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Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part VIII | September 24, 2005

Posted on 09/24/2005 9:58:36 AM PDT by Howlin

Hurricane Rita landfall is anticipated within the next few hours. Strong winds and heavy rains are battering southern Louisiana and southeastern Texas.

MSM news crews are shouting over the howling winds as they foolishly describe blowing rain, swaying trees, and crashing waves through rain splattered camera lenses. It's a hurricane. We know these things already.

An 18 wheeler rig reportedly overturned on an I-10 bridge. The fate of the truck driver is unknown at this time. Reports of widespread power outages in Lake Charles. KPLC-TV Lake Charles local news has remarkably improvised their reporting from a remote location. They are taking calls from residents, NWS, and public utility representatives, and alerting residents to local conditions.

On the flip side, CNN announced to the world that law enforcement officers had evacuated from Port Arthur TX with the rest of the population. Engraved looter invitations would have been more elegant.

Godspeed to all those in the path of this storm.

The following links are self-updating:

Public Advisory Currently published every 3 hours 5A, 8A, 11A, 2P, etc. ET
NHC Discussion Published every six hours 6A, 11A, 6P, 11P
Three Day Forecast Track
Five Day Forecast Track

Rita Forecast Track Archive
Forecast Models
Buoy Data Western Gulf of Mexico
Houston/Galveston/Beaumont/Lake Charles Wx Watches/Warnings
Jefferson Co TX NWS Weather
Current Weather Warnings and Watches for Texas
Current Weather Warnings and Watches for Louisiana
Hi Res Houston Flood Zone Map Slow load, great detail


Lake Charles Long Range Radar Still image, with loop link
Houston/Galveston Long Range Radar Still image, with loop link
Lake Charles Experimental Radar Outages and Delays May Occur

Storm Floater IR Loop
GOM IR Still Image
Visible Storm Floater Still (only visible during daylight hours)
Color Enhanced Atlantic Loop

Streaming Video: (coverage may be intermittent)

KHOU-TV/DT Houston
KPRC-TV/DT Houston
KTRK-TV/DT Houston
KTRH-AM Houston
KPLC-TV/DT Lake Charles/Lafayette
KSLA-TV/DT Shreveport

Additional Resources:

Hurricane Rita Freeper CHECK IN THREAD

FReeper Sign In Thread (LOCKED) Check in to let us know whether you are staying, going, and when you get there
FReepers Offering Lodging To Rita Evacuees People and/or Pet Friendly FReepers Offering Shelter

KHOU Houston
KTRK ABC News Houston
KPLC Lake Charles Evac Routes, news
KFDM Beaumont/Port Arthur News, evac info
Hurricane City
Wxnation Houston
Galveston Webcams
Golden Triangle Weather Page Provides Galveston Weather, Warnings, Radar, etc.

Category Wind Speed Barometric Pressure Storm Surge Damage Potential
< 39 mph
< 34 kts
39 - 73 mph
34 - 63 kts
Hurricane 1
74 - 95 mph
64 - 82 kts
28.94" or more
980.02 mb or more
4.0' - 5.0'
1.2 m - 1.5 m
Minimal damage to vegetation
Hurricane 2
96 - 110 mph
83 - 95 kts
28.50" - 28.93"
965.12 mb - 979.68 mb
6.0' - 8.0'
1.8 m - 2.4 m
Moderate damage to houses
Hurricane 3
111 - 130 mph
96 - 112 kts
27.91" - 28.49"
945.14 mb - 964.78 mb
9.0' - 12.0'
2.7 m - 3.7 m
Extensive damage to small buildings
Hurricane 4
(Very strong)
131 - 155 mph
113 - 135 kts
27.17" - 27.90"
920.08 mb - 944.80 mb
13.0' - 18.0'
3.9 m - 5.5 m
Extreme structural damage
Hurricane 5
Greater than 155 mph
Greater than 135 kts
Less than 27.17"
Less than 920.08 mb
Greater than 18.0'
Greater than 5.5m
Catastrophic building failures possible

Previous Threads:
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part VII
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part VI
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part V
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part IV
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part III
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part II
Hurricane Rita Live Thread, Part I
Tropical Storm Rita
Tropical Depression 18

TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: hurricanerita; rita; weather
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To: Howlin

Heh. Heh. Sure does.

