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A Visual Reminder of Hurricane Rita

Just in case you forgot…

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As Hurricane Harvey approached on Friday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged Houstonians to stay put. At a press conference the same day, Governor Greg Abbott advised people from Corpus Christi to Houston to “strongly consider evacuating.” We’re not taking sides here, but we thought a reminder of the Hurricane Rita evacuation in 2005 might be a useful refresher.

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  • Garry King

    Good one, Nick!

  • Scott Newsom

    Great to see you here on TM!

  • anonyfool

    Somewhere else someone suggested a staged evacuation – only those most flood prone areas like Meyerland and near the reservoirs. Should that be considered for the future?

    • Ken Reed

      They announced a staged evacuation when Hurricane Ike was coming — Galveston folks first, then east Houston and then this and then that. Many people ignored it, and just headed out. They’d have two people in two cars, enough gas to get out of town (so they thought), and their pets. All roads were soon turned into parking lots. Many people had to spend the first night in their cars, right on the jammed freeways. Others pulled off to get gas, and the stations soon ran out. Trucks bringing more gas couldn’t get through. Those who got gas found the entrance ramps jammed, and couldn’t get back on the freeway. Even the service roads were jammed. Everything everywhere was jammed. Gov. Abbott was living in Houston at the time. Wonder what he did? Someone should ask.

    • The people who caused the traffic jams were the people who did not need to evacuate! They chose to move with their families even though they were not in a flood area or in a county ordered to evacuate. Now, all areas are flood areas per H. Harvey! Everyone will leave next time, all 6 million if order to evacuate. We would have to leave before the hurricane even forms! Not likely to get a 2 weeks heads up on a Cat 4 hurricane.

  • Pam

    Right on!! Love your cartoons!

  • Annett Sorrells

    Texas Monthly is very fortunate to have you join their staff. Love Nick Anderson’s view on our country and its political process. Kudos all the way around!

  • SocraticGadfly

    Why do Houstonians continue to overlook the relatively organized evacuation during Ike? (And yes, per commenter below, it wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t horrible, either.))

  • Dave Jaffe

    Great to see you here, Nick! TM is lucky to have you.

  • Michael Alan Carlyle

    Maybe we should be adding capacity for evacuation routes in between these little incidents instead of saying “there just isn’t a big enough road to do it.” You wouldn’t say people should stay in a burning theater just because you didn’t put in fire exits.

  • This is exactly how I remember the evacuation: 9 hours in a car only going 30 miles, can’t run a/c because for fear of running out of gas, many sleep driving to awake when you hit the bumper ahead, windows down to inhale exhaust fumes for 9 hours straight, stores on the way overrun with travelers, mechanics charging $100 to jumpstart the car after standing in bathroom lines at the only open store for 1 hour! I had to return home because the car was acting up One gas pump in an evacuated area turned deserted towns was the only place to get gas if you had a credit card and waited behind police filling their tanks. I went home and slept, filled an extra gas tank and left the next morning with 1 child and a dog, while breaking curfew! I passed people literally sleeping on the freeway to avoid fire ants in the grass, dead horses, and thousands of stranded motorists holding cups in line trying to get a cup of gasoline from National Guards and a tanker! I took an oath to never evacuate without a 2 weeks notice. I would rather take my chances at drowning than to suffocate from fumes or die of heat stroke on the freeway!

    • Living in a country located in the so-called typhoon belt, I know very well how nasty typhoons can get. Be safe, Edda. Praying for you and yours and fellow Texans as well.

      • I did great, Anne! Surrounded by water and only roof leak so far. I wrote a status in fayad. Take a look. Thank you for your prayers.

    • booboop

      I hope you and your family (yes, dog included) are well. Same to your neighbors and those in your state. Praying for your continuous safety.

      • Thank you for your prayers. That evacuation was several years ago. Only 1 million people evacuated then. It took a co-worker 33 hrs to get to Dallas from Houston. Should take less than 6 hrs on a normal day. So, Houstonians are not pleased with potentially losing their lives on the road with 6 million other people during an evacuation.
        I have 3 dogs now and my son lives with 5 roommates in north Houston. They took in several people in their home during the storm. I wrote a status in Fayad.

  • Kate

    Glad to see you’re back in action, Nick Anderson!

  • Mimi Purnell

    I am a political cartoon junkie. The superior cartoons can take you right back to the place and time, the when, where, what and smells are vivid! This one does all of those things.