Yet Another Hurricane

Staff Emeritus
It has been one right after the other this hurricane season. Classes are canceled tomorrow, there are really long lines at the gasoline station and FPL is cutting down trees that could potentially down power lines.

Personally, I'm not so worried about this one making a big impact in my area. The biggest issue would be flooding since the ground is already staturated with water.

After this hurricane passes Florida where will it go? New Orleans? Texas?

http://tribunewx.wunderground.com/data/images/at200518_5day.gif [Broken]

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zoobyshoe
They are evacuating the Florida Keys for this one. They're not sure where it will hit after that, but are worried.

Entropy
Now it's Louisiana's turn to get hit by four storms in a row. I live in Florida and went through all four of the storms and they weren't fun at all. The worst part, for my family at least, was having no AC. It SUCKS beyond all belief. Your totally bored with no electricity and you can't sleep through it because it's too DAMN HOT! Normally I can sleep twenty hours in a row, but with the heat it's almost impossible to sleep at all and if you do manage to sleep you still wake up every 30 mins to discover a pool of sweat under you.

zoobyshoe
Yeah, no AC would suck bigtime.

Staff Emeritus
From NHC/NOAA
Tropical Storm Rita Advisory Number 7
Nws Tpc/national Hurricane Center Miami Fl
11 Am Edt Mon Sep 19 2005

At 11 Am Edt...1500z...a Hurricane Warning Is Issued For The Extreme
Southern Florida Peninsula From Golden Beach Southward To Florida
City And Westward To East Cape Sable.

A Hurricane Warning Remains In Effect For All Of The Florida Keys
From Ocean Reef To The Dry Tortugas...including Florida Bay.

A Hurricane Warning Is In Effect For The Exumas And For Andros
Island In The Northwest Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Warning Is In
Effect For The Turks And Caicos And For All Of The Remainder Of The
Bahamas.

A Hurricane Warning Is In Effect For The Cuban Provinces Of Villa
Clara And Matanzas. A Hurricane Watch Remains In Effect For The
Provinces Of Ciudad De Habana...la Habana...and Pinar Del Rio. A
Tropical Storm Watch Remains In Effect For The Provinces Of Ciego
De Avila...sancti Spiritus...and Cienfuegos.

At 11 Am Edt...a Tropical Storm Warning And A Hurricane Watch Are
Now In Effect From Deerfield Beach Florida Southward To North Of
Golden Beach.

At 11 Am Edt...a Tropical Storm Warning Is Issued Along The Florida
East Coast From North Of Deerfield Beach Northward To Jupiter
Inlet.

At 11 Am Edt...a Hurricane Watch Is Issued For The Extreme
Southwestern Florida Peninsula From West Of East Cape Sable
Northward To Chokoloskee.

At 11 Am Edt...a Tropical Storm Watch Is Issued For The Southwest
Florida Coast From North Of Chokoloskee To Englewood.

For Storm Information Specific To Your Area...including Possible
Inland Watches And Warnings...please Monitor Products Issued

At 11 Am Edt...1500z...the Center Of Tropical Storm Rita Was Located
Near Latitude 23.0 North... Longitude 75.2 West Or About 195
Miles... 315 Km... Southeast Of Nassau And About 430 Miles
East-southeast Of Key West Florida.

Rita Is Moving Toward The West-northwest Near 12 Mph... 19 Km/hr...
And This Motion Is Expected To Continue During The Next 24 Hours.

Maximum Sustained Winds Are Near 65 Mph...100 Km/hr...with Higher
Gusts. Some Strengthening Is Forecast During The Next 24 Hours...
And Rita Could Become A Category One Hurricane Tonight.

Tropical Storm Force Winds Extend Outward Up To 145 Miles
...230 Km From The Center.

Estimated Minimum Central Pressure Is 994 Mb...29.35 Inches.

Rita Is Expected To Produce Total Rainfall Accumulations Of 4 To 6
Inches Over The Southeastern And Central Bahamas...with Possible
Isolated Maximum Amounts Of 8 Inches. Storm Totals Of 6 To 10
Inches...with Isolated Maximum Amounts Of 15 Inches Will Be
Possible In The Florida Keys And Northwestern Cuba...with 3 To 5
Inches Possible Across The Southern Florida Peninsula.

Storm Surge Flooding Of 6 To 9 Feet Above Normal Tide Levels...along
With Large And Dangerous Battering Waves...are Possible In The
Florida Keys In Areas Of Onshore Flow. Coastal Storm Surge
Flooding Of 3 To 5 Feet Are Possible Along The Extreme Southeastern
Florida Coast...and In The Northwestern Bahamas.

