No clever headline this morning. The storm continues to fool forecasters, twisting northward sooner than expected and packing winds far stronger than originally forecast. Max sustained winds are now 175 mph with gusts of 215.

It’s headed for Houston. Our warehouse in Channelview shut down at the close of business yesterday and I’m not optimistic about the office there surviving the storm. The land is about 48 feet above sea level, so the storm surge isn’t a worry, but the winds are expected to be in the 125-140mph range at landfall.

After Katrina and the damage to the ports of New Orleans and Mobile, this is what we in the steel pipe and petrochemical industries call a Worst Case Scenario.

Oh, yeah. There is the small matter of about 5 million people in the path of this beast.

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