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View Full Version : No Way Out: Many Poor Stuck in Houston


tybee204
09-22-2005, 11:50 PM
Link Here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_stuck_in_houston_hk1;_ylt=Ai8JVhUwmDAemQ1dsmQ CjHus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MjBwMWtkBHNlYwM3MTg-)

HOUSTON - Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only someone would pick up their phone.
I done called for a shelter, I done called for help. There ain't none. No one answers," she said, standing in blistering heat outside a check-cashing store that had just run out of its main commodity. "Everyone just says, 'Get out, get out.' I've got no way of getting out. And now I've got no money."

With Hurricane Rita breathing down Houston's neck, those with cars were stuck in gridlock trying to get out. Those like Skinner poor, and with a broken-down car were simply stuck, and fuming at being abandoned, they say.

more at link

deanws
09-23-2005, 12:11 AM
Link Here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_stuck_in_houston_hk1;_ylt=Ai8JVhUwmDAemQ1dsmQ CjHus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MjBwMWtkBHNlYwM3MTg-)

HOUSTON - Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only someone would pick up their phone.
I done called for a shelter, I done called for help. There ain't none. No one answers," she said, standing in blistering heat outside a check-cashing store that had just run out of its main commodity. "Everyone just says, 'Get out, get out.' I've got no way of getting out. And now I've got no money."

With Hurricane Rita breathing down Houston's neck, those with cars were stuck in gridlock trying to get out. Those like Skinner poor, and with a broken-down car were simply stuck, and fuming at being abandoned, they say.

more at linkThey have been bussing people out for three days. Announcements were made on channel 2 news along with numbers to call for help.

tybee204
09-23-2005, 04:59 PM
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_texas_exodus_hk1;_ylt=Ahv5X0bzPhMYWmHdcV97_8G s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MjBwMWtkBHNlYwM3MTg-)

Best-Laid Plans Weren't Enough in Texas

HOUSTON - It was envisioned as the anti-Katrina plan: Texas officials sketched a staggered, orderly evacuation plan for Hurricane Rita and urged people to get out days ahead of time.

But tangles still arrived even before the storm's first bands. Panicked drivers ran out of gas, a spectacular, deadly bus fire clogged traffic, and freeways were red rivers of taillights that stretched to the horizon.

In an age of terrorist danger and with memories of the nightmare in New Orleans still fresh, the Texas exodus raises a troubling question: Can any American city empty itself safely and quickly?

Thousands of drivers remained stranded Friday to the north and west of Houston. Many were stuck in extreme heat, out of gas as gas trucks, rumored to be on the way, or at least buses to evacuate motorists, never came.

More at link

Sassygerl
09-23-2005, 05:05 PM
Even those who aren't poor couldn't get out because of traffic and gas shortages. We know quite a few who couldn't get out....looks like the storm will go east of them. Being in Austin I'm bummed we are not getting a thing!!!!!!!!

TexMex
09-23-2005, 05:40 PM
Not to worry, help came. TX National Guard sent huge trucks, containing a total of 650,000 gallons of gas to give free of charge to those stranded. Buses were sent to collect those who had disabled cars. For any who wanted to shelter immediately, schools were opened up and one local judge called and had the Wal Mart opened up so the new shelter could be supplied with food, diapers, formula for babies, water etc.

GonzoReiter
09-23-2005, 05:54 PM
right, TexMex...

local government and citizenry are handling this one pretty well so far. Mayor Bill's demeanor has been most adequate and I'm impressed with him, Judge Eckels and the rest of local governmental agencies to date, by and large.

getting some breezy WX here now...I have fingers and toes crossed hoping Rita's fury will be limited to the less populated areas of SE TX and SW LA.

TexMex
09-23-2005, 06:04 PM
right, TexMex...

local government and citizenry are handling this one pretty well so far. Mayor Bill's demeanor has been most adequate and I'm impressed with him, Judge Eckels and the rest of local governmental agencies to date, by and large.

getting some breezy WX here now...I have fingers and toes crossed hoping Rita's fury will be limited to the less populated areas of SE TX and SW LA.

I agree Gonzo. Where are you?
Very breezy and cloudy here, no rain yet.

