Houston evacuation isn’t going so well.

Fri, 7:00am - Sept. 23: The fuel trucks have not arrived. The general public who have access to fuel have been trying to help those stranded in their areas. One woman called in saying there were 300 cars stranded at a Walmart, close to Livingston, TX. Thousands of people remain parked on all four highways for over 100 miles down the highway: I-10, I-45, I-59, and Hwy 290. The media have admitted that they do not know - when and if the fuel trucks arrive - how they will get to everyone before it starts to rain. They are currently riding buses down the highways picking up people and getting them to what few shelters are open.

Many of you may have witnessed the news where a bus has exploded on the I-45 outside of Dallas in Wilmer, killing 24 people. The bus was smoking, and some evacuees approached the bus to see why it was smoking, just before it exploded. I’m sure the news announced that it was a bus full of Brighton Garden Nursing Home residents, a few of who were on oxygen tanks. The tanks exploded when the brakes and/or some other heat source ignited the tanks. The I-45 is finally opened ... it had been shut down on both sides from 6:00am-10:30am, with the back-up of 200 miles.

“Those who have not left, do not leave now,” is the warning issued on all stations. It’s better to have some type of shelter overhead than to be out on the highways in a vehicle during a storm. Though the inner city highways are clear, if anyone decides to leave now, they will run into a wall of hardly moving or stopped vehicles.

Overnight, the Metro Bus Company employees drove buses down the highways inside the Houston and surrounding city limits, distributing water bottles ... they gave away 40,000 by 5:00am.

At 8:00am, the Texas officials believed, however, that all will be out of harm’s way by the time the storm hits.

10:00am - Exxon/Mobile has donated 200,000 gallons of fuel to the state to help drivers off the road. Some tankers arrived, but their nozzles were too large to use on consumer vehicles, and smaller nozzles were delivered. 18 out of 24 refineries in Texas are shut down.

Needless to say, people are once again panicking and wondering whether the help and gas is forthcoming. Most of the Red Cross shelters are full.

12:04pm - The Texas officials have just announced they will concentrate first on rescuing people off the roadways that will be in the path of the storm which includes Interstate I-59 north to Lufkin, I-10 east, and other main roadways on the east side of Texas. Transtar, the highway transportation/transit and news communication hub, are now closing their doors and girding them with steel. Buses and gas vehicles are racing against time and continuing to pick up people along the highway. Those who are not in the direct path of the storm will eventually be rescued.

12:10pm - The sidewalks of Galveston Island are flooded, the streets are 2 feet deep though the storm is 227 miles southeast of Galveston. It’s not raining. A light wind is blowing and the clouds are appearing in the Houston area. I can smell and almost feel the water droplets suspended in mid-air.

I’m sure you’ve heard the 9th Ward levee has broken again in New Orleans, with the water rising 1 inch per 3 minutes. It is raining very heavy in New Orleans.

Many families I know that evacuated yesterday morning, have returned to their homes this morning. Some were enroute to Louisiana, and some tried to go north from here. Lots of people have returned home. Louisiana issued an evacuation at 6am for the cities of Lake Charles, Sulfur, Calcasieu and Lafayette. They immediately began to airlift out those who need medical care.

Needless to say, I’m getting pretty nervous. I had a good laugh though ... a friend told me to make sure my swim suit fits. He’d hate to see me on TV being airlifted by a helicopter and exposing too much.

Okay, that’s it for now.


Posted by SPN on 09/23 at 01:12 PM in Blogging

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