Having filled up the wife’s Suburban with gas days before, and gotten the house ready as can be, we headed off with 2 kids, 2 dogs and 3 fish that the 2 kids would not leave behind. When we left at 4:20 a.m. yesterday morning we knew things would be bad as far as traffic. Rather than joining the parking lot on I-45, which took 8 hours to drive from our location to before the North beltway on 45 (still in Houston!), we decided to use my new Microsoft GPS software and hardware and hit the back roads. Almost exactly 12 hours later, we arrived at my sister’s house in Dallas, where I’m e-mailing you from.
Judie Anderson of La Porte, Texas, covered just 45 miles in 12 hours. She had been on the road since 10 p.m. Wednesday, headed toward Oklahoma, which by Thursday was still very far away.
“This is the worst planning I’ve ever seen,” she said. “They say, ‘We’ve learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina.’ Well, you couldn’t prove it by me.”
On Bellaire Boulevard in southwest Houston, a weeping woman and her young daughter stood on the sidewalk, surrounded by plastic bags full of clothes and blankets. “I’d like to go, but nobody come get me,” the woman said in broken English. When asked her name, she looked frightened. “No se, no se,” she said: Spanish for “I don’t know.”
as many as 2.5 million people jammed evacuation routes on Thursday, creating colossal 100-mile-long traffic jams that left many people stranded and out of gas as the huge storm bore down on the Texas coast.
Acknowledging that “being on the highway is a deathtrap,” Mayor Bill White asked for military help in rushing scarce fuel to stranded drivers.
A bus carrying nursing home residents fleeing from Hurricane Rita caught fire and was rocked by explosions Friday on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 24 people, authorities said.