This definitely could be a Cat 1 hurricane by the time it gets to Florida. But watch out if it gets to the Gulf. It definitely could get up to a Cat 3.

Check out this years trends, and Rita might follow the path Katrina took! Or Rita could split the difference of the paths of Katrina and Emily and hit Houston. But based on the more northerly track, it would seem likely Rita is headed for somewhere between New Orleans and Pensacola, unless it takes a sharp right turn over Florida.
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/images/at2005.gif

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Gold Member
Oops, I haven't even been watching the news the last week or so. They're on R already? Anyway, I'm glad I saw this. I'm not in the track I've seen, but still... :uhh:

I hope it doesn't hit any Katrina evacuees in Texas.

cefarix
zoobyshoe said:
Yeah, no AC would suck bigtime.

Most houses (and my dorm btw) don't have AC here. In the summer temperatures can reach 40 to 50 C (thats 104 F to 122 F). But we have high-speed ceiling fans, and people usually keep what are called 'desert coolers' in their living rooms. Desert coolers have water dripping through some material, dry grass usually, over which air is made to pass by a very powerful fan. Evaporation cools the air and makes it much like a cool pleasant day at the beach. But that doesn't work much if the humidity is 100%, like it is during the extreme summer days of Karachi (which thankfully don't last for a long time, and the night always has a pleasant cool sea breeze), which is a coastal city...you feel like you are breathing through a straw with that much humidity

zoobyshoe
cefarix said:
Most houses (and my dorm btw) don't have AC here.
Oh! I don't have Air Conditioning either. I thought he meant Alternating Current. Usually hurricanes knock all the power out.

Mentor
It looks like Florida won't have much to worry about, but if it gains strength in the warm Gulf waters, and keeps on the projected path, looks like it will hit near Houston from the map dduardo posted.

Staff Emeritus
Hurricane Rita has done some serious strengthening this morning!

HURRICANE RITA SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 12
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
2 PM EDT TUE SEP 20 2005

...RITA REACHES 100 MPH WINDS...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF THE FLORIDA KEYS...AND
FROM SOUTH OF FLORIDA CITY ON THE FLORIDA SOUTHEAST COAST SOUTHWARD
TO EAST CAPE SABLE...THEN NORTHWARD TO CHOKOLOSKEE ON THE SOUTHWEST
COAST.

Warnings have been deleted - see http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for actual advisories and warnings.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED

AT 2 PM EDT...1800Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 23.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 81.7 WEST OR ABOUT 50 MILES... 80
KM...SOUTH OF KEY WEST FLORIDA AND ABOUT 65 MILES...105 KM...
NORTHEAST OF HAVANA CUBA.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 15 MPH ...24 KM/HR...AND THIS
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON
THIS TRACK...THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE OVER
THE FLORIDA STRAITS BETWEEN THE CITY OF HAVANA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS
TODAY. HOWEVER...STRONG WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORTHERN EYEWALL
ARE EXPECTED TO IMPACT PORTIONS OF THE FLORIDA KEYS DIRECTLY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE REACHED 100 MPH...160 KM/HR...WITH
HIGHER GUSTS. RITA IS NOW A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE
SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE
NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES... 45 KM...
FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 120 MILES...195 KM.

LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY A RECONNAISSANCE PLANE
WAS 978 MB...28.88 INCHES.

STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 4 TO 6 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...ALONG
WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...ARE POSSIBLE IN THE
FLORIDA KEYS IN AREAS OF ONSHORE FLOW. COASTAL STORM SURGE
FLOODING OF 2 TO 4 FEET IS POSSIBLE ALONG THE EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN
FLORIDA COAST.

RITA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6
TO 8 INCHES OVER THE FLORIDA KEYS..CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN CUBA...
WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES. RAINFALLAMOUNTS OF 3 TO
5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN FLORIDA PENNISULA. RAINS
ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO DIMINISH ACROSS THE BAHAMAS.

THERE IS POSSIBILITY OF ISOLATED TORNADOS OVER SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE
FLORIDA KEYS.

Since Rita's eye is moving over water, it will not diminsh, but rather strengthen. Even though water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico may have cooled slightly (a few degrees C) due to Katrina, the waters are still warm and Rita will likely continue to strengthen. This hurricane should be considered extremely dangerous!

Take all warnings to evacuate seriously!

