Rita Causes Less Damage


        The damage done by Hurricane Rita was less than expected, according to Max Mayfield, the National Hurricane Center director.


       "As bad as it could have been, we came out in pretty good shape," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Sunday after a helicopter tour.


        Hurricane Rita, a Category 3 storm, hit the GulfCoast from Galveston, TX to Lake Charles, LA with 120 mph winds and is now in the midst of a four to five day period of possible inland freshwater flooding in Texas and Louisiana


        For some students who continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita was a big surprise.


        Edward Mazique II, a senior from XavierUniversity in New Orleans, was one of about 200 students to transfer to HowardUniversity after Hurricane Katrina. Originally from Houston, his family evacuated their home to get out of Hurricane Rita’s way.


        “I’m just thankful that my friends and family are cool,” said Mazique.. “Everything just worked out. What hurts the most is to hear people that are worse off than me.”


        Currently in Texas, some coastal towns are flooded and nearly one million people are without electricity due to Hurricane Rita, but only 10 people, according to MSNBC.com, have been reported dead. Three million evacuated residents are expected to head for the highways to reenter their homes over the next few days.


        Montreal McMorris, a senior at HowardUniversity from Houston, has family that evacuated the city and dealt with a lengthy trip in and out of their hometown.


        ”It was about 16 hours in any direction because everyone was trying to leave and everywhere was out of gas,” he said. “It was a lot of a hassle getting back in because they were letting people back in by zip code. The places they hadn’t restored power to, they weren’t letting come back in. It should calm down by Wednesday or Thursday.”


        Damage from Hurricane Rita includes petrochemical plants that supply a quarter of the nation’s gasoline, which range from minor to needing a few weeks of repair, and reflooding in New Orleans due to levee breaks, which could be pumped out in as little time as one week.  


        While Hurricane Rita has not measured up to Hurricane Katrina, residents of the affected areas encourage those who are able to help to do whatever they can.


        ”Just like they wet all out for Kat victim, they should do the same for Rita victims,” Mazique said. “There should be some kind of sympathy for people from that area.”