Those claims about how well contraflow worked this time around? Not so much.
Head over to Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster for Loki's report on the Interstate 59 contraflow disaster in Mississippi, complete with photos of police blocking offramps to keep evacuees from getting off the interstate:
Image courtesy/copyright Loki/Humid City
As my cats came closer and closer to fatal heatstroke, we poured water over their heads to cool them off. Two almost died. People around us were obviously suffering in the temperature, including many elderly and infants. The various cars stalled out on the side of the road stood like scarecrows striking the fear of being left behind into our hearts. The worst place to be in a hurricane, bar none, is in a car stuck in traffic. Visions of being blown into the air in your vehicle by the Mother of All Storms contributed to the palpable feelings of despair.
In Mississippi, police blocked the off ramps, several cars at each. it seems we were not wanted or allowed to leave the parking lot that was Contraflow. Fear of the situation warred with rage at those whose panic was substituted for leadership. All the while, the radio spewed forth reports of how well Contraflow was working, alternating with self-congratulatory proclamations by the mayor.
My wife became so ill with the heat that an ambulance, sheer impossibility in this situation, was seriously contemplated. The lady who was driving and my wife both had to use the side of the road to relieve themselves, as did anyone else on the road.
The last few miles of this hell ride were the slowest and ugliest. The fact that I did not see any violence around us is something that makes me take pride in my fellow man; the shimmering heat haze was a type well know in the subtropics, the type that incites tempers.
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