See GOES animated loop (10 images animated) -
Visible - http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/watl-vis-loop.html

Infrared - http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-ir4-loop.html

As a side note, as Rita heads across the Gulf, oil platforms will be taken off-line again. Oil prices will necessarily increase again. Also, if Rita follows Katrina it will likely damage refineries that recently came back on-line. If Rita heads to Houston/Galveston, it may take out additional refining capacity and fuel prices will again increase - perhaps to near $4.00/gal or more. How prepared is Houston for a direct hurricane hit? It's almost a coastal city, and very flood-prone (refer to t.s. Allison) - and now there's a potentially cat. 4-5 storm approaching that general area. djeipa I also hear a lot of news on tv and radio to later be able to save hundreds of people with my posts on boards. Kakarot man that's bad they evacuated people from louisiane and now they will be hit again in texas If anyone's up this early in the morning, it's at category 4 now. http://maps.wunderground.com/data/images/at200518.gif [Broken] Last edited by a moderator: hypatia Its another giant! Anywhere it hits, will be hit hard. Mentor Right now it appears it will miss Houston, but hurricanes can be very erratic. Staff Emeritus Science Advisor HURRICANE RITA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 15A NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 8 AM EDT WED SEP 21 2005 ...SATELLITE SUGGESTS THAT RITA HAS BECOME A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE... INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF RITA. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE. AT 8 AM EDT...1200Z...THE EYE OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 24.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 85.3 WEST OR ABOUT 195 MILES... WEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA AND ABOUT 790 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS. RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 14 MPH AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THIS MOTION SHOULD BRING THE CENTER OF RITA FARTHER AWAY FROM THE FLORIDA KEYS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO TODAY. SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGESTS THAT RITA HAS CONTINUED TO STRENGHTEN AND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 135 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. RITA IS NOW A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. A NOAA PLANE WILL CHECK THE INTENSITY LATER THIS MORNING. SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 948 MB...28.00 INCHES. COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 4 TO 6 FT ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS IS POSSIBLE IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA. STORM SURGE FLOODING ELSEWHERE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS AND SOUTH FLORIDA SHOULD SUBSIDE TODAY. RITA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF EXTREME SOUTHERN FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES...WITH MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS...ARE POSSIBLE OVER NORTHWEST CUBA. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE NORTHERN YUCATAN PENINSULA. Hurricane Rita could strengthen to Cat 5 on the http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.shtml In the last 6 hrs, Hurricane Rita has moved essentially due west. That path would put it in line with Brownsville, TX and the Rio Grande Valley (border between Mexico and US. However, as Evo pointed out hurricanes can be erratic and difficult to predict. It certainly could veer toward the NW or NNW and threaten the Texas Gulf Coast from Brownsville and Corpus Christi to Galveston/Houston area. High pressure systems over Colorado and the Ohio Valley just migh keep Rita going west. stoned Entropy said: Now it's Louisiana's turn to get hit by four storms in a row. I live in Florida and went through all four of the storms and they weren't fun at all. The worst part, for my family at least, was having no AC. It SUCKS beyond all belief. Your totally bored with no electricity and you can't sleep through it because it's too DAMN HOT! Normally I can sleep twenty hours in a row, but with the heat it's almost impossible to sleep at all and if you do manage to sleep you still wake up every 30 mins to discover a pool of sweat under you. You guys should Demand ! that all hydro wires ought to be put underground like they have in Europe. They have strong winds, storms and all that stuff in Europe and there are hardly any blackouts. gravenewworld cnn.com says gas=5$/gallon next week

Homework Helper
Up to a cat 5.

They skipped 'Q'? I've never seen the names get this far down the alphabet - I was kind of curious what 'Q' name they would use.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
stoned said:
You guys should Demand ! that all hydro wires ought to be put underground like they have in Europe.
They have strong winds, storms and all that stuff in Europe and there are hardly any blackouts.
That doesn't really work in those flood-prone areas. I think the water table is probably too high to bury them in many areas. I think I'll take the occassional winter blizzard over all these hurricanes (they're the price you pay for living in warm, coastal areas).

Staff Emeritus
Didn't the meteorologists say it would only get up to a Cat 3? What happened there?

"The letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z are not included because of the scarcity of names beginning with those letters." - noaa.gov

I got a good 'Q': Quagmire

Staff Emeritus
dduardo said:
Didn't the meteorologists say it would only get up to a Cat 3? What happened there?
NHC/NOAA has said it could get to Cat 5 - the Gulf of Mexico is quite warm.

