Rita: “Tremendous, Tremendous Storm”

By Brian 

At one point early this morning, the winds ripped a metal sign off a light pole and flung it toward Rick Leventhal. It “went flying by us and it had that eerie, frightening sound of metal whipping in the wind, and I guarantee you, something like that could definitely slice you,” he said. Other highlights of his coverage from Lake Charles, Louisiana:

2:02am: “Definitely getting blown around…We’re getting gusts up here in excess of 50 miles an hour. It’s tough to measure with a little tiny fan when you’ve got these incredible waves of wind blowing through here, and they are swirling. I keep hearing that it’s going to get a lot worse which is not so comforting.”

2:46am: “We just learned that a barge broke from its moorings at the port next to us and is now floating towards the 210 overpass. That’s a major causeway, the 210, the loop that runs around the south port of Lake Charles…the winds are just killing us right now.”

3:05am: “We’re getting some really severe gusts right now here in Lake Charles. We had a couple a little while ago. No exaggeration — almost knocked me down. I was out here trying to clock the wind speed on this device, and if this truck hadn’t been here I would have been on my rear…Just a tremendous, tremendous storm blowing through now.”