When I went to bed last night, there was a tropical storm out there in the Gulf about to move ashore somewhere nearby. But I didn't even know that-- last I'd heard, it was only a tropical depression. It wasn't even raining hard in Beaumont yesterday, just sprinkling, barely enough to clean my windshield of lovebugs. In fact, I think, as I drove through the swamp yesterday (aka 105 through Bevil Oaks), that the lovebugs were winning over the raindrops.
Anyhow, when the phone rang for the fourth time this morning from enquiries to see if we had survived the storm, my cat moaned and covered his eyes with his paw, but I gave up and got out of bed. I was trying to sleep in from being out late (for me) last night at choir practice after a completely exhausting day--make that week so far--but it was not to be. Not that I expect any sympathy from those who have to go out into the world every day, but--well, I can't think of a positive way to state it, so I won't.
The short version: for us out in Pinewood, the storm hardly registered. We got the outer bands sometime between 3 and 4am and all we lost were dead tree limbs from Rita that hadn't come down yet (and needed to). We only got 2.2 inches of rain and the drainage ditch isn't even half full. That is a great relief to those who live in the lower parts of Pinewood and Bevil Oaks.
It was a very compact storm, with high winds only covering about a 15-mile radius. It came in very close to where Rita went ashore, and passed right over Beaumont and areas south and northeast of Beaumont before moving into Louisiana. There has been some flooding in Beaumont, Nederland, and Vidor. Local news story here and image gallery here. About 100,000 people lost power.