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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: Lanza

Oh pshaww...I learn something new every day on FR and I don't consider myself stupid.

1,601 posted on 09/25/2005 10:40:31 AM PDT by Conservababe
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To: tarheelswamprat

When I lived in Houston Lee.P.Brown was mayor and what a useless POS he was.

1,602 posted on 09/25/2005 10:41:08 AM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: tarheelswamprat

So you're saying that the people in Texas who go back won't ask the authorities for ANY help? No electricity, no water, no sewage, no police patrols, etc.? Because is a lot of those places that's what they are going to face.

1,603 posted on 09/25/2005 10:43:29 AM PDT by Howlin (No, I'm not as nice as NautiNurse. :-))
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To: ARealMothersSonForever
You did re-iterate that us commoners should wait until the government made everything SAFE for us.

Since you insist on misconstruing my every statement, I'd say we're done here.

1,604 posted on 09/25/2005 10:44:39 AM PDT by Howlin (No, I'm not as nice as NautiNurse. :-))
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To: Spktyr

My daughter is pulling at me to go to the local pumpkin patch to hunt us up a couple good 'uns ... so this will be my only post for a while...

I found the stories I wanted to see:

Oil industry escapes serious damage from Rita

Crude futures fall in rare Sunday trading

All is well ... (except in LA ...)

1,605 posted on 09/25/2005 10:44:50 AM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: LA Woman3

Rent payments offered for Katrina evacuees

But Blanco wants them to have La. housing

More red tape involved with trailer communities

By Robert Travis Scott
Capital bureau

BATON ROUGE - Launching a new program to provide temporary living assistance and to clear shelters nationwide of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the federal government in the next few days will begin making lump-sum payments of $2,358 toward three months rent for each qualified evacuee who obtains housing anywhere in the country.

The news Friday took Gov. Kathleen Blanco by surprise and opened a new rift between her administration and President Bush on the critical issue of how Louisiana will lure back its citizens from the dramatic New Orleans diaspora caused by the storm. It also placed Blanco and Bush at odds over the option of erecting large trailer parks in Louisiana for evacuees.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the lump-sum payments, made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cover temporary housing costs for "several hundred thousand" homeowners and renters whose homes were destroyed or are uninhabitable. After the initial lump-sum payment, further assistance will be available for up to 18 months depending on the circumstances, he said.

Low-income evacuees who before the storm received federal housing vouchers through the Department of Housing and Urban Development will continue to get financial support through local public housing authorities wherever they choose to live across the country.

"We're going to make sure that victims of this disaster, whatever their economic circumstances, get the necessary financial assistance to ensure that they can obtain a temporary residence for the time being," Chertoff said. "These programs have been designed to give families the maximum amount of flexibility and freedom to decide where they want to relocate and what they want to do over the next few months."

The issue of interim housing has become one of the most controversial among the debates on post-Katrina government policy. Federal and state officials want to get evacuees out of shelters and uncomfortable living conditions as soon as possible, but there is disagreement on where to place them until they can find permanent housing.

The longer evacuees become integrated in places outside Louisiana, state officials say, the less likely they are to return. If they find some form of housing in the New Orleans area, even temporarily, they can fill jobs and help restart the region's economy, the officials say.

Blanco has been pushing for a program to place evacuees in hotels and newly established trailer parks with community services in Louisiana, but she learned of the new federal initiative late Friday morning, just before Chertoff and HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson made the announcement in Washington, D.C.

"The announcement today from HUD and Homeland Security about rental assistance and housing vouchers may certainly address the needs of our friends in Alabama and Mississippi," Blanco said. "But it does little for Louisiana citizens who want to come home, and we'd like our citizens to be able to come to Louisiana for this interim period."

The FEMA rent payments will be a further inducement to keep Louisiana citizens out of state because, practically speaking, few of the payments can be used locally, Blanco said. Hurricane Katrina decimated the housing stock in the New Orleans region, and what was left there and across southern Louisiana has been bought or rented, she said.

Blanco on Friday asked FEMA to accelerate the purchase of blocks of hotel and motel rooms and to "dramatically speed the delivery of trailers for our transitional communities." These would be supplemented nearby with services for health care, education, child care and transportation.

