It looks like Beaumont may be hit directly by Hurricane Rita. The low-lying areas are likely to experience severe flooding from storm surge. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations are taking place in counties down the coast (most notably are Galveston and Harris counties). Chambers, Jefferson, Liberty and Orange counties (the greater Beaumont area) should expect interruption of electricity and phone services.
Southeast Texas readers should check their city Web sites for evacuation instructions and routes. Comprehesive disaster information is available here.
For the regular readers of this blog, I'm on deck. Consequently, I'll probably be offline for a few days. The managing editor of our paper will likely keep up with the storm and its recovery on his blog.
I'll update everyone as possible. Although most folks are moving to safety, I'm sure people will need lots of help after the sun returns.
Enough for now,
Please see Mark's Hurricane Rita visual timeline.