim at the Gulf Coast

As if the Gulf Coast hasn't had enough already, Hurricane Rita (now Category 5) has turned into the third most powerful storm in history. Unless it changes course, which is possible, it will likely hit the Texas coast Friday night and into Saturday morning:

With Rita projected to hit Texas by Saturday, Gov. Rick Perry urged residents along the state’s entire coast to begin evacuating. And New Orleans braced for the possibility that the storm could swamp the stricken city all over again.

Galveston, low-lying parts of Corpus Christi and Houston, and mostly emptied-out New Orleans were under mandatory evacuation orders as Rita sideswiped the Florida Keys and began drawing energy with terrifying efficiency from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico...

Forecasters said Rita could be the most intense hurricane on record ever to hit Texas, and easily one of the most powerful ever to plow into the U.S. mainland. Category 5 is the highest on the scale, and only three Category 5 hurricanes are known to have hit the U.S. mainland — most recently, Andrew, which smashed South Florida in 1992.

Both the mainstream media and the blogosphere are doing some excellent work as Rita sweeps across the Gulf of Mexico. Here are a few recommended posts by other bloggers:

And, of course, I recommend above all my friend Joe Gandelman's exceptional posts, regularly updated, at The Moderate Voice. For the latest, see here.

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