"The path that I've outlined - moving our people from shelters or the homes of in-laws or friends and into hotels and transitional trailer communities here in Louisiana - gives our people hope," Blanco said. "It gives them a clear path that they can see, a path that will help them get their lives together and get them home to Louisiana."

Trailer and mobile home communities have been slow in coming, partly because of the complicated logistics of finding suitable sites that can handle the temporary villages.

Chertoff said FEMA continues to move forward to establish trailer villages in Louisiana and acknowledged that some towns and parishes want them because of the labor force they will provide. But if people decide to live in a FEMA-supplied trailer or mobile home, Chertoff said, they will not be eligible for the new rent subsidy.

"So it's not meant to substitute for the trailers, but it's meant to recognize the fact that as we speak not everybody can or necessarily wants to get into trailers," Chertoff said.

Establishing trailer villages with economic and social support services will require a complex government effort. Chertoff said the lump-sum payment program will reduce red tape.

Sen. David Vitter said no temporary housing solution is ideal, but the key to getting people back to Louisiana is to develop economic opportunities for them to return. He said he needed to learn more about Blanco's and FEMA's proposals to form an opinion on them. But whatever the solution, he said, he does not want the government to make evacuees' lives so uncomfortable that they use their poor conditions as the reason to come back.

FEMA relief programs can give an evacuee up to $26,200 for the emergency needs of food, shelter, clothing, personal items and medical conditions. The agency has sought ways to get initial payments of that cash quickly to the Katrina victims without requiring extensive paperwork and proof of need.

Soon after Katrina, FEMA expedited evacuee checks of $2,000 as an initial emergency payment. More than 747,000 households have qualified for some kind of assistance through FEMA on an immediate basis, and 648,000 of those have received more than $1.5 billion in expedited funds, according to the agency. The new rent program probably will cost about $2 billion for the three-month period, Chertoff said.

To receive the lump-sum payment by check or electronic transfer, evacuees from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana must have registered through FEMA by calling (800) 621-FEMA or applying online at Applicants need to register only once, but should update their registration if their address has changed. The initial payment is calculated based on the national average fair market rent rate for a two-bedroom unit. The payment is portable and may be applied to temporary housing costs "for any location an evacuee determines," FEMA says.

Eligible households will receive a letter describing specific rules and guidelines on the eligible use of the funds. Eventually, the submission of rental receipts and other documentation will be required.

Chertoff said the lump-sum checks and bank transfers would start flowing this week, but that people should anticipate it will take a few days to receive them. Those evacuees who have registered for direct deposit will get the money sooner, he said.

1,606 posted on 09/25/2005 10:45:18 AM PDT by Ellesu (
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To: Spktyr

Interesting story about those hard-working linesmen:

The gal that cuts my hair is married a line worker. She told me that the first time he was called to help restore power to a disaster area up north he was stunned at what the lineworkers up there did. After working all day, at 4:30, the norther workers started packing up to call it a day.

My friend's husband was stunned and asked what they were doing, especially since so many people were still without power. The bottom line was they were union workers, and that was all they had to work. Needless to say, the line workers from Texas, kept on working until they had power restored.

1,607 posted on 09/25/2005 10:47:22 AM PDT by Aggie Mama (Cypress, in NW Houston)
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To: Spktyr

In the way you suggest, the government does trust you.

However, there are issues beyond trust. These are simple reality. Human beings eat, and a certain time later, they excrete. In the absence of any public sanitation measures, the health risks follow an exponential curve. During the Katrina aftermath I calculated it would require 300 portable toilets to service 30,000 people at the Superdome.

Per day.

Several million people is a whole different order of magnitude. Add that to a shortage of drinking water, and the risks increase yet again. It isn't a matter of trust, it is the logistics of literally tons of human waste that needs safe disposal. If 5 million people each generate a quarter pound of waste per day, that comes out to 625 tons, or better put, 15 or 16 tractor trailer loads per day. It doesn't just vanish, not without impact.

The other simple reality is that there are only so many freeway lanes, which each only hold so many cars.

In short, moving a couple million people back into the city requires either a little advance planning, to check the operation of basic services and to allow for orderly transit, or else it requires outright negligence if none of this is done.

No government worth having would choose the second course. They know a certain percentage will make their own decisions. You won't see them prosecuting the blockade runners after the fact, though they may chase a few down to make a point. Their big concern is for the bulk of the population and the policies they are following generally follw the needs of a group that size.

