it could have been Houston

It wasn’t too long ago that Houston was under water. Any who was here five years ago remembers the consequences and aftermath of Tropical Storm Allison.

Hurricane Katrina could have hit Houston. Would we have been any better prepared?

KHOU CBS Channel 11 asks that question in What a Category 5 hurricane would mean for Houston.

“I think we’re probably as well prepared as a flood-prone community can be. You know, we’ve had lots of experiences with this,” said Bedient.

But as people continue to move to the Gulf Coast, they only become more vulnerable and more difficult to mobilize when that red swirl comes here.

What is Houston’s evacuation plan? Perhaps that merits some investigation. Oh, yeah, the Houston Chronicle already did that.

ARE WE READY?
Houston’s storm plan needs work
City leaders recognize that the document doesn’t address scenarios like the one unfolding

In February, the Houston Chronicle reported serious problems in evacuating the elderly, disabled and poor from a storm target. Seven months later, that problem continues to exist in Galveston, whose very location makes it the most vulnerable in a hurricane.

“We still haven’t been able to really come up with a fine-tuned way, in my opinion, to deal with seniors, special-needs population and the economically disadvantaged,” Galveston County Judge James Yarbrough said.

In Galveston County, at least 30,000 people do not have transportation to escape the threat of harm in the event of a serious storm. Complicating the evacuation process is that only one major highway goes in and out of Galveston Island.

White and Harris County officials freely acknowledged last week Katrina opened up a whole new set of disaster scenarios.

Houston has millions of people to evacuate, and the largest physical city in the country. While we may not live in a bowl like New Orleans, we do have our own set of challenges. I shudder to think about it.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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