Hurricane Rita scares me. Not because it is the most powerful hurricane to ever enter the Gulf of Mexico. Or that it is the third most intense storm on record. Not because it is headed for Galveston, Texas, the site of the deadliest hurricane on record in 1900. Responsible for the death of at least 8,000 people.
What scares me about Rita is her timing. This massive tempest is showing up a mere three weeks after Katrina. In the same neighborhood. It’s as if Rita has a mind of its own and is hunting down the survivors of this storm-torn region. Forecasters are predicting Houston will get a major pummeling from Rita as well. Not only is Houston one of the most heavily populated cities in the country, but the Astrodome is where thousands of Katrina survivors are being sheltered. Rita feels like that second plane on 9/11. The first plane hit and we thought it was a terrible accident. But with that second plane, we all knew something was dreadfully wrong. If this storm took even the slightest turn northward towards New Orleans, any hope of rebuilding that once great city would be extinguished.
It is clear that these storms are becoming more frequent and more intense. I clearly remember last year’s hurricane season and thinking at the time that it was the worst season I could remember. We had such big names as Ivan and Frances, Jeanne and Charley. Ivan of course being the standout of the bunch. With a name like Ivan, who could blame it?
Well this year is topping it. We still have a month to go and we’ve already had to deal with the post-apocalyptic chaos caused by Katrina. Now Rita is in the headlines. Rita! R! The 18th named storm of the season. Anyone know what happens after they get to Z?
So THIS is nature’s pissed off way of saying we need to stop global warming?