Meanwhile, a litte optimism from the markets – Oil Prices Slip As Hurricane Rita Weakens. Unfortunately, that article is datelined Budapest, Hungary. People closer to the scene are a bit more nervous.
Here’s the latest from the WSJ’s Storm News Tracker:
8:10 a.m.: Forecasters said it appeared Houston and Galveston could avoid a direct hit as Rita veered slightly to the east, threatening its 140 mph winds at the Beaumont and Port Arthur area about 75 miles east of Houston. An 8 a.m. EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center said the winds remained at 140 mph. The storm marginally revised its track toward the northwest, and the NHC discontinued a storm watch alert for the southern coast of Texas and Mexico.
And a bit earlier:
7:30 a.m.: The Associated Press reports from Houston. Richard Fernandez, a spokesman for the City of Houston Aviation Department, said Hobby and Bush Intercontinental airports were overrun by people who didn’t have confirmed reservations and were hoping to get on a flight. Adding to the problems, the Transportation Security Administration said a little less than half of the 430 security screeners who work at the two airports skipped work because they live in areas under mandatory evacuations. “We started planning for that and we supplemented our work force with screeners from other airports,” a TSA spokeswoman said.
Sounds like a normal day at LAX.