September 22,2005 | 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.
"All the banks are closed and I just got off work," said Thomas Visor, holding his sweaty paycheck as he, too, tried to get inside the store, where more than 100 people, all of them black or Hispanic, fretted in line. "This is crazy. How are you supposed to evacuate a hurricane if you don't have money? Answer me that?"
Some of those who did have money, and did try to get out, didn't get very far.
Judie Anderson of La Porte, Texas, covered just 45 miles in 12 hours. She had been on the road since 10 p.m. Wednesday, headed toward Oklahoma, which by Thursday was still very far away.
"This is the worst planning I've ever seen," she said. "They say, 'We've learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina.' Well, you couldn't prove it by me."
There doesn't seem to be much media coverage about the southound traffic towards san antonio/mexico. It seems more people would go there. But it is still sad I thought people were saying that there would be state contracted buses etc. I know there were some but may be still not enough?