The Houston/Galveston area has a number of refineries which could be damaged if Rita heads in there.

It seems that the Galveston/Trinity Bay Area will have a low tide Friday afternoon-evening.

Many newer neighborhoods in Houston and vicinty have underground power lines, but the main transmission lines are above ground.

Follow Rita during daylight hours with - http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/gmex-vis-loop.html

or http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-vis-loop.html

At night - infrared - http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/gmex-ir4-loop.html

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-ir4-loop.html

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
At the moment, I'm thanking my lucky stars that my previous boss didn't move to Galveston, which was an option before he chose Canada. If he did, I'd have probably been there now instead of safely tucked away in the WV mountains. So, do they have any better evacuation plans for the evacuees in Houston now than they did when they were stranded in New Orleans?

stoned
Moonbear said:
That doesn't really work in those flood-prone areas. I think the water table is probably too high to bury them in many areas. I think I'll take the occassional winter blizzard over all these hurricanes (they're the price you pay for living in warm, coastal areas).

It works in Holland, they are few meters under the sea level.

Mentor
dduardo said:
Didn't the meteorologists say it would only get up to a Cat 3? What happened there?
Possible new thread topic: it seems to me that NOAA underestimated both Rita and Katrina. Part of that may be due to how fast they strengthened, though. Paging through the NOAA ARCHIVE for Rita, it was still a tropical storm at 5:00am on 9/20 and the prediction at that time was for a peak of 100kt winds in 72 hours and this was the discussion:
RITA IS STILL EXPECTED TO REACH HURRICANE STRENGTH VERY SOON. ... STEADY...BUT NOT EXPLOSIVE DEVELOPMENT IS LIKELY DURING
THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS... RITA IS STILL FORECAST TO BECOME A MAJOR
HURRICANE. THE MOST RECENT SHIPS GUIDANCE...HOWEVER...DOES NOT
QUITE GET RITA THERE...AND I WOULD NOT BE SHOCKED IF RITA ENDS UP
FALLING JUST SHORT OF THAT THRESHOLD.
At 5:00pm, winds were 85kts and the forecast peak was up to 115kts. With this discussion:
THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS IN BETWEEN THE GFDL AND SHIPS MODELS BUT
NOT AS AGGRESSIVE AS THE LATTER WHICH BRINGS RITA TO 125 KNOTS.
HOWEVER SUCH INTENSIFICATION IS POSSIBLE.
At 5:00 am on the 21st, the winds were 105kts and the predicted peak was up to 125kts with this discussion:
THE SATELLITE SIGNATURE OF RITA GIVES EVERY IMPRESSION THAT RAPID
INTENSIFICATION IS CONTINUING... THE GFDL MODEL
PEAKS RITA AT ABOUT 120 KT IN 12-18 HR...THE SHIPS MODEL PEAKS IT
AT 122 KT IN 48 HR...AND THE SUPERENSEMBLE PEAKS IT AT 131 KT IN 48
HR. THE INTENSITY FORECAST WILL BRING THE SYSTEM TO 125 KT IN 24
HR AS A BLEND OF THESE FORECASTS. HOWEVER...IT WOULD NOT BE A
SURPRISE IF RITA BECAME A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE IN THE NEXT 24 HR
By 5:00 pm on the 21st (yesterday), it had blasted past the predictions and was a cat5 with 145kt winds and with no further intensification predicted. At 5:00am today, winds were at 150kt, still with no further intensification predicted. (edit: 150kts was the peak. At 11:00 today, it was down to 145kts).

Bottom line: 36 hours after it was at 85knots with a predicted peak of 100kts, it hit 150kts. That seems like a swing and a miss to me.

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Staff Emeritus
There seems to be some inconsistency between what is posted in the discussion of the advisories and what they are saying elsewhere. I heard comments attributed to NOAA/NHC officials that Rita could hit Cat 4/5, but that was when Rita was still Cat 1.

Katrina was suppose to cool off the Gulf waters, but Rita has been tracking south of Katrina's path.

My mom reported temperatures in the high 90's, low 100's around Houston, so the waters in the Gulf are still quite warm.

Rita has weakened slightly (winds down to 165 mph from 175 mph).

My folks, my sister's family and my sister-in-law's family are staying put in Houston. The Interstates are clogged with traffic, and petrol stations are running dry and so are many evacuees. Hotels within 150-200 miles of Houston are booked. Bottom line - this country is ill prepared for major disasters like Rita and Katrina.

