More than a million Gulf Coast residents are fleeing from the path of Hurricane Rita, including Iowa native Kim Nelson-O’Brien. She and her family are heeding the warnings to evacuate from Houston, Texas, as the massive storm approaches. Nelson-O’Brien, who grew up in Creston, says she’s trying to secure her home before bugging out. Nelson-O’Brien says she’s busy getting things out of the yard — hanging baskets, toys, patio furniture and anything else that’s not tied down — lest the strong winds toss it all through her home’s windows. She says all inland hotels around San Antonio are booked but they’ve been able to find some friends who’ll put them up. Nelson-O’Brien says her husband just bought a generator but they don’t intend to stick around to use it. She says the home improvement stores are sold out of boards and plywood, which people have been using to cover their windows. Also, she says bottled water and batteries are sold out. Some gas stations are also out of fuel. Nelson-O’Brien is a school teacher in West Houston and says a student of hers is facing a double-whammy. She says the little boy is an evacuee from New Orleans and had been in the Superdome and was already evacuated once. Now, he’s having to do it again. More than one-point-three million people in Texas and Louisiana are being evacuated. The storm is expected to come ashore late Friday or early Saturday.
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