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#49920 - 09/23/05 07:20 PM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Blacktop Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 134
Loc: Cypress, TX
People within the city limits trying to find a back way out of Houston are finding worse gridlock on the secondary roads. Everybody thinks that they are more clever than the next guy and can navigate around "those stupid people stuck in traffic". Not going to happen - you just aren't going to get out, period. My idea of using the railroad right of way to get out of town is starting to look better and better to me! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#49921 - 09/23/05 08:40 PM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Quote:
This has definitely cemented a concept into my mind. Don't be the last one to try to leave!


Actually, I think it depends. From what I've read in the past, normally, evacuations occur in stages. Coastal areas get the word first, then maybe 12-24 hours later the next inland area gets the nod, and so on. Obviously, the idea is to give the most vulnerable people a clear shot at evacuating. According to this model, the last people ordered to evacuate are/may be the least at risk, relatively speaking. Also, in the interim, the hurricane very well may have veered off in another direction.

It's unclear whether this staggered evacuation occurred for Rita because it sure seemed like a simultaneous stampede inland by 2-3 million all at once. Has anyone heard any estimate of how many people on the road are from areas that were NOT encouraged to evacuate? I imagine that a ton of people are fleeing "just in case".

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#49922 - 09/24/05 12:58 AM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Anonymous
Unregistered


Word has it here that Hw 46 north of I10 is still flowing pretty well. It is an alternative route over to other, bigger roads. Haven't been there, don't want to be.

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#49923 - 09/24/05 03:35 AM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
BachFan Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 51
Loc: New York City
It took my sister about 33 hours to get from Galveston to Dallas on I-45, though that also includes her pulling off the road to take an hour-long nap a couple of times and her waiting in line for over half an hour to refuel. She said the first 30 miles (to one of the ring roads south of Houston) took about 45 minutes, and the last 170 miles to Dallas took about 3-1/2 hours ... it was the 100 miles in the middle (around Houston) that were horrendous. Oh, and she's pretty well "equipped to survive" because she's big on camping and climbing and such -- she had her tent, sleeping bag, thermarest, lantern, etc. along with her photos, CPU and other irreplaceable stuff. But even she ran out of water about halfway through that trek -- she started with about 7 gallons, but ended up putting about 2 into Wally (the dog, who has a heavy black coat and was suffering because it was 100 degrees and the a/c was off to conserve gas), 3 into the car (which kept overheating because ditto), and 2 into herself.

And to answer Arney's question, it looked to me as if the folks in and around Houston didn't bother waiting for the coastal residents to have a clear shot at getting inland, before stampeding onto the roads as well. Don't even get me started on the idiocy of the state/local authorities in delaying the implementation of contra-flow on I-45 and I-10 ... and then only starting it (at least on I-45) far north of Houston, leaving miles of empty highway on the south-bound side when the north-bound side was literally a parking lot.
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-- Helen

"Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

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#49924 - 09/24/05 05:47 AM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
What worries me...In the Phoenix area, which is just a little behind Houston in size, I think Houston area is No.5 and Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the country. There are only 2 Interstate lanes out in any direction. I-17 North turns into 2 lanes out while still in the city limits, as does I-10 E and W. The other major highways are the same with some going to one lane in each direction after leaving the fringes of the city. The good news is that there are few circumstances likely to happen around here that would require an evacuation. That is good, because after seeing what happened in TX, LA area this week, we'd never have a chance of getting out!! A real issue is the type of scenario that may require a mass exodus from the Phoenix valley would not come with a 3 to 5 day advance warning! In summer it would not be possible to stay in this valley very long if there was an extended loss of electricity. Yet, no one could effectively go north, which is the only way to cooler areas.
I guess a good generator would be nice, but without power around there would be no way to procure more fuel. The stations would not be open or able to pump. I guess this is all the reasons that I desire to retire and do it to a cooler area with far, far less population!! Cheers!
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No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#49925 - 09/24/05 06:04 AM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Anonymous
Unregistered



I strongly suggest that you throw open your windows and learn to live w/o AC for a day. I was recently w/o electricity for an extended time, and although I have a lot of experience living rough, it opened my eyes to what it is like to live rough in place in civilzation.

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#49926 - 09/24/05 12:56 PM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Blacktop Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 134
Loc: Cypress, TX
"I imagine that a ton of people are fleeing "just in case". "

You are exactly right. No one in my area of town (far northwest Harris County, out side of the city limits of Houston) had any business evacuating. With the exception of small areas along certain bayous that have been known to flood in extreme events, most neighborhoods could have handled a category 4 storm.

I think many people have had a lot of trouble seeing the images from Katrina and misapplying them to their own situations. They don't seem to understand that storm surge doesn't happen in NW Harris County. Images of the homes within a mile of the beach in Mississippi, totally shattered, don't apply to your home 75 miles from the Gulf. Images of people on their rooftops after hacking through the shingles from the inside because there was 20' of water don't apply if you live at 41' above sea level. My wife, a school teacher, said that her 7th graders were worrying about the levees breaking. Surely their parents have explained that there are no levees out here - or do their parents not know this? We ain't got no levees. We don't need no steenkin levees!
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AJ

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#49927 - 09/24/05 02:45 PM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
groo Offline


Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 722
Loc: Florida
A different perspective...

I'm well inland (Orlando, FL). Storm surge (hopefully <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ) isn't a factor. But I may still evacuate (or try to) for the next close call for two reasons. One, forecasts still have too much error to bet your life on. Second, Tornados.

Last summer, I saw how errors of just a few miles were the difference between some shingle damage and complete destruction. And for a day or so after the eye had passed we were still getting tornado warnings for the storms in the rain bands. Most of the houses here (including mine) lack basements. Doesn't do any good to survive the hurricane winds if an embedded tornado takes out your house.

But then I have to weigh this against getting stuck in an evacuation. So... I dunno. But I can see why some of them may have left even if they didn't appear to need to.


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#49928 - 09/24/05 04:26 PM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, I fear that if another hurricane makes landfall this season, people will remember the horrors of the last hurricane (namely Rita), and remember the 100-mile traffic jams, people running out of gas, a busload of elderly people burning up, and decide that evacuating is not worth it and try to ride it out--even though they REALLY should.

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#49929 - 09/24/05 04:32 PM Re: What 2 million people evacuating is like
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Anyone know how effective these refueling missions were that I heard about on the news? Some gas tankers went to gas stations along the evacuation routes, while others went to give gas directly to motorists on the highway. I never heard any else after the announcement, though.

Given the mess on the roads, I really can't imagine that either plan worked all that well.

If contra-flow had been set up and all inbound lanes were used for evacuation, how would gas tanker trucks or emergency vehicles get through to resupply gas stations along the route or to help motorists?

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