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In the eye of Category 5 Rita     Send a link to a friend

From Global American

Sept. 22, 3:30 a.m.

[Posted as received from the source]

[SEPT. 22, 2005]  HOUSTON -- As I write this, a Category 5 hurricane (Rita) is bearing down on us living on the Texas coast. Winds currently are hitting 175 mph, the most powerful storm ever to focus on Texas. Roofs start coming off at 125 mph. The storm surge is expected to be 20-25 feet.

Within 24 hours we will lose power, which could last for weeks.

Ironically, I just spent the past two weeks working with the Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Now up to 4 million Houstonians are becoming evacuees as well. I'm looking at the two large pine trees in front of our house, wondering if they will be in the house by this weekend, if there is still a house standing. We live sixty miles from the coastline and they expect our winds to exceed 120 miles per hour by the time it gets here!

People are taking this seriously and streaming out of town. TV reports that people who left Houston yesterday spent 10-13 hours to get to Dallas, which is normally a 4-hour trip. Today it is closer to a 20-hour trip! Traffic is crawling 5 mph (and slower) and people are running out of gas on the road. Gas stations are jammed -- if they even have gas.

The nation as a whole will take a hit along with Houston, because of the major refineries here that were spared when Katrina hit New Orleans. Rita is expected to hit just to the west of Houston, meaning the "dirty" side with the greatest storm surge will flood the ship channel industries and the refineries that produce about 15% of the nation's gas.

Galveston Island will be covered up by a 20-foot storm surge. Even NASA in Clear Lake will be flooded. Space operations have been shifted to Russia for the space station.

Will we stay or go? My wife and I have two dogs and two cats. We face a 20-hour drive with Henri, a 100-pound dog who loves to eat and can be grumpy, Lexie (the friendliest dog in the world), 10-pount Minou who hates Henri and an aging kitty Louis XIV who gets carsick.

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Traffic will get worse at daybreak. We may have to stick it out along with a lot of other people. My gut says get the heck out of here.

Survivors will be "camping out" for weeks without power or water. It will be like a bomb hitting Houston.

Wish all of us Godspeed. I'm praying it moves east enough to get us out of the worst winds. You may not hear from me for some time if we stay (lucky break right?). I will try to give brief updates on my blog at

Michael Fjetland*
Global American Series
Cell 713-213-5080

*Pronounced "Fetland.: International Attorney/Negotiator (over 55 countries), `91 Gulf War Analyst, 9 11 TV terrorism expert and a volunteer pilot and ground team member for the USAF Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) which does search and rescue.

Michael is based in the Houston area.


[Global American]

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