When that doesn't happen, then there should be and almost always is, an outcry and resultant change.

1,608 posted on 09/25/2005 10:49:44 AM PDT by jeffers
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To: SVTCobra03

Things would have been so much worse had he been running the show.

I think White has done a good job. Mistakes have been made, but I think this was a learning experience and it will go smoother if there is ever a next time.

1,609 posted on 09/25/2005 10:50:33 AM PDT by Lanza ( Houston - Clear Lake area , Texas)
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To: Howlin
HI Howlin, we dodged it here in Houston (Thank You God). My yard is covered in leaves and tree limbs and our electricity was off for about 16 hours but other than that we are great. I tried cleaning up my yard but I discovered I am not as young as I used to be and I'll have to wait for expert assistance. The back yard is so deep in debris that my dogs were afraid to go out and potty. LOL!
1,610 posted on 09/25/2005 10:50:50 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Ditter, I am so glad to hear this; what a relief! And, yes, thank God.

Just do like we do in the snow for the dogs: clear a spot! :-)

1,611 posted on 09/25/2005 10:52:37 AM PDT by Howlin (No, I'm not as nice as NautiNurse. :-))
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To: Sunnyflorida

If you watch a sunset in Galveston you will watch it set over the i-45 bridge many times of the year

And this bridge runs over what? Water?

1,612 posted on 09/25/2005 10:56:57 AM PDT by RGVTx
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To: ekwd

Got it?

1,613 posted on 09/25/2005 10:57:35 AM PDT by MAWG (In the shadows, on permanent ambush duty.)
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To: Ellesu

Poor Blank-o and Naggin. They can now see that they will NEVER get their serfs back. Especilly the ones from Texas. Anyone that advocates pumping out the 9th ward and dropping in a fresh slum of manufactured housing anytime within the next 5 years, ought to have their noggin examined. I sure hope their search and rescue effort is going well in SW Louisana. Seeng as how they botched another evacuation, at the expense of their poor caucasian citizens. Every tax-paying American should be outraged.

1,614 posted on 09/25/2005 10:58:01 AM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever (The Land o' Gar (yes I have a gunrack in my truck))
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To: ARealMothersSonForever

Wrong parish gets evacuation warning

A snag in Gov. Kathleen Blanco's automated telephone message setup led to residents of the wrong parish being told on Thursday to evacuate for Hurricane Rita.
Blanco resorted to the mass calls in hopes the governor's recorded voice would be persuasive enough to get people in the path of the storm to get to higher ground.

The company that set up the message confused Jefferson Parish with Jefferson Davis Parish, said the governor's deputy press secretary, Roderick Hawkins.

The message was supposed to be only for Cameron, Calcasieu, Vermilion, St. Mary, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Terrebonne, Assumption and Acadia parishes.

The mistake was corrected, Hawkins said.

Lawmakers to review response to Katrina

New state House and Senate panels have been appointed to look into disaster response, recovery, relief and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The panels will make recommendations for policy and law changes.

The chairman of the House panel will be Rep. John Alario, D-Westwego, and vice chairman will be Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, D-New Orleans. Co-chairmen of the Senate panel will be Sens. Walter Boasso, R-Chalmette, and Ed Murray, D-New Orleans.

Ascension sheriff takes Association post

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley is the newly elected president of the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association. Wiley will serve in the post until September 2006.

Other new officers are Iberia Parish Sheriff Sid Hebert, first vice president; St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne, second vice president; Madison Parish Sheriff Larry Cox, secretary-treasurer; and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones, sergeant-at-arms.

The association is a professional law enforcement and public safety organization established in 1938.

Campbell Brown's La. reports win favor

Former Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown's daughter, Campbell, is one of the few reporters sent down by the networks to cover Hurricane Katrina who could pronounce Louisiana names.

Her reports, including having a 9-year-old guide her through the Convention Center, have made the NBC correspondent and "Today, Weekend Edition" co-anchor a leading contender to succeed the "Today" show's Katie Couric, according to U.S. News & World Report.

NBC officials say they hope Couric stays with NBC until next year, but she has been named as a leading candidate for the nightly news anchor jobs at ABC and CBS.

