Waller County prepares for hurricane

The Hempstead, Royal and Waller school districts have cancelled classes for Thursday and Friday and all athletic contests have also been cancelled, school officials said Wednesday.

The threat of heavy rains, hurricane-force winds, possible tornados and heavy traffic caused by people fleeing the Category 5 hurricane.

The exact landfall for the hurricane will not be known until it actually comes ashore, but most computer models are predicting landfall somewhere from Galveston to Matagorda Bay. If that occurs, and Hurricane Rita continues on a northward course, Waller County will be in the path of the storm.

The Waller County Office of Emergency Management will have the following evacuation order in place. Waller County is calling for a voluntary evacuation of all low lying or flood prone areas within the county. Any person living in substandard homes or mobile homes should consider evacuating. Waller County residents are encouraged to shelter with friends and family. Persons evacuating Waller County are encouraged to go to the American Red Cross Hub Shelters in Brenham, College Station or Huntsville. All persons are urged to take a three day supply of water, food, medicine and clothing, according to County Judge Owen Ralston.

In Waller, "Preparations for the possibility of Hurricane Rita affecting Waller ISD are well underway," WISD Superintendent Richard McReavy said Tuesday afternoon that Schultz Middle School and Roberts Road Elementary School are designated Red Cross shelters, and in the event that one or both has to be opened, the WISD Food Service Department is stocking them with emergency food and water.

He encouraged WISD parents and public to log on to the WISD Rita Information page at www.waller.isd.esc4.net for the latest information in WISD.

Hempstead ISD officials issued a statement Wednesday asking parents to be watchful with us, as the safety of our students is a top priority at HISD. At press time, administrators wanted to make sure parents were aware of where information would be available if an emergency arises.

In the Hempstead ISD, all Homecoming Festivities have been rescheduled for Oct. 6 and 7.

The Homecoming game will be played against the Sealy Tigers on Friday night, Oct. 7.

Please check the HISD website ([ http://www.hempstead.isd.esc4.net for the latest information TV Stations: Channels 2, 11, 13, and 26; Radio Stations:      KTEX-FM 106.1; KULF-FM 94.1; KPVU-FM 91.3; KWHI-AM 1280.

Royal ISD administrators will continue to closely monitor the tropical weather forecast through Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday.

Monitor local television and radio stations including Channel, 2, Channel 13, Channel 11, KPRC/950 AM, KTRH/740 AM and KIKK/96 FM in Houston. Information will also be posted on the district's website at www.royal.isd.esc4.net.

The Prairie View A&M University Athletic Department also postponed several home athletic events. Men's and women's cross country, volleyball and soccer are affected by the forecast of severe weather.

"Due to the approach of Hurricane Rita we have decided to postpone all of our upcoming athletic events for this week," said PVAMU athletic director Charles McClelland. "Ensuring the safety of our student-athletes, fans, supporters and the participating schools is our main concern."

The Prairie View A&M University men's and women's cross country teams were slated to host the Hoover Wright Cross Country Classic on Thursday afternoon and the volleyball team was scheduled to host Southern University on Thursday evening. On Sunday, soccer was scheduled to host Robert Morris College at 1:00 p.m. All of these events have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.