Sassygerl
09-23-2005, 06:23 PM
A friends son just left Houston at 3 and the highways were empty...they made it to CS in 1 1/2 hours.

concernedperson
09-23-2005, 06:28 PM
I am sure the highways are much better now knowing that the hurricane will hit well east of the Houston area. The Texas/Louisiana border is the concern and everything on the east side of landfall will bear the brunt of this storm. So, it won't impact the Houston area as severely as thought. People are better off in their homes than on the highways.

GonzoReiter
09-23-2005, 06:36 PM
I agree Gonzo. Where are you?
Very breezy and cloudy here, no rain yet.
Jersey Village now, gonna hunker down here for the weekend...see how much damage Ms Rita does to Lake Charles, LA (relatives) and take it from there.

breeze didn't last very long here, altho for sure it will pick back up again later...with gusto.

concernedperson
09-23-2005, 06:55 PM
Jersey Village now, gonna hunker down here for the weekend...see how much damage Ms Rita does to Lake Charles, LA (relatives) and take it from there.

breeze didn't last very long here, altho for sure it will pick back up again later...with gusto.

I am looking at New Iberia (relatives) and Lafayette (friends and relatives) my Lake Charles relatives moved to New Iberia. We will see what the storm surge does in the next 12 hours. None of them have evacuated as they have generators and such and hard heads and no common sense. Sometimes all you can do is throw your hands up!

Becba
09-23-2005, 07:12 PM
When you have people all along the gulf coast evacuating the highways get bogged down. Even those that try to leave early get caught in it.

Some have to turn aroung and go home or get stuck on the road. Your gas runs out waiting in traffic, your car overheats and breaksdown, or it can be just such a physical toll it takes on people to make them go back home.

Cypros
09-23-2005, 07:31 PM
My friend's mother, who is 67 years old, packed up her car on Wednesday night and left the Galveston area early Thursday morning. 9 hours and a full tank of gas later, she ran out of gas only 150 miles from home. She's been stuck on the side of the road with many other people hoping since last night, waiting for one of those gas tankers to come by and fuel them up. If that doesn't happen, they are hoping that a nearby Home Depot will open its doors and provide shelter from the impending storm.

Tom'sGirl
09-23-2005, 08:14 PM
Link Here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_stuck_in_houston_hk1;_ylt=Ai8JVhUwmDAemQ1dsmQ CjHus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MjBwMWtkBHNlYwM3MTg-)

HOUSTON - Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only someone would pick up their phone.
I done called for a shelter, I done called for help. There ain't none. No one answers," she said, standing in blistering heat outside a check-cashing store that had just run out of its main commodity. "Everyone just says, 'Get out, get out.' I've got no way of getting out. And now I've got no money."

With Hurricane Rita breathing down Houston's neck, those with cars were stuck in gridlock trying to get out. Those like Skinner poor, and with a broken-down car were simply stuck, and fuming at being abandoned, they say.

more at linkThere will always be the poor, the homeless and others who could have acted far before now to evacuate or seek a shelter, especailly the able bodied ones!

There are always those that drag their feet and then cry that no one is helping them. Look at all those who acted early and are gaining very little distance from the danger area.

MANY ARE STAYING IN HOUSTON hunkered in their homes that aren't as safe as some of those commercial buildings in Houston where this lady and the others could, and probably will seek shelter.

GonzoReiter
09-23-2005, 08:40 PM
I am looking at New Iberia (relatives) and Lafayette (friends and relatives) my Lake Charles relatives moved to New Iberia. We will see what the storm surge does in the next 12 hours. None of them have evacuated as they have generators and such and hard heads and no common sense. Sometimes all you can do is throw your hands up!
Sister, Nephew and family evac'd yesterday...with no problems on the road. The concern I have now for them is of course for their property (2-homes/workshop/etc.) and my nephew's company (he's Chief Engineer for CITGO refinery in LC).

Like you, I have friends all along the Gulf Coast and hope all will be fine after Rita has passed thru...to date, no loss of life for my NOLaean folks but property damage was sustained there.

concernedperson
09-23-2005, 08:47 PM
Oh dang, it is the poor people again. I hate when that happens. They should have made better preparations. The 401K's weren't available and the ATM's didn't function, oh well, they are screwed!

