Evacuating for Rita?
September 21, 2005 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Just wondering what Texans are moving out of Rita's way.

My parents in Houston have decided to stay despite the Category 5 upgrade. Just curious how other cities and persons are reacting. My house wasn't flooded during Allison (tropical), one of the worst recent storms to hit Houston, but this is obviously a bit larger than that.
posted by mr.dan to Travel & Transportation (25 answers total)
Staying put. But then I'm in D/FW, so AFAIK we're not supposed to get anything worse than a standard summer heavy thunder-boomer.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:08 PM on September 21, 2005

My brother lives in Houston, and will in Baton Rouge this weekend.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:10 PM on September 21, 2005

... will *be* in ...
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:11 PM on September 21, 2005

Here's the evacuation map.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:15 PM on September 21, 2005

I just heard from a friend in Houston who is battening down the hatches and staying put.

She says the stores in her locality are out of canned food, water, batteries, etc and the pumps ran out as she was queuing for gas.

No doubt people have taken heed of the lack of food and water post-Katrina and have stockpiled supplies.
posted by essexjan at 2:25 PM on September 21, 2005

I also have a friend in Houston who must stay because she has little gas in the car, none of the stations near her have gas, and the traffic is so bad, she's afraid she'll go empty before she can find a place with gas.

According to her, Houston was gridlocked by sun up this morning.
posted by mischief at 2:37 PM on September 21, 2005

this is supposedly a realtime houston traffic map but the site appears to be down
posted by clarahamster at 3:00 PM on September 21, 2005

One of my uncles in Houston told me the stores were out of water as of 7:30am this morning. His 80 year old neighbor is evacuating to be with family. Both my uncles and their families in that area are staying, but have not ruled out evacuation.
posted by Sangre Azul at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2005

A coworker's parents live in Houston, and they're evacuating. Apparently, their local Home Depot is out of wood, so they weren't able to cover their windows.
posted by box at 3:05 PM on September 21, 2005

All of my family has left. My wife's family is going to stay, I think, although since it's gotten worse since I talked to them, I don't know. Landfall looks to be more than a day away so maybe the gridlock will calm down, esp. since Galveston is being evacuated now, and a lot of those people have got to be going through Houston. I'm a little worried about my in-laws. They are on high enough ground, I think, but I expect that if it gets bad they will lose water and/or electricity. Alicia is the last bad hurricane I remember and we were without power for days. Gilbert happened when I was a teen and we had no water for at least a day or two, sporadic electricity.
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:24 PM on September 21, 2005

I should say, all of my family has left *houston*. I forgot you don't know where I live. I'm in Dallas and we're land locked enough to not have to worry.
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:35 PM on September 21, 2005

Victoria is under mandatory evacuation - everyone has to be out by 8 p.m. Thursday or else will be subject to "dire consequences." (Victoria - pop. 60kish - is "known" for being equidistant to Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin - it's about 30 minutes from the coast.)

I don't know if it's post-Katrina caution, the still-bitter memory of Hurricane Claudette (2003 and "only" a category 1), or common sense behind that decision. (I just wish my parents would pick up their phone...)
posted by Liffey at 3:40 PM on September 21, 2005

I'm getting out. Watching/reading ColdChef go from "bring it, bitch" to taking in 20 of his nearest-and-perhaps-not-so-dearest after Katrina, tomorrow morning I'm picking up everything I can from outside and locking it in my house, grabbing the cat and getting out.

As of early afternoon, Home Depot in my area (SW Houston) still had plywood, but you had a 90 minute wait to get it cut, then another 90 minutes to check out. Only place in my area still with bottled water are the 99 cent stores. Gas is plentiful and there's hardly any waiting for it. I stocked up on food several days ago so don't know what the status of food is at the moment.

