Rita - Day One, amThe morning definitely has a creepy feel to it. Totally quiet neighborhood. Gentle breeze. A few light clouds. Would be remarkably pleasant if we didn't know what was coming. First ominous sign: no morning newspapers. No Houston Chronicle. No Wall Street Journal. I'm not surprised. I'm sure newspaper delivery guys have better things to be doing. Up until now, it sort of felt like Christmas Day: not much traffic, restaurants and stores closed. But they deliver the paper even on Christmas. No problem - can still read 'em online.
Checked the traffic map. Totally clear. All freeways. Checked the cameras. Very few cars. Stark contrast to CNN last night showing 10 outbound lanes of I45 covered with cars bumper to bumper. They must have found a way to clear it out overnight. Impressive, but it definitely feels creepy this morning. A ghost town at what should be a jammed packed rush hour.
Found this quote from the NY Times backing up what I said yesterday about evacuation assumptions being wrong in a jittery post-Katrina world:
Frank E. Gutierrez, the emergency management coordinator for Harris County, said that models for an emergency evacuation envisioned 800,000 to 1.2 million people but that "well over 2.5 million" hit the road to flee Hurricane Rita.
Ring Zero posted a link on the Wal-Mart situation in the comments. I would certainly understand all closures yesterday in the coastal counties, but in southwest Houston? It certainly could have been open all day yesterday and helped everybody staying get stocked up.
Gotta go to breakfast. More later