Hurricane Rita – the most hyped about, covered and watched hurricane ever. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita quickly turned into an arena of bad expectations and intense speculations.
Before we realized it, she became the 3rd most powerful Category 5 hurricane on record. We anticipated all the worst fears; Galveston was about to repeat the storm of 1900, Houston was going to become a swamp of destruction, and gas prices would hit close to $4 a gallon. 80% of Southeast Texas made a very quick, last minute run for the hills in light of this speculation. Early on, all the forecast models predicted doom.
Then she turned. And kept turning until she made landfall hitting the Louisiana state line, Sabine Pass and the poor, unkemptly city of Port Arthur.
It was fun watching the forecasts because they would change so rapidly and showed the unpredictable nature of weather as it happened. But it also showed the human nature of trying to determine what to expect.
Houston dodged a New Orleans sized bullet. It still, however was hit with a financially disruptive BB pellet. Houston will survive and move on, and months passing will leave this potential nightmare behind.