Rita gives me deja vu
Can anyone say deja vu? In a little over 12 hours Rita went from Cat 2 to Cat 5. Global warming or HAARP, it doesn't matter, we are headed for some rough times in murka....
Hurricane Rita strengthens to Category 5
Texas likely target; winds at 165 mph; 1.3 million on notice for evacuation
GALVESTON, Texas - Gaining strength with frightening speed, Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 5, 165-mph monster Wednesday as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were sent packing on orders from authorities who learned a bitter lesson from Katrina.
“It’s scary. It’s really scary,” Shalonda Dunn said as she and her 5- and 9-year-old daughters waited to board a bus arranged by emergency authorities in Galveston. “I’m glad we’ve got the opportunity to leave. ... You never know what can happen.”
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. Between 2 a.m. and 4 p.m., it went from a 115-mph Category 2 to a 165-mph Category 5.
May reach historic proportions
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.
Having seen what 145-mph Hurricane Katrina did three weeks ago, many people were taking no chances as Rita swirled its way across the Gulf of Mexico.