1,581 posted on 09/25/2005 10:15:45 AM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Hate yourself? Hate everybody else, too? You'll be at home with the Democrats!)
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Comment #1,582 Removed by Moderator

To: ekwd

"Were the trees in your neighborhood built to withstand a hurricane?"

Nope, trees fall over. But I have yet to see a tree that would flatten a subdivision house -- in the Houston area at least. Alabama might be different. But even if one of the trees next to my house fell on my house the most it would do is cause roof damage.

Flying debris? Even at 100 mph debris that hits the wall is not going to shatter it. In fact, during Alicia I did not see one window that got shattered by flying debris in my Forest Bend neighborhood. That hurrican blew up too quickly for most people to board up their windows, too. There was a lot of roof damage, but the only house that took serious structural damage was one that got hit by a tornado. One -- in a subdivision of about 150 houses. You are just as likely to get hit by one in Austin as in Katy.

There were some houses in that subdivision that got totaled, however. The ones near the creek that got flooded.

1,583 posted on 09/25/2005 10:19:23 AM PDT by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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To: No Truce With Kings

I just learned about a problem with the Lake Livingston dam. Does anyone KNOW what is going on with this? Is this release precautionary or is there a major problem?

1,584 posted on 09/25/2005 10:22:41 AM PDT by john316 (JOSHUA 24:15 ...choose you this day whom ye will serve...)
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To: tarheelswamprat

Here's another one for you: Guess who is the founder and one of the principle owners of Entergy?

I did not know that about Entergy. Interesting.
Guess I should be glad I have DEMCO.....

1,585 posted on 09/25/2005 10:24:06 AM PDT by LA Woman3
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To: Sunnyflorida

You wouldn't happen to have a photo... electronic or otherwise ... of that red sequin dress?

Please FReepmail me if you do... she's definitely my favorite.

1,586 posted on 09/25/2005 10:24:59 AM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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"Hurricane fatigue" is when people ignore warnings because previous warnings proved to be false alarms. The gov's of AL and MS attributed the refusal of some people to evacuate prior to Katrina to it. It's going to be a problem for TX the next time.

No, I don't live in Houston and didn't see the local stations. The national stations I saw (Fox and TWC mostly)
still had Galveston as "ground zero" long after officials had to decide whether or not to begin evacuations and they never completely removed it. If you can show me that your sources made 100% reliable predictions in time for officials to decide not to evacuate, then perhaps those officials were listening to the wrong advice.

FYI, the National Hurricane Center, a part of NOAA, did offer advice about how officials should react to Katrina (saying something like "You should take this very seriously"), a fact that came out a few days after Katrina hit. Want to bet that they were talking to FEMA and TX disaster officials before Rita hit and that they did not recommend non-evacuation of the Galveston-Houston area, but instead that a precautionary evacuation was in order?
1,587 posted on 09/25/2005 10:25:05 AM PDT by ekwd (Murphy's Law Has Not Been Repealed)
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To: laz
They are Texas citizens, not serfs And to Blanco and Nagin, especially Blanco, NOLA citizens are most certainly serfs.

It is amazing that two states right next to each other offer such a stark contast. Two different worlds entirely.

As the Texas Tourism Bureau used to advertise: "Texas: It's like a whole other country!" /grin

1,588 posted on 09/25/2005 10:25:25 AM PDT by tarheelswamprat (Texan By Choice)
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To: All

Hi Freepers,

We survived the hurricane at Granny's in Pasadena unscathed, after returning from our 24 hour gridlock ordeal trying to get out of town. We returned home yesterday morning to find our home totally fine. We just got electric on in the last hour.

