We are preparing for a Category 4 or even 5 Hurricane Rita.
Predictions are it will make landfall between Matagorta and Houston. It could come in at Galveston Bay.
We are expecting 110-130 mile an hour winds at our house in Sugar Land, Fort Bend County.
I met my classes tonight and my students are not prepared. It is very difficult to fathom sustained wind speeds of that intensity. Torandoes are very real to us, but some how experiencing this type of wind just doesn't seem real.
Galveston last experienced a hurricane in 1900 killed 12,000 people in the area and it destroyed the city. The single storm killed more people than the 300 or so hurricanes that have struck the U.S. since then combined. Officials tried to bury the dead at sea, but the bodies returned to the shore and had to be burned. They say the pyres lasted weeks.
From the wonky government professor perspective, it created a new form of local government --the commission form--in the aftermath of the storm. Texas no longer uses this form of government.
So many people are not leaving the area. We aren't going, yet. We may need to because of the lack of electricity and my husband's medical conditions. I don't believe we will flood as we are 82 feet above sea level and really closer than 63 miles from Galveston. I did indeed measure it by roads and not overland. At least 50 miles, perhaps 40 miles, to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel.
I will try to write and keep you posted on what it is like. So far the City of Houston hasn't been too silly, calm and yet mindful not to sound too laid-back. The stores are hectic, but the whole town is hectic so it is difficult to gage the atmosphere. Gas lines at the pumps. Lines in the stores. Lines out of town.