Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shop as usual and avoid panic buying

The Greyhound terminal in Houston was closed, but people lined up anyway in the hopes that another bus would arrive.

A nuclear power plant 90 miles SW of Houston and a level 4 biohazard facility in Galveston prepare to ride out the storm.
    The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has one of a handful of certified U.S. labs handling the world's most infectious, lethal viruses, a biosafety-level 4 facility. The campus is less than a mile from the Galveston seawall...

    The lab's director, Michael R. Holbrook, said workers have already destroyed lab cultures in which viruses were growing and will begin packing the lab up today, putting remaining viruses in sealed and locked freezers. Then, if Rita still threatens Thursday, the lab will be fumigated with formaldehyde.

    "Four hours later, the lab is rendered completely safe," Holbrook said.
Houston's traffic really can get worse. With as many as 2.5 million evacuees fleeing the area, many of them stuck in 100 mile long traffic jams, Houston mayor Billy White is forced to acknowledge that "being on the highway is a deathtrap." And in Louisiana, the governor made a helpful suggestion:
    Noting the difficulty medical examiners have had in identifying the dead from Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Blanco offered morbid advice to those who refuse to evacuate. "Perhaps they should write their Social Security numbers on their arms in indelible ink," she said.
NASA is evacuating the Johnson Space Center and turning over control of the space station to Russia.

And, on a lighter note, Rita is declared a Category 12 storm soon to be a black hole.


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