Friday, September 23, 2005

Houston to Austin evacuation stories

Evacuating from Houston has been a nightmare. Anywhere from 4 hours to 30 hours to get to Austin. People running out of gas, cars overheating. It's awful.

Here are two stories...from my boyfriend's coworkers:

Peter's story
(Thurs) There is a British guy stuck in Houston - he was training for the company. He works for my boyfriend's company. He has a ticket to leave Houston tomorrow (not that that's going to do any good). Well, he's in a hotel. He tries to call a cab, only to discover that there are no cabbies available, all the cabbies have even evacuated.

So my boyfriend's officemate, Peter, a fellow Brit expat, decides he's going to rescue this guy. Austin to Houston is about a 2.5 hour drive, normally, and vice versa. Right now, it's taking at least an 11 hour drive from Houston to Austin. At least. He left today at lunchtime,to try to pick up this guy, turn around, and come back to Austin..

He ended up calling one of Sean's coworkers a bit later saying that he was on I-10 Westbound, since they had closed the eastbound (not sure exactly where he was, but still far from Houston). He had half a tank of gas and was looking for a gas station to fill up at, so he asked this guy, Terry for advice on where to fill up. Peter said stations are either out of gas, or are lined up with some 10+ cars deep at each pump.

Peter said he'd still turn around and somehow find his way to Houston.

(Fri) Peter said it took him four hours to get from Houston
Austin. He took 90 west out of Houston until the exit after 183N. Drove
north to San Marcos, and into Austin. He said at one point the tried
go up to I-10 and it was still completely clogged. Meanwhile 90 was
apparently very empty in either direction.

Terry's brother's story (in Terry's words):
"After leaving Dickinson (1/2 way between Galveston and Houston) at 1:30
AM Thursday morning, my brother and his family - a 3 car caravan -
arrived at my house [Austin] at 6:00 AM this morning. This was a 28 1/2 hour
trip that normally takes about 4 hours.

About 5:00 yesterday afternoon, they were about 60 miles west of
Houston. One of the cars was on the side of the road out of gas and
other two were creeping from station to station looking for fuel. With
the cellular traffic jam, I was able to get a connection about every 70
tries. I pulled up Yahoo!Maps, found their location, and had it list
the gas stations in the vicinity. I called around and found one with
fuel. I directed him to that station where he waited 3 hours to
re-fuel, then drove about an hour back to give gas to the other
Then they were on their way again, arriving here just a bit tired!"


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