Monday, September 26, 2005

Houston evacuation was a historic success

Wanna feel better?
Go read this WILLisms post.

From the governor's office:

There exists no comparable evacuation effort in world history. Texas safely evacuated approximately 2.7 million people – equivalent of the population of Kansas – in harm’s way in 36 hours. By comparison:

* Berlin Air Lift – evacuated 177,000 people and moved 2.3 million tons of cargo over 11 months
* Three Mile Island - 200,000 evacuated
* Chernobyl - 135,000 evacuated

Using the world’s largest commercial airliner, the Boeing 747 which typically can carry 400 passengers, it would have taken 6,750 capacity flights to move 2.7 million people. There are roughly 1,000 Boeing 747s in existence, less than 15 percent of the needed capacity.

[Will continues...]

In other words, there was no simple answer, here.

Some folks complained that Texas' aversion to commuter rail, and our preference for mega-highways, proved to be some sort of Achilles heel. If only we had some rail, we could have moved all of those 2+ million people efficiently
and without any of that telegenic gridlock.

Hmm. I don't think I need to do the math on that one, do I?

The number of rail cars and tracks necessary for such an evacuation is staggering.And, meanwhile, what do you do about people wanting to take stockpiles of food and supplies, or their firearms, or their furniture and photo albums and other household items, or their pets, or their cars themselves, all out of harms way? Do they all get to ride the choo-choo, too?

Come on.

It gets better. Read it all.
And thanks, Will, I needed that.
Friday morning I was up at 4:30 am, live-blogging the hurricane as I watched and listened to the online feed from KPRC in Houston. I now feel I was witness to a truly historic event. At some time in the future I will revisit my string of posts, like looking at a scrapbook, and relive the excitement.

Rita notes (4:30 am...twelve-hour rule explained)
Rita notes 5:10 am
Rita notes 5:25 am (Message from Holland)
Rita notes 5:35 am
Rita notes 6:00 am
Rita notes 6:30 am
Rita notes 6:55 am

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