Homework Helper
There's two reasons for bad predictions of the strength of Rita and Katrina.

The temperature of the Gulf is 'higher than it used to be', but historical temperatures are limited by technology as compared to the capabilities today. Today, you can get a very detailed thermal map of the Gulf thanks to better equipment, including monitoring temperatures via satellite. Today's thermal maps are compared to historical temperatures, some historical clues to past climate are tossed in, and the missing pieces are filled in by projecting today's model into yesterday. In other words, there is no fully detailed historical model of the Gulf's open waters and you can't be certain how much warmer Gulf waters are today compared to earlier times. This is one of the arguments against over-reacting to global warming, isn't it? How do we know we're really warmer than normal - or, how do we know we're not even more warmer than normal than scientists think - the error in the model actually has as much chance of underestimating global warming as it does overestimating global warming (I think it's probably being really blind to deny there's been no global warming at all).

No weatherman can make a living predicting a new record. Even if very severe weather is expected, you're not going to see a weatherman predict a record snow fall, a record high, a record cold, or history's most powerful hurricane. The predictions are always fudged towards 'average' levels which have a much more likely chance of actually occurring, even conditions are right for an extreme situation (any change in the situation is much more likely to be towards a middle level than to become more extreme).

Even with conditions obviously right for Katrina to rapidly increase in strength, it's probably hard for a weatherman to predict that the very next storm will increase just as rapidly.

Staff Emeritus
I don't think anyone is avoiding predicting a record, but I would hope that NHC are serious about warning the responsible authorities about storms like Katrina and Rita. The consequences of not evacuating people from the coast line would be horrific. As people around the coasts of Lousiana, Mississippi and Alabama found out, storm surges of 20-30+ feet (6-9 m) are not to be taken lightly. Water has a density of 1 metric/m3, and that will demolish most houses if it is going 30 mph. Now take a house that is 3 meters x 10 meters - which takes on 30 tons just from the first meter (horizontal) of water that hits it, and then add the 10's of meters of water behind it.

One of the managers at NOAA has suggested that this is part of a natural trend and the US should expect to see more severe hurricanes for the next one or two decades.

Global warming may indeed by a factor, but quantifying humanity's contribution to it is difficult because we do not have sufficient detailed quantitative historical records.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
And for those who are inclined to "ride it out":
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9439537/
From one mayor, a sobering message in attempt to get die-hards to leave

Mayor Alan Tharling of Port Lavaca, a city on the Texas coast between Houston and Corpus Christi, is taking creative measures to make citizens take the threat of Hurricane Rita seriously.

Tharling says that the 1,000 or so die-hards who refuse to evacuate are being given permanent markers and asked to write their Social Security number, next of kin and a phone number on their arm or across their abdomen — so that returning officials can identify their bodies.
My family all evacuated yesterday. They live in a coastal area of Houston. It took them about 13 hours to get to Austin.

zoobyshoe
Math Is Hard said:
My family all evacuated yesterday. They live in a coastal area of Houston. It took them about 13 hours to get to Austin.
Glad t hear they made it to Austin, and I hope there's no serious damage to the house.

Homework Helper
Math Is Hard said:
And for those who are inclined to "ride it out":
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9439537/
From one mayor, a sobering message in attempt to get die-hards to leave

Mayor Alan Tharling of Port Lavaca, a city on the Texas coast between Houston and Corpus Christi, is taking creative measures to make citizens take the threat of Hurricane Rita seriously.

Tharling says that the 1,000 or so die-hards who refuse to evacuate are being given permanent markers and asked to write their Social Security number, next of kin and a phone number on their arm or across their abdomen — so that returning officials can identify their bodies.

My family all evacuated yesterday. They live in a coastal area of Houston. It took them about 13 hours to get to Austin.
Well, I would go for the tatoo. That info also comes in handy when you don't quite make it home from the bar at night.

It probably makes them do a double take, anyway.

It reminds me of the aluminum siding company that would include your address, free of charge, on the hidden side of each piece of aluminum siding installed on your house (just in case, you know).

Mentor
My mother and sister live in Houston. I was there during the last Cat 5 hurricane that hit and we had zero damage, we lost electricity for a few days, that was it. I'm not sure if they are planning to stay, we've never left the house due to a hurricane, but the house is steel frame and brick, so it's as sturdy as any building designated as a shelter. I fear those 30 foot pines all around the house though, there could be roof damage.

Staff Emeritus