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Monday, September 1, 2008

I-59 contraflow still a mess

Posted By on Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 2:33 AM

As we reported earlier, something seems to have gone seriously wrong with the evac plan on Interstate 59 in Mississippi. A member of the New Orleans Livejournal group is furious:

I-59 is seriously phucked. We're at a sickening crawl, major stop-and-go.

Now passing through Carriere, MS. Had to tend to my cat. She was overheating, since we had to turn off the a/c. We were at a complete stop for 20 minutes. My partner got out to talk to some people and it seems that contraflow had not officially started yet. We're in the South-bound lane, now going faster than the "correct" side of I-59. Five minutes later and we're traveling at about the same speed, 10-15 MPH, with plenty of stopping.

If you are leaving and know of backroads that are not closed, take them. We've been driving for 3.5 hours.

On Twitter, "reliefsparknola" testifies:

Still on I-59 trying to get to Birmingham. 17 + hours. According to over 200,000 pp on this hwy now.

I've been listening to similar stories on WWL-AM with furious evac-ers calling in to host Deke Bellavia. Just heard someone tell Deke another tale of freeway offramps being closed to traffic.'s on it, too. A commenter notes:

The Gov. of Miss. violated the interstate commerce clause by shutting down I-10 Est at 10 pm on Saturday night.

This was done so Louisiana people weren't clogging the interstate for Miss. residents.

THis is wring, and caused me to sit in traffic for 12 hrs.

I don't know anything about interstate law, but the sheer number of stories coming through email, Web sites, and Twitter indicate that something ain't right on the I-59. Whatever the case, people did what they were told to do by state and national officials, were well-prepared for unpleasant but not intolerable conditions, and were met with an automotive nightmare instead.


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