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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

On the Road to Nowhere

I went to bed very late last night (early this morning, really) full of anxiety. The 10 pm update from the National Hurricane Center had shifted Rita’s track to the north, across Freeport, and put Katy just NE of the center. That projection scared me so badly, I couldn’t even blog about it.

So I went to bed instead. Best thing I could’ve done, since worrying about yesterday’s news has little bearing 9 hours later. This morning’s projected path has shifted yet again, now bringing the storm ashore at Galveston.

This is such a vicious storm, and it is following so closely on Katrina, that people are quite properly trying to get out of its path. The problem is… who needs to get out, and where can one go? The “who” seems to be changing hourly, and the where? That’s anybody’s guess.

By all accounts, heading north or west are not good options now. Gasoline is in short supply, and the evacuation routes are
parking lots. This is from an email late last night, from someone whose family is trying to evacuate:

I am sitting in Sulphur, LA on the phone with my sister from Kemah ,Tx who is in the process of evacuating to San Antonio very very slowly. They thought they were leaving early enough to avoid the rush. It is now midnight, She left Kemah at 3:00 PM today and it has taken her 9 hours to make it to Houston.

I have a nephew from Texas City that is going in the direction of Sam Rayburn and left at 5:00 and 7 hours later he has made it to Baytown. He says the same thing all exits and most highways are closed. They both had a hard time finding gas today and now understand why many cars and trucks are being left on the roadside.

As Rita shifts and dances about in the next hours, more folks will be loading their cars and heading out. The biggest evacuation in history is going to highlight a whole new set of problems regarding emergency preparedness. I can’t imagine trying to ride out a hurricane, on the highway, with my family and pets (but no gas).

Just as well I’m planning to sit it out at home.


  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger sugarfoot said;

    I heard that my great-aunt who lives in Beaumont plans to ride it out as well. She's scared to leave, and I can see why. But all I can say is, remember what you've seen and act accordingly. Get out. Find the backroads and drive. I can't stress that enough.

  • At 11:13 AM, Blogger Polimom said;

    Ummmm.... just at the moment, Beaumont strikes me as a very bad place to be riding this one.

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