I confess, I'm having trouble coping with what I'm seeing on the news - the magnitude of this disaster makes the New Orleans evacuation appear to be an exercise in efficency. People have been on the road for 12, 14, 15 hours and they've moved maybe, if they were lucky, 60 miles? Running out of gas, presumably also water, food and patience. (And since this is Texas, a large number of them are probably armed and potentially dangerous - snark, but one can hardly blame them.)
I remember watching the NOLA evac and thinking that they were smart about it, at least in getting the CARS out....more below
LA declared a mandatory evacuation for the coast, then waited until those folks had cleared New Orleans before declaring a mandatory evacuation for the city. And they opened both sides of the highways immediately.
Texas appears to have learned that you have to provide for the folks who (lo and behold) depend on public transportation, but they didn't take advantage of the things that NOLA did RIGHT - they didn't PHASE the evacuation, so now they have tens or hundreds of thousands of people (imagine that number!) potentially stuck on the roadways. On MSNBC they just said that there were 100 tank trucks delivering gas to folks who ran out of fuel on the highway - that's a proverbial drop in the bucket. Houston is a ghost town, so if you manage to get there from Galveston, I would suspect that many stores and gas stations are closed already.
I'm really not imagining this, I distinctly remember thinking, when everyone was abusing Mayor Nagen that he didn't call the evacuation of New Orleans early enough, that he was in fact operating according to plan, and waiting for the bayou people to clear the city before giving the mandatory evac order - that was a SMART move.
Meanwhile the folks in Texas are suffering an agony before the storm even hits, which will probably only get worse.......sorry, but as I said at the top, I'm having trouble coping with what is happening to this country and its people. The individuals, the families, their pets - Mother Nature is obvously pissed, and there's not much you can do about that except suffer through it, but I guess the Neocons have won, they've managed to totally destroy our federal government.
Update [2005-9-22 21:8:16 by Truth or Dare]: Now the mayor of Houston is saying that they have been requesting, for quite some time, a military arilift of FUEL. This is at 9pm eastern. And there are NO shelters in Galveston, not sure about Houston........anyone hear anything?
Aaron Brown - 10:11 pm eastern: The state had promised to pre-position gas...its not there.