Thursday, September 22, 2005

What If Houston NEEDED to Evacuate 4 Million?

Where the hell has all the "War on Terror" money gone in the past 4 years?

Houston traffic, in anticipation of Hurricane Rita and made all-the-more anxious by recent coverage of Hurricane Katrina -- is at a deadly stand-still. The mayor of Houston perhaps said it best this morning when he said that the highway parking lots would be "death traps" if Rita were a direct hit.

How the hell can this happen over 4 years after 9/11? With all the talk of terrorism against chemical plants or potential dirty bombers, how can emergency planners and politicians not be prepared for a mass evacuation of an entire city?

It seems that money could have been well spent on automatic traffic flow systems that would allow planners to reverse traffic flows with a virtual throw of the switch. Gates could swing entrances shut and open access to contraflow lanes. Instead, it took over 12 hours for a request to be made and then fulfilled, and even then, hapless planners and politicians worried aloud about just "shifting traffic north" unless their eventual exits and stays upstate were measured and planned.

This, after four years since 9/11.

Inexcusable at all levels. Government in the U.S. is broken. Who will fix it and when? Like Houston, the country is simply out of time.