Thus far, it appears that Hurricane Rita, while bad, will not be as destructive as initially feared. Downgraded to "only" a Category 3 storm, Rita veered slightly to the east, sparing Galveston a direct hit. Nevertheless, Lake Charles, Louisiana (pop. 72,000) and Port Arthur, Texas (pop. 58,000) and surrounding areas have been hard-hit. Offshore oil and gas production along with refinery operations may be curtailed for some time.
Most people learned the right lesson from Katrina and fled inland. Rita is expected to stall out as it moves out of Louisiana, leading to significant flooding in northern Louisiana, East Texas and parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The way things are going, folks who live near the coast would be well advised to make this their home page.