Forecasters said Rita could be the most intense hurricane on record ever to hit Texas, and easily one of the most powerful ever to plow into the U.S. mainland. Category 5 is the highest on the scale, and only three Category 5 hurricanes are known to have hit the U.S. mainland — most recently, Andrew, which smashed South Florida in 1992.I was huddled in a hallway in the University of Miami's Pearson Residential College when Andrew struck. I remember thinking that not heading north might have been a mistake when the entire building shook as Andrew's winds buffeted the structure. And Miami didn't even get the brunt of it. Was it bad? You bet. But it wasn't Homestead. That was bad.
And so here we are, with a furious Category 5 storm in the Gulf of Mexico. As I said, Texas looks like it's going to be on the receiving end. Once again, as we saw with Katrina, the destruction will be massive wherever Rita makes landfall. Even if she "softens" down to a Category 4 or 3 storm, she's still a major hurricane.
People will probably get killed, property will be destroyed, and the looters will be out in force. Again.
Allow me to digress for a moment on the looting aspect: Contrary to the left-wing hysterics in the MSM, who would have you believe that the term "looter" and the act of looting were racist right-wing constructs invented in the wake of Katrina, looting after storms like this is nothing new. It happened after Andrew. It happened in Louisiana and Mississippi after Katrina, and it's going to happen in Texas if Rita lands there. There are bad people everywhere, and they will take advantage of others' misfortune. That's reality.
All that's left to do now is wait and pray. If you're in an evacuation zone, by all means get the hell out. You don't want to hang around to see what happens when Rita makes landfall.
It could be the last thing you ever see.
As she did with Katrina, Michelle Malkin is blogging extensively and aggregating info from other bloggers covering Rita. Her most recent roundups are here and here. Read them.