Our daughter left this morning at 4:15, headed west from Houston area to San Antonio to stay with one of her brothers. By 11:45, she was less than 45 miles from home. She was down to half a tank of gas and was not even half way to San Antonio which meant of course she either had to refuel or turn around and return home. All gas stations along the way are out of gas.
We advised her to turn around and come back. Being a young woman traveling alone and running out of gas on I-10 is every bit as scary as a Category 5 hurricane out in the Gulf. In 40 minutes she was home. Exhausted, frazzled, and angry, but home.
At this point, Hurricane Rita is aiming more at the Louisiana coast than this part of the Texas coast. Additionally, it has weakened. I have a feeling this particular storm might go into Louisiana at Cameron or New Iberia. God knows, Cameron has been flattened more than once by a hurricane. The good news, if there is any, is that Cameron and the other small towns in the path could easily evacuate. Even the larger towns like Lake Charles aren't as large as Houston which is virtually impossible to evacuate as this exercise proves.
People from Houston have been on the road since the wee hours of the morning. Most haven't even reached the edge of town, and they're running out of gas. Other vehicles are overheating and breaking down for this and other reasons.
I just don't think there's any real way to evacuate a major metropolitan area. I don't care what emergency management says. The only way to do it is to head out as soon as evacuation becomes a possibility, no matter how remote. Unfortunately, most people can't do this. Our daughter is a teacher. Her school decided to cancel classes yesterday. However, by this time, the roads leading away from Houston were already parking lots, there'd already been a run on gas, water, batteries, food, plywood, and other necessities of surviving a storm or evacuating.
Yesterday it was 100 degrees here. Today, it's the same. The wind is negligible at this point. The sun is baking everything. We're digging in and plan to ride it out unless Rita shifts again. In which case, we'll lock up, jump in the four wheel drive Tahoe and head South with plans to make it to Victoria then head north to San Antonio.
Sling Words out.