Buy today's Scribble as a signed print or on a shirt.
Hurricane evacuation orders are given by authorities. However, the stampede effect is, I think, fostered by constant and enhanced repitition of those orders by cable news. There are times, especially if you are not next to the water, that you are safer in your home during a storm than stuck on a highway. From WashingtonPost.com.
Thousands Fleeing Rita Jam Roads From Coast
Evacuation Is Ordered as Hurricane Veers Eastward
By Blaine Harden and Sylvia Moreno
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 23, 2005; A01
GALVESTON, Tex., Sept. 22 -- As they joined a vast, traffic-snarled exodus from Houston and the upper Texas Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Hurricane Rita were stuck in their cars throughout much of Thursday, with many running out of gas and sweltering on roadsides in 100-degree heat as they waited for authorities to bring them gasoline.
"Now is not a time for warnings; it is a time for evacuation," Houston Mayor Bill White said.
But even as the mayor issued the warning that helped turn many of the freeways in and around the nation's fourth-largest city into a parking lot, the projected trajectory of Hurricane Rita shifted course, with its center moving eastward away from Houston. Although 70- to 90-mph winds and rains were still expected to hit the city by early Saturday, the main path of the storm was aimed near the Texas-Louisiana border.
From the Houston Chronicle:
Thousands of furious evacuees sweltering for hours on traffic-choked freeways Thursday put a stain on what had been a generally successful response by state and local governments faced with back-to-back weather emergencies in Texas.
"This was not in the plan," County Judge Robert Eckels said, turning away from the lectern after a news briefing dominated by questions about the gridlock that resulted from the evacuation ahead of Hurricane Rita.
For the most part, the officials didn't offer much analysis of what might have gone wrong. They focused instead on the scramble to keep thousands of motorists from what Mayor Bill White called a potential "death trap" should the storm strike while they were stranded on the road.
But Brazoria County Judge John Willy criticized other local officials for calling for voluntary evacuation when Brazoria was under a mandatory evacuation order. That, he said, put a lot of cars on the dedicated evacuation routes and prevented people from the south from getting out.