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Rita: From Bad to Worse

by @ 1:34 pm on September 23, 2005. Filed under Hurricane Rita

Its at least 12-18 hours before Rita makes landfall and things are already going from bad to worse

The evacuation of the U.S. Gulf Coast took a tragic turn Friday when a bus carrying elderly people fleeing Hurricane Rita caught fire on a gridlocked Texas highway, killing as many as 24 evacuees, authorities said.

The bus exploded into flames on Interstate 45 south of Dallas and closed the highway, a major escape route out of the area already bumper-to-bumper with motorists trying to leave ahead of the monster hurricane. The bus fire caused a huge back-up on the interstate.

The picture of the burned-out bus is just heart-wrenching to see. Horrible

And, then, there’s this:

Meanwhile in New Orleans, where Rita’s outer bands brought substantial rainfall for the first time since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city three weeks ago, water poured over a patched levee, flooding into one of the city neighborhoods hardest hit by Katrina.

Dozens of blocks in New Orleans’s Ninth Ward were under water as water rushed over part of the levee that previously was breached.

Col. Rich Wagenaar from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the water level had exceeded the height of the levee and could no longer be contained. He said repairs were hampered by deteriorating weather conditions, which made it impossible to put helicopters into the air.

Its going to be a long weekend.

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