Monday, September 19, 2005

Houston Watches Rita

As Tropical Storm Rita is forcast to become Hurricane Rita, the Florida Keys are being evacuated. But that's not the only place eyeing Rita warily. A voluntary evacuation for Galveston Texas has been ordered by that city's mayor. Learning from Katrina, Galveston announced that they have buses ready to transport people without their own cars and they will be evacuated during the voluntary evacuation.

Current projections of Rita's path have the storm heading straight for the Houston/Galveston area. It's still early and that could change. However the weather forecasters are predicting the storm will be large and about a 3 when it hits land.

It's hard to imagine that the Houston/Galveston area, overflowing with Katrina refugees could be hit with a major storm. Although we are trying to close our major large shelters there are still about 1000 to 2000 people in them from Katrina. All our hotels and apartments are full. This is important because it will affect people in Galveston and the low-lying areas of Houston and southeast Texas who will need a place to go if they have to evacuate. They'll have to go a lot farther than Houston--and San Antonio and Dallas and Austin are also full of Katrina refugees.

This afternoon one of the Houston city councilmen said he was worried about evacuees from Louisiana who were staying in the many Houston suburbs. They aren't familiar with our area and won't know whether or not they are in an area which is covered by an evacuation recommendation or order. They may be in Baytown, Pearland or Sugar Land or The Woodlands and not realize how those areas relate to Houston or Galveston.

Houston is about 50 miles inland and unlike New Orleans is above sea level--but not much. We don't have a levee problem like they did. But a major hurricane can do a lot of damage. Houston could absorb the Katrina evacuees, but which city could absorb Houston, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country? Especially after Katrina?

I'm praying really hard that this one goes south of us into the area between Corpus Christi and Brownsville where there is very little population and the hurricane would weaken rapidly before hitting any major city. We're still reeling from the effects of Katrina in New Orleans.

7 comments:

SpookyRach said...

Our prayers are with you!

Songbird said...

When I came home at lunchtime, Don told me this weather forecast and I thought of you immediately. My prayers continue to be with you.

reverendmother said...

Wow, mine too.

I can't believe it's only mid-September and we're already on the letter R...

cheesehead said...

I'm praying right along with you.

BTW, thanks for your lovely letter.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks for the prayers, everyone.

princessandthebeads said...

My prayers are with you. If anything at all happens and you need to get out of there, there is a home for you here in Plainview Texas. I promise.

Quotidian Grace said...

Mindy--I'm very touched by your offer.Thanks! If we have to leave we'll go to San Antonio or Austin where we have family. If power is out long enough we'll probably have to go to Dallas so my husband can work out of his firm's Dallas office.