GALVESTON As many as 1 million people were ordered to clear out along the Gulf Coast, and hospital and nursing home patients were evacuated today as Hurricane Rita
turned into a Category-5, 165-mph monster that could slam Texas
by the weekend and inflict more misery on New Orleans
Forecasters said Rita could be the most intense hurricane on record ever to hit Texas, and easily one of the most powerful ever to plow into the U.S. mainland. Category 5 is the highest on the scale, and only three Category 5 hurricanes are known to have hit the U.S. mainland most recently, Andrew, which smashed South Florida in 1992.
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