Thursday, September 22, 2005


My wife just heard from her sister who called her in utter frustration. Had she finally made it to the relative safety of Dallas? Well, no. She and her family, having spent over 14 hours on the road trying to get out of harm's way, had only managed to travel 73 miles! That works out to just over 5 miles per hour... on a major interstate highway! The scene she described on their slow trek northward? Cars littering the shoulders of the freeway where they ran out of gas; people overcome by the heat or the constant exhaust fumes, laying sick on the side of the road; long lines and hour-plus long waits at gas stations.

Worried about her family's ability to get out of the area in good shape, she and her husband made the decision to turn around and head back home. It took them 14 hours to make it to that point. It only took them 40 minutes to get back home! She's now scrounging around through grocery stores and the like trying to stock up on food and other necessities as they prepare to ride out the storm.

Now, here's my question, the I-45 lanes are empty heading south into Houston while the northbound lanes are a parking lot. Why is it taking officials so long make all the lanes one-way heading out of the danger zone? When we talked to my sister-in-law about midnight, they had heard that the "counterflow" lanes would be opened at 2:00am. Didn't happen. Then I heard on the news that it would be 9:00am. Didn't happen. Now it's after 1:00pm, central time, and they're still not completely open to northbound traffic! WTF?!?

1.3 million people have been ordered to evacuate. Millions more have been urged to voluntarily leave the area. The Katrina disaster is still fresh in the public memory, so... big surprise! People are paying attention and getting out of dodge! Officials didn't anticipate this? Come on folks, get with it!

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