I am anxious to hear how everyone else did. I don't know if I will have time to read all of the thread.

Thanks for all your prayers freepers after we had that horrible situation trying to leave, and then having to come back. It all worked out for us to stay anyway.

1,589 posted on 09/25/2005 10:27:48 AM PDT by Lanza ( Houston - Clear Lake area , Texas)
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To: ArmyBratsMom
Don't know if you've seen this thread or not ... but it is worth a look. The damage IS that bad ...

"Rita Damage to SW Louisiana worse than being reported"

I think hurricanes can smell unpreparedness the way that animals smell fear. Rita sniffed at Texas. "Those folk are ready." Rita sniffed at Louisiana. "Those folks ain't as ready. Let's go there. More fun."

1,590 posted on 09/25/2005 10:29:54 AM PDT by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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To: No Blue States

Starting to wonder if figuring out hurricanes is nothing more than getting enough sleep and having the map at the right zoom level.

Around the same time as reports about the dam started coming out, we also got reports of significant structural damage at Nacogdoches and Lufkin, Texas.

On the map, those two cities and the dam (plus the towns of Livingston and Coldspring too) are all in a straight line. That points to some kind of a downburst type event, not unexpected in a hurricane which is in the process of coming ashore and collapsing.

Warm air always wants to rise and the process of condensation generates tremendous heat, which accelerates the ascent. But what goes up must come down, and in certain collapsing systems, a sort of unnatural equilibrium can occur, where the system is in stasis, but with tremendous potential energy, in the classic case of potential energy.

A huge mass of barely rising or falling wet air can be a time bomb waiting to happen, and when the right trigger comes along, it detonates.

A small pocket of descending air can accomodate more moisture as it warms adiabatically, and under the right conditions, it does, entraining moisture from the surrounding air. The process is essentially evaporation when viewed in terms of the overall energy budget, which removes that same tremendous quantity of heat and (again, under the right conditions) can initiate a cascade. The more that descends, the more that cools. The more that cools, the more that falls. It can be a very vicious cycle, I've seen marble headstones snapped clean off six inches above ground level across a fair sized cemetary resulting from a thunderstorm's collapse.

I think there's a good chance we had some sort of a downburst event along the line from Nacogdoches to Livingston, and that that downburst caught hold of a significant volume of already choppy lake water and shoved it up against the dam.

If all that's true, I predict you'll find wind damage at Cold Spring, southwest of the Lake, and possible surge damage on the southwest side of the lake as well. An aerial survey should also show a clearly defined damage path between Nacogdoches and Lufkin, and between Lufkin and the Lake.

In any event, the "wall" of water would have smacked into the dam at an oblique angle and at the very least, removed the riprap (chunks of old broken up concrete roadbed are sometimes used) facing. Odds are that there was some cratering on the upstream face as well, since the removal of tons of broken concrete or rock doesn't happen without affecting the underlying earthen fill. It may well have topped the dam and done some cratering on the other side, notched the dam's crest, transported some fill around, whatever it was that they first saw that raised the possibility in their minds that they could lose the whole dam.

You don't deliberately create a full scale flood without serious reason. The question then becomes how big a wave hit the dam. Enough mass, moving at a high enough velocity can raise questions as to the entire structure's integrity.

You can bet that they are watching the downstream face of the dam for any sign of seepage, which can take some time to manifest after any cracks or percolation are effected on the upstream face or in the core block structure. One tiny crack breaching the integrity of the core block (usually clay, sometimes concrete) can be all it takes, but full failure may take days to occur afterwards. Once water reaches the downstream face unnoticed, it's usually all over. It's very hard to stop water once a quantity of it starts flowing.

In the meantime, they get the water levels low as fast as they can. It allows them to see more of what has been damaged, and it reduces the pressure on the now questionable structure.

