Friday, September 23, 2005

Houston evacuation a disaster just looking to happen.


From this CNN piece, a description of what I was just listening to on NPR, relating how the evacuation of Houston by motorists is so hopelessly gridlocked that motorists are simply running out of gas while stuck in traffic, while there are precious few places to get gas anywhere along the evacuation routes:

... If motorists are still stuck in their cars when the storm hits, they could be in a dangerous situation, Ed Rappaport, the hurricane center's deputy director, said Friday.

"The hope, of course, is that this storm is off to the right as far as they're concerned," he said of Houston drivers. But "that just moves the problem to another community."...

As I recall, there was a mandatory evacuation in effect, but that plan's kind of changed now given the clusterfuck that the evacuation has turned into:

Late Thursday, Houston Mayor Bill White said that except for people who live in high-risk areas near the water, those still at home should stay put, especially given the traffic conditions and an unanticipated fuel shortage.

"Now is not the time to get into your car to start the evacuation," White said. "We will get people who are stranded on the roadside off the roadside before the storm comes in," he said. "That is our commitment."

Gas stations along some of the major roads out of Houston and Beaumont, to the east, were running low on gas, said Steven McCraw, director of the governor's division of emergency management.

The two National Guard tanker trucks, each carrying 5,000 gallons of gas, were sent at daybreak Friday to help thousands of people who had run low on gas while trying to evacuate, said Chief Master Sgt. Gonda Moncada, spokeswoman for the national guard.

Moncada said that 10,000 gallons of gas might not be enough to help everyone who needs it.

Some Houston residents tried various routes out of the city only to become so flustered they returned home and thought about riding out the storm. Other Texans on gridlocked roads pushed their cars to help conserve fuel.

Oh, yeah, this is going just great. Nice to see they learned their lessons from Katrina.

AFTERSNARK: I'm wondering how many of those stranded motorists desperate for gas from those tanker trucks are well-to-do white folks who suddenly don't have a problem with getting a government "hand-out".

"THIS WAS NOT IN THE PLAN." No shit. And notice once again the GOP's reliance on faith-based planning, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry tells all and sundry that he is "certain that anyone who wants to evacuate will be out of the Gulf Coast area before tropical storm winds begin to kick up at midmorning today."

Yeah, who needs proper planning when you have faith?

NOW THERE'S PARODY: As of this moment, the CNN article here describing ongoing news related to Hurricane Rita is entitled "Say a prayer for Texas." Yeah, well, with these idiots in charge, that's as good a plan as any, I guess.

4 comments:

dAVE said...

maybe they just thought it was all going to work out via emergent properties/chaos theory type shit.

I had a remedy to the situation:
Anybody driving 4x4 SUV/pickup truck/offroad vehicles - get off the road. If you're such a badass that you had to have some hulking behemoth, then put your money where your mouth is and go cross country like they do in the commercials. Only regular cars and motorcycles are allowed on the freeway.

catherine said...

"The two National Guard tanker trucks, each carrying 5,000 gallons of gas, were sent at daybreak Friday to help thousands of people who had run low on gas while trying to evacuate, said Chief Master Sgt. Gonda Moncada, spokeswoman for the national guard."

Except that unfortunately their spouts are the wrong size for filling up car gas tanks (CNN, I think). Anyone thinking of the scene in Apollo 13 in which the astronauts have to fit a square peg into a round hole?

Scott in Montreal said...

I wonder how many two (and three) -car families thought they outghta get 'em all out of the city or lose them to car-jackers. Is 17-year-old Suzie alone in her Jeep Cherokee, while Mom drives the Minivan and Dad's in his Mazda coup?

Did anyone hear any officials recommend car-pooling? Hindsight's 20/20 again.

CathiefromCanada said...

I read about one woman who said she had thought she was so much better and smarter than the people in New Orleans because she was evacuating, and then she got caught in the traffic jam -- and she realized she was really no different than the NO people after all, that both were caught in a system they didn't understand.