I survived the 290 parking lot: we were better off staying

At 9PM last night we began our “evacuation.” After watching a steady flow of traffic via the traffic cams earlier that day on 290, we made the mistake of getting on that freeway. That was a mistake. After 12 hours we had gone only 14 miles. We saw elderly and handicapped people driving alone or asleep in their cars on the side of the road. We saw people travelling with small children packed in open windowed cars. When it became clear that the mayor’s promises for contra-flow traffic on 290 were a mirage, we made the decision to turn and find the Woodlands. From Mueschke and 290, we went right on Mueschke, right on 2920, and left on Kuykendahl. In less than an hour we were at a relative’s house. We’ve decided to weather the storm, just a little further from our house. The Woodlands is about 90 miles inland. If you have any relatives or friends on 290, PLEASE GET OUT YOUR MAPS AND FIND THEM AN ALTERNATE ROUTE OR A CLOSER DESTINATION. All night long the radio DJs were helping people find gas. I hope they can help people find alternate routes. All I can think about is those people sitting in that parking lot. Running from a storm just to face the possibility of suffering in their cars. And they are not going to open up extra lanes on 290. They are making plans to get gas to these people, but to go where? A mile an hour? They have opened contra-flow lanes on I-10 and I-45 which is good news.

3 Comments so far

  1. Governor (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 3:58 pm

    After reading you entry, I called a co-worker who is in the midst of fleeing. She said that she left 26 hours ago and has only traveled 130 miles.

    Now, I

  2. Kymberlie R. McGuire (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 3:07 am

    Whew! I was starting to worry about you! Todd and I both left you messages, so call us when you can.

    Be safe, Katiebear!

  3. Carolyn (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    I live up in Dallas, but all my friends and family live in Houston and surrounding areas. It took my parents 28 hours to get to Dallas. My mom stayed awake for 34 hours just to flee a storm that will probably take our home, and the seemingly normal life that we probably won’t have again for a long time. Now THATS one hell of a soldier. Watching the news early on, I saw areas of I-10 and other highways that seemed to be moving. Little did we know that the inner loop was a parking lot for some 1.8 million evacuees. The news did not portray what was really happening. For all the good deeds that the news showed people did to help others, there was a huge influx of violence to fellow evacuees. I never thought that filling a tank of gas could lead to fist fights, even knives being drawn. I hope that your families are in a safe location and we take this moment to reflect on what is really important to us. . .Family! The insurance companies can’t replace them.

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