Friday, September 23, 2005

Waiting, waiting

Starting to see some high clouds from the outer bands of Rita. We have a slight breeze coming in from the north. This should help cool things down, as they were unbearably hot yesterday. I am waiting on the 10:00 AM post from the National Hurricane Center as to where they think this thing might hit. Right now, if the previous forecasts hold, we are in a pretty safe, if not benign, spot.

Of course, every event like this will cause a lot of retrospection when it is all over. The current estimates I heard were that 2.5 or more million people evacuated. Most of these people evacuated out of areas that were well inland and were not likely to be severely damaged by the hurricane. Once again we see that fear is the most powerful motivational factor for human beings.

Looking at analogs, Hurricane Carla in 1961 killed 31 people in Texas. Hurricane Alicia in 1983, a Cat 3 that went right through the heart of Galveston and Houston, killed 21 people. Hurricane Camille, the largest storm to ever hit the coast of the US killed 255 people in 1969.

As a comparison, at least 24 people died this morning in one accident trying to flee this storm. I will bet that when this is all over, lots of others will have died also - from heat stroke, auto accidents, heart attacks, etc.

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