Hurricane Rita - September 23, 1945Z (NOAA)
By Friday afternoon, Hurricane Rita had lost some strength as it moved across cooler waters. It's now a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, but it's still a monster. When it hits the shore, tropical-force winds will extend out 400 miles wide. The storm has turned slightly east, with the latest forecasts predicting the eye of the storm hitting land somewhere around Beaumont and Port Arthur about 75 miles east of Houston. Close to 2 million people have been told to evacuate the Gulf Coast areas of Texas and Louisiana.
Because of the storm threat, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has canceled its safety seminar, " The Last Five Miles," scheduled for San Antonio and Houston. (The seminar is still on for Fort Worth and Austin).
Updated: September 23, 2005, 2:27 p.m. EDT