Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Unlovely Rita

With the Gulf of Mexico still in super-heated roil mode, some weather forecasters expect Hurricane Rita to become a Category 4 storm this afternoon. Rita's most probable target is somewhere on the Texas coast between Galveston and Corpus Christi.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for Galveston County and low-lying areas of Harris County. I'm not sure I'd try to ride out a direct hit from a Category 4 hurricane in Houston, either. I'd rather leave town for a day or so, then head home if the infrastructure is still relatively intact.

Anyone trying to find refuge in Austin will be disappointed unless you already have reservations or someone to stay with. Most lodging within 50 miles was already booked for this weekend's ACL Music Festival. As of last night, festival organizers didn't expect any Rita-related disruptions.

In addition, E! Online is reporting that the ACL stages will be used to host this year's Voodoo Music Festival, which was supposed to take place in New Orleans October 29-30. Nine Inch Nails, the Flaming Lips and the New York Dolls were among the acts scheduled to play that festival.

I would wish all my fellow Texan coast dwellers good luck, but that's what I wished New Orleans before Katrina.

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