Red Cross' storm costs will reach $2 billion

Jack Sheehan, public information officer for the American Red Cross, said recovery efforts for Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina will cost the organization $2 billion. Sheehan said that is 20 times more expensive than any previous Red Cross disaster.

Lt. Gen. Honore: 'We ain't stuck on stupid'

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore took after reporters who questioned the city of New Orleans' plan of gathering people at the Convention Center to await evacuation for Hurricane Rita, particularly given the number of people who died there while waiting to evacuate from Hurricane Katrina.

Mayor Ray Nagin stumbled during Wednesday's news conference. Honore jumped in to remind reporters that those questions were about Katrina and not Rita.

Honore used the same colorful quote the week before to explain away government's slow response.

"This is a disaster," he said on Sept. 11. "This isn't something somebody can control. We ain't stuck on stupid."

New Orleans may well be 'Houstonized' 'Houstonization' not derogatory after all

The Houston Press took offense that plans to bulldoze large sections of the Crescent City have been likened as a step toward the "Houstonization of New Orleans."

The newspaper tracked down the source of the quote, S. Frederick Starr, who turns out to be the author of the hardcover book, "Southern Comfort: The Garden District of New Orleans."

When asked what that meant, Starr was quoted saying, "I think 'Houstonization' is simply mass demolition followed by low-density, green-fields development. … All those one-story houses that go on forever."

"OK, OK. So he's got a point," conceded Press columnist Richard Connelly.

Compiled from the notebooks of John LaPlante, Mark Ballard, Marsha Shuler, Will Sentell, Michelle Millhollon and Jessica Fender of the Capitol news bureau.

Click here to return to story:

1,615 posted on 09/25/2005 11:00:10 AM PDT by Ellesu (
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To: Ellesu
The news Friday took Gov. Kathleen Blanco by surprise and opened a new rift between her administration and President Bush on the critical issue of how Louisiana will lure back its citizens from the dramatic New Orleans diaspora caused by the storm.

She really, really doesn't want to lose a single vote, does she? Is she even aware of how pathetic and transparent she is? Of course not; why do I ask?

On a different note: can FNC's Greg Kelly make a single report without talking about how some people are accusing Bush of overcompensating in his reaction to Rita for his supposed slow reaction to Katrina? It seems he prefaces every report with this. I was watching FNC, turned back to TWC after that.

1,616 posted on 09/25/2005 11:04:17 AM PDT by laz (They can bus 'em to the polls, but they can't bus 'em out of the path of a Cat 5 hurricane.)
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To: ARealMothersSonForever
Every tax-paying American should be outraged.

Even more since she made a snide remark about the Texas evacuation. I haven't seen any deaths reported in Texas due directly from Rita, no one there getting plucked from roof tops or left standing on an interstate.
1,617 posted on 09/25/2005 11:05:20 AM PDT by Ellesu (
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To: Ellesu
Rent payments offered for Katrina evacuees

But Blanco wants them to have La. housing

More red tape involved with trailer communities

Ascension voted no to the trailer parks.
1,618 posted on 09/25/2005 11:05:22 AM PDT by LA Woman3
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To: jeffers

Awesome post Jeffers.

Had Rita stalled in the Lufkin or Nacodoches area I believe Lake Livingston dam may have gave way.
The flood may have topped the dam that already had some sort of damage. Not good.
I wonder if they will drain the entire lake to check for leaks, and how bad the actual damage is/was.
The lake appears to be dropping about an inch per hour with the 80k cfs release.

Ps: Ive lived in tornado alley for 42 years and the worst wind ive seen was from a downburst.

1,619 posted on 09/25/2005 11:06:10 AM PDT by No Blue States (FW)
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To: jeffers

Now you have gone and done it...
Look, we moved somewhere around 3 million people out. Remember the rows of porta-potties along the evac routes? 36 hours. Yes, people had to relieve themselves. Remember the human excrement 3 feet deep on I-45?
The porta-potties did not happen. Neither did we cr@p all over the interstate and wallow in it. Jeez-Louise man. This is exactly why Texans do NOT want to hang out in a FEMA-run shelter. They just want to get back as close as they can to pitch in and fix stuff. Y'all will thank us for conserving money and freeing up federal resources sooner than later.

1,620 posted on 09/25/2005 11:06:42 AM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever (The Land o' Gar (yes I have a gunrack in my truck))
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