Unless you go looking for it (or the dam fails), you may not hear much more about this. Dam authorities like for the people downstream to regard their dams as monoliths, unfazed by wind or storm, always safe. There will be an assessment, and several reports released, but they might not be calling press conferences when they do.

This case may be an exception to that general policy, because once you roust the downstream residents out of their homes for an evacuation, there is also a need to reassure them that all has been inspected and pronounced safe.

We'll just have to watch the news and see what comes out.

1,591 posted on 09/25/2005 10:30:11 AM PDT by jeffers
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To: laz

Here is a lamestream quote for you. AP is p!ssed that this did not fit their agenda:
"Not all Texans were happy with a slow return home. John Willy, the top elected official in Brazoria County, southwest of Houston, said he would ignore the state's staggered return plan.

"I am not going to wait for our neighbors to the north to get home and take a nap, before I ask our good people to come home," he said in a statement. "Our people are tired of the state's plan! They have a plan too and it's real simple. They plan to come home when they want.";_ylt=Ak7yfOtQjfEDlzg.W8vy4HuCbpwv;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

1,592 posted on 09/25/2005 10:32:03 AM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever (The Land o' Gar (yes I have a gunrack in my truck))
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To: ekwd

True story. I heard Sheila Jackson Lee say this in a press conference just hours ago. Eckels, White etc.. are encouraging people who work at gas stations/convenience stores to get back to work so gas can come in and Sheila takes the podium and says the "jobbers" need to return to work. I am NOT making this up.

She didn't mention if the people working on Mars should.

1,593 posted on 09/25/2005 10:32:28 AM PDT by Lanza ( Houston - Clear Lake area , Texas)
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To: Spktyr
I predict a bright future for him in Texas politics, unless he does something totally stupid. Texans in general have a very good grasp of the difference between "free citizen" and "serf".

Glad to hear that about Mayor White. He sounds like a good man. When I lived in Texas (Irving), Houston had Kathy Whitmire as Mayor - she was a real trip! I remember one controversy she provoked when she decided that western-style cowboy hats were inappropriate accessories for the uniforms for Houston law enforcement, and tried to force them to change to the Eastern big-city style peaked caps. Don't remember if she got away with it, though.

Be safe, and well, and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

1,594 posted on 09/25/2005 10:35:19 AM PDT by tarheelswamprat (Texan By Choice)
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To: Lanza

Jobbers are the independent fuel distributors. They even have trade groups. This was not derogatory rhetoric (this time).

1,595 posted on 09/25/2005 10:35:38 AM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever (The Land o' Gar (yes I have a gunrack in my truck))
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To: john316

"I just learned about a problem with the Lake Livingston dam. Does anyone KNOW what is going on with this? Is this release precautionary or is there a major problem?"

I just know what I read in the papers. I am in the Hill Country right now, waiting to return to my house in League City. But what I read was that the dam was damaged and the authorities that manage the dam did a precautionary release. But that might be a preliminary report.

1,596 posted on 09/25/2005 10:36:06 AM PDT by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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To: Lanza

Jobbers are the independent and privately owned oil sales and delivery companies.

1,597 posted on 09/25/2005 10:36:32 AM PDT by Conservababe
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To: No Truce With Kings

We have hundreds of 100-foot tall 3-foot diameter trees here. You would be surprised about how much damage they can do to a house.

1,598 posted on 09/25/2005 10:36:55 AM PDT by ekwd (Murphy's Law Has Not Been Repealed)
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To: ARealMothersSonForever

Okay, my apologies to the Congresswoman. I have heard her say so many stupid things, I thought this was one of them.

Stupid me.

1,599 posted on 09/25/2005 10:37:32 AM PDT by Lanza ( Houston - Clear Lake area , Texas)
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To: Conservababe

Yeah, just found that out. Now I feel stupid.

1,600 posted on 09/25/2005 10:38:45 AM PDT by Lanza ( Houston - Clear Lake area , Texas)
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