As of 4:00 p.m. CDT Saturday, Rita was centered near 32.1 north and 94.0 west, or about 25 miles south-southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana. The minimum central pressure was 980 millibars (28.94 inches of mercury). Rita is moving to the north at 12 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center of circulation. The center of the hurricane made landfall around 2:30 a.m. CDT as a dangerous Category 3 storm just east of Sabine Pass, Texas. Tropical storm-force winds in rain squalls continue to spread across northern Louisiana, northeastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma and southern Arkansas. Calcasieu Pass, Louisiana, reported a wind gust of 112 mph between midnight and 1:00 a.m. CDT. Earlier, an elevated tower near Lake Livingston, Texas, had a wind gust to 117 mph.
After Rita weakens into a depression, the storm is expected to stall out in northeast Texas and southwest Arkansas, bringing the potential for major flooding. At this point in time, we do not feel a significant flooding threat exists in the Brazos Valley, and rain chances for Saturday night through Tuesday have been lowered to 30%.
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