Tom'sGirl
09-23-2005, 08:49 PM
Oh dang, it is the poor people again. I hate when that happens. They should have made better preparations. The 401K's weren't available and the ATM's didn't function, oh well, they are screwed!
:laugh: :laugh:

GonzoReiter
09-23-2005, 08:52 PM
It is said that adversity is a test of character. What's interesting is to see how other people's adversity can be a test of one's own character as well. -Schadenfreude

kahskye
09-23-2005, 09:15 PM
Just having 4 lanes exiting the city wasn't enough. City officials should have acted sooner to open the other 4 southbound lanes to help w/ the traffic. They could have just left one lane open southbound and the other 7 lanes for evacuation.

This is just my opinion, but I think it could have helped w/ the bumper to bumper traffic. People might have made their destination prior to running out of gas or turning back towards the city in frustration.

GonzoReiter
09-24-2005, 03:22 AM
Michael Iscovitz had heard enough. Friday morning, while on the air, the KRIV (Channel 26) meteorologist let his emotions show.

He had listened incredulously as Mayor Bill White announced evacuations but did not mention local shelters.

"We got phone calls from people who were frantic, who had no place to go or no money," Iscovitz said. He admits the issue was making him "a little hot-blooded."

So when he got the chance to to ask White about it, he pounced. The mayor said there would be no local shelters and advised people with special needs to call 311. Not the answer he wanted.

"I was getting phone calls from the same people I talked to before saying, 'Mike, I called 311, they told me they'd be there last night; they never came,' " Iscovitz said.

Encouraged by his news director and general manager, Iscovitz and the Fox 26 Morning News team chose not to let the issue rest. Friday, reporter Todd Duplantis interviewed U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston. She was asked about plans to house people locally.

"She said, 'If we felt Rita was going to make a significant impact on Houston, we would go ahead and take the necessary action,' " Iscovitz said. "This is when I began to question my sanity. Everybody is reporting this as a Category 4, extremely dangerous hurricane barreling up the Texas coast."

Houston Chronicle cont'd. (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/rssstory.mpl/chronicle/3367665)

GonzoReiter
09-25-2005, 04:11 AM
Hurricane Rita smashed into a region that is wealthier, more mobile and much less densely populated than the one devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Most of Rita's victims are by no means wealthy. But they are less likely to live in poverty, more likely to own a car, and less likely to be a member of a minority group than were Katrina's victims, according to an Associated Press (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050924/ap_on_re_us/rita_demographics_hk1&printer=1;_ylt=AhvvPCO9ET9_hKLBunXr.wlH2ocA;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-)analysis of census data.

Experts said the wealth and mobility of people in Rita's path combined with a new sense of urgency following Katrina led to a more thorough evacuation.

"They have cars," said Carnot Nelson, a psychology professor at the University of South Florida. "They have a way to leave. It's as simple as that."

Money and transportation were in short supply for many affected by Katrina.

In densely populated New Orleans, more than 27 percent of the households had no access to a vehicle, according to 2000 census data. The family median income, at $32,300, was nearly $20,000 below the national average.

Fred Medway, a psychology professor at the University of South Carolina, said Katrina's destruction provided incentive for people to flee Rita.

"They have seen what a hurricane can do," Medway said. "That's a very powerful motivator."

The AP analysis of 2000 census data showed:

_A majority of residents in all six counties and parishes at the center of Rita's wrath are white. Jefferson County, where about 34 percent of the residents are black, has the largest minority population. New Orleans, by comparison, was 67 percent black.

_Rita's eye tracked over mostly rural areas. The most densely populated county hit by Rita was Jefferson, with 279 residents per square mile. Jasper, Newton and Beauregard all had fewer than 50 people per square mile.

Orleans Parish in Louisiana, home to New Orleans, had 2,684 residents per square mile.

_None of the counties had median family incomes above the national median of $50,000, but all had incomes above the median in New Orleans, which was $32,300.

_All six counties and parishes had higher poverty rates than the national average of 9.2 percent. But none came close the 24 percent of families in New Orleans living below the poverty level.

_Relatively few people in the six counties and parishes did not have access to a vehicle. About 10 percent of the households in tiny Newton County did not have a vehicle, the highest percentage among the counties. In New Orleans, 27 percent of the households did not have a car or truck.