22 September 2005

**RITA** Comparing and Contrasting

Well, with all the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming out of New Orleans these last few weeks (note that MS and AL are going about the business of recovery without all the incendiary rhetoric and video footage) it will be interesting to compare the local and state response to RITA. At this time it looks as though TX Gov Perry is well along in implementing evac plans, other than some traffic hang ups it looks to be going very well.

It seems evident that major metropolitan areas must work on faster implementation of contraflow evac regimes for major arteries going in and out of these towns. Even though the wonderful folks in Houston have demonstrated that they are very well prepared (well enough in fact, to have stepped up so quickly and graciously during evac KATRINA) they seem to have stumbled a bit here. Each of these storms as difficult as they are are providing tremendous learning opportunities in how to deal with these massive displacements and disruptions.

Expect further spikes in gasoline and diesel fuel prices as Rita looks to take a major bite out of our already strained refinery capacity, and OPEC licks its chops at the prospect of ever higher crude oil prices. Isn't it comforting to know that our difficulties continue to enrich the already filthy rich oil cartel members?