Also important is Hurricane Ike, about to bear down on my old haunts in Texas. I remember as a small boy in Montgomery County, I was probably about five, asking my mom if we would ever get a hurricane at our house. She assured me that no, we were too far inland. (I use the word "assured" because that's what she probably thought she was doing, but I actually thought that a monster storm could be pretty cool). She was absolutely correct - there was no reason to think we would get a hurricane a full two hours from the shore - and yet Ike will be the second monster storm to strike Conroe in just three years (Rita being the first). You think Katrina was bad? Just look at this picture. We're talking 20 foot storm surge in some places. Dad said he heard a National Weather service bulletin say if you live in a one or two story home in Galveston and don't evacuate, even with the seawall, the surge will kill you. You. Will. Die. It's not that the storm is strong (although it could be by Saturday morning), but that it's big. The red area alone looks to be larger than Louisiana!!!
My friends and family are far enough inland that I'm not too worried about them, but I fear for the Gulf's population, and for the economic impact the whole country could feel. I will post some hurricane prayers when the storm makes landfall.