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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Painfully Familiar Situation...

Here we go again. Hurricane Rita is on her way. Gas prices are going up by the hour around here. I’m sure they are everywhere else too.

I’ve noticed that the state of Texas has been doing a lot of communicating with the folks down there. They’re evacuating hospitals and nursing homes and making sure that people are moving north. Public schools are closing as well as naval bases. Entire counties have issued mandatory evacuations.

Having read the National Weather Service’s postings, it sure doesn’t sound like the majority of Texas is going to have a good time of it at all. There are reports that things could get bad here in Oklahoma too if we get a lot of that rain. It’s my understanding that the city of Norman is preparing for flooding in the 100 year flood plain region they have down there. Things are looking dismal as forecasters are getting conflicting reports from their computer generated models on how this hurricane is going to track.

My brother lives near the coast and has already called Mom and told her that he will be evacuating to her house. He has also requested to bring a friend and his family up with him so that they will have a place to go. I know that my brother is real busy right now taking care of the business that he manages down there in El Campo. Mom said that they were securing everything and that my brother had hoped they would be finished with most of it by today.

The advisory that the National Weather Service has issued for high winds and rain includes the area where Mom and Dad live. They are saying to be prepared for downed power lines and trees. Mom and Dad live several hundred miles from the coast. This is a monster storm.

I believe that everyone I know lives on high ground. That’s good. I pray that there isn’t a lot of flooding. I have never seen the amount of rain that they are forecasting at one time before. I hope that I can still say that after this week-end.

Still praying…

later…



SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
1045 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005

OKZ004>048-050>052-TXZ083>090-221300-
ALFALFA OK-GRANT OK-KAY OK-WOODS OK-HARPER OK-WOODWARD OK-NOBLE OK-
ELLIS OK-GARFIELD OK-MAJOR OK-PAYNE OK-KINGFISHER OK-LOGAN OK-
BLAINE OK-DEWEY OK-ROGER MILLS OK-LINCOLN OK-CUSTER OK-CANADIAN OK-
OKLAHOMA OK-CADDO OK-BECKHAM OK-WASHITA OK-POTTAWATOMIE OK-
SEMINOLE OK-CLEVELAND OK-GRADY OK-MCCLAIN OK-HUGHES OK-KIOWA OK-
GREER OK-HARMON OK-PONTOTOC OK-GARVIN OK-COMANCHE OK-JACKSON OK-
COAL OK-ATOKA OK-STEPHENS OK-MURRAY OK-TILLMAN OK-JOHNSTON OK-
CARTER OK-COTTON OK-JEFFERSON OK-MARSHALL OK-BRYAN OK-LOVE OK-
HARDEMAN TX-WILBARGER TX-FOARD TX-WICHITA TX-CLAY TX-ARCHER TX-
KNOX TX-BAYLOR TX-
1045 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005

...IMPACTS ON OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS FROM HURRICANE RITA...

WHILE UNCERTAINTY STILL REMAINS IN THE EXACT PATH OF RITA...THE
LATEST INFORMATION SUGGESTS IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY LIKELY THAT
REMNANTS OF THE STORM WILL EFFECT THE OKLAHOMA AND ADJACENT PARTS OF
NORTH TEXAS SUNDAY AND MONDAY. IF THE STORM TAKES A MORE
EASTERLY TRACK IT IS LIKELY THAT LITTLE OR NO EFFECTS FROM THE STORM
WILL BE EXPERIENCED IN THESE AREAS.

SHOULD THE CURRENT FORECAST TRACK OF THE HURRICANE VERIFY...THE
FOLLOWING EFFECTS WILL BE POSSIBLE...IF NOT LIKELY ACROSS PART
OF WESTERN NORTH TEXAS AND CENTRAL AND EASTERN OKLAHOMA.

1. 25 TO 35 MPH SUSTAINED WINDS...WITH WIND GUSTS TO NEAR 50 MPH...
SOUTH AND EAST OF A LINE FROM WICHITA FALLS... TO LAWTON... TO
OKLAHOMA CITY AND STILLWATER. SMALL AND LIGHTWEIGHT OUTDOOR OBJECTS
SHOULD BE SECURED. WINDS SHOULD TAPER OFF TO 15 TO 25 MPH SUNDAY
NIGHT...BUT THIS WILL BE DEPENDANT UPON THE STRENGTH AND SPEED OF
THE SYSTEM ONCE IT MAKES LANDFALL.

2. HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING. 3 TO 5 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY
HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL BE POSSIBLE MAINLY ALONG AND EAST OF THE I-35
CORRIDOR. MUCH OF SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA HAS BEEN IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS
FOR MOST OF THE SUMMER AND THIS RAIN WOULD BE VERY BENEFICIAL.
HOWEVER...DEPENDING UPON THE RATE OF MOVEMENT OF THE SYSTEM...TOO
MUCH RAIN MAY FALL IN TOO SHORT A TIME TO ALLOW SOILS TO SOAK UP THE
RAINFALL. THUS...SOME FLOODING MAY RESULT. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH WILL
LIKELY BE NEEDED FOR LATE THIS WEEKEND.

3. A FEW TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE... MAINLY ALONG AND EAST OF THE
STORMS TRACK. CURRENTLY ALONG AND EAST ON INTERSTATE 35.

4. WET ROADS...HEAVY RAINFALL AND INCREASED TRAFFIC COULD LEAD TO
DELAYS AND ACCIDENTS. ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO REACH YOUR TRAVEL
DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND.

5. SOME AIRLINE DELAYS WILL BE POSSIBLE. AGAIN...ALLOW EXTRA TIME
TO REACH YOUR DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND.

BECAUSE THE TRACK REMAINS UNCERTAIN...THE BEST ADVICE NOW IS TO REMAIN
ALERT FOR POSSIBLE IMPACTS LATE IN THE WEEKEND FROM A WEAKENING
RITA. PLAN NOW AND CONSIDER WHAT STEPS YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE IF IT
BECOMES EVIDENT LATER THIS WEEK THAT RITA WILL INDEED AFFECT
OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS.

FORECASTS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL MORE PRECISELY FORECAST THE
TRACK OF RITA AND THE POTENTIAL WEATHER IMPACTS ON OKLAHOMA AND
NORTH TEXAS. STAY TUNED TO THE LATEST WEATHER INFORMATION AS WE MOVE
CLOSER TO THE WEEKEND. FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING IMPACTS OF
HURRICANE RITA VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/NORMAN.

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