HOUSTON, Sept. 22 - Heeding days of dire warnings about Hurricane Rita, as many as 2.5 million people jammed evacuation routes on Thursday, creating colossal 100-mile-long traffic jams that left many people stranded and out of gas as the huge storm bore down on the Texas coast.
Acknowledging that "being on the highway is a deathtrap," Mayor Bill White asked for military help in rushing scarce fuel to stranded drivers.
Mr. White and the top official in Harris County, Judge Robert Eckels, admitted that their plans had not anticipated the volume of traffic. They maintained that they had not urged such a widespread evacuation, although only a day earlier they invoked the specter of Hurricane Katrina, and told residents that the "time for waiting was over."
It's actually worse in Houston- it's something like 8X bigger than N.O.
Bottom line: the automobile is a clunky device with which to use to flee an urban area or a suburban area near a metropolis when a catastrophe is going to hit, when millions of your fellow citizens are doing the same.