Latest projections show this storm to still be a cat 1 by the time it hits Austin. That's astounding. DFW ... prepare for more than a thunder-boomer, just in case.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:45 PM on September 21, 2005

We're leaving to stay with friends in Austin in the morning.
I was evacuated off a GoM rig Monday and flew out of NO to get home (NO airport is scary right now - nearly deserted, few lights on, full of people with guns).
After seeing what the Louisiana coastal areas look like after Katrina I'm in no mood to see what one of these things looks like from the inside.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:36 PM on September 21, 2005

We're in SW Houston and we're staying. The gas stations near here are all sold out or the line is two hours long. The grocery stores are bare and traffic is completely gridlocked headed out of town.
The evening news actually said *not* to evacuate if you don't have to because the traffic is so bad.

Good luck everyone!
posted by Mamapotomus at 7:00 PM on September 21, 2005

Almost my whole family is in Houston. Generally, the women and children are evacuating and the men are sticking around. They mostly have boats and trucks, so I guess they are staying around to help in case other people are trapped. My mom is staying because they have transferred patients from coastal hospitals into her hospital and it seems that they are really not allowed to evacuate unless they want to be charged with abandoning patients. Incidentally, my mom is pretty ticked off about it. Their hospital has a good likelihood of being damaged by the storm, especially since the generators are close to ground level.
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:10 PM on September 21, 2005

I'm in Austin, and my roommate is taking in people he knows who live in Corpus. His mom, who live in College Station, is still deciding on whether she's staying put or not.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:50 PM on September 21, 2005

Austin has already started receiving evacuees. I work for UT-Austin and was told to clear my calendar tomorrow so I can spend all day coding and posting emergency services pages. We will probably know late tomorrow how much of the campus will shut down for the weekend.

We have a full house right now, otherwise I'd be offering up shelter. And the hubby and I are eyeing a suspicious tree in our front yard, trying to decide if we want to cut it down rather than risk it falling onto the house or the cars. hm.
posted by whatnot at 9:50 PM on September 21, 2005

my family is in port arthur and packed and ready to go - they just can't decide where. they've called all over and all of the hotels within reasonable driving distance are booked. they can't bring their pets to a shelter. i think they will end up having to drive 7 hours to my sister's house near dallas.
posted by centrs at 11:05 PM on September 21, 2005

When I talked to my mom around 9pm last night she told me they were planning on staying. They live in Beaumont. She said it's taking people 16 hours to drive to Dallas. I want them to evacuate. The next update from NOAA is at 4am.
posted by furvyn at 1:18 AM on September 22, 2005

furvyn, I'm in west Houston and thinking of evacuating TO Beaumont (my hometown.) We have a full tank of gas and we can try to get to Austin but traffic is so bad that we're afraid we won't make it, and we know there's no gas between here and there. Beaumont is closer, with less likelihood of a hit, and with less traffic streaming that way.
posted by pomegranate at 3:10 AM on September 22, 2005

My cousin who lives in west Houston is evacuating to his father-in-law's place in Devine. His mom, dad and our grandmother are all also going to Devine (they all live in Corpus). My mom lives in a town not that far inland, and she's was supposed to be in the hospital all weekend long. I just called her and she'll be riding out the storm with relatives in the area.

It's horrible to sit here and watch this all from northern Virginia, unable to really help.
posted by Irontom at 5:09 AM on September 22, 2005

There's now a mandatory evacuation for Jefferson County. I didn't get much sleep last night and missed Mom's call this morning. She left voicemail letting me know that everyone in the family is evacuating except for Dad. He works at St. Mary's hospital in Port Arthur. She's not sure where she's headed, but my sister and her family are meeting up with relatives in Dallas. My brother is headed to Baton Rouge.
posted by furvyn at 6:54 AM on September 22, 2005

I just got off the phone with my brother. St. Mary's hospital has been evacuated, so Dad is getting out of there too. whew.
posted by furvyn at 7:14 AM on September 22, 2005

My brother, his girlfriend, and their cat evacuated to my parents' house in Dallas yesterday. The normally 5 hour drive only took them 7 hours, so that's not so bad, considering. They live 4 blocks from the water in Seabrook, so they're hoping they still have a house to come back to. They moved everything but their bed to the 2nd floor before they left, but if the hurricane really hits with the predicted 20+ foot storm surge, the water could be up to their 2nd floor.
posted by MsMolly at 7:58 AM on September 22, 2005

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