Louisiana evacuations

That's wild. Anybody familiar with the city knows that the causeways are the only ways in or out. Might be tough to make New Orleans a chase target now! LOL
Every hotel room in Tyler and Longview Texas is full tonight. I didn't expect evacuees to have to come this far to find a room, but in Tyler the Red Cross has opened two shelters for hotel overflow.

A big sign on Hwy 69 heading into Tyler from the south gives shelter information.

That's something I don't recall hearing about when Lili threatened closer to home. I was down covering Lili, but the number of evacuees this time is very surprising to me here in Tyler.

The Saints and the teams families have taken refuge from Ivan in San Antonio.
Just talking with my Dad who said that every room was booked in Victoria Texas by people seeking refuge from Ivan. Victoria is just north-west of Corpus Christi.....that's a long way to go!!
It was not fun trying to get out the city. I evacuated to Shreveport and it took me 10 hours. The contraflow didn't really work they need to extend it longer, it only goes across the spillway for about 5-10 miles. You can get out the city by Highway 90 East or West, I-10 East or West, Causeway, or River Road. They have other routes such as Airline Highway and such.
Zach...tell me more about the contraflow. I love that kind of chaos. What was it like? I know the contraflow didn't extend very far, but how did they transfer back to regular flow under those conditions. I heard the contraflow for Mobile extended all the way to Montgomery.

Was it like WWIII kind of stuff or was it pretty orderly?
The radio station I was listening to in Mobile was reporting that people were having to travel all the way to Tennessee to find rooms. The evacuation traffic in Hattiesburg MS was especially heavy as that's where the highways out of Mobile and Gulfport meet, and there was bumper to bumper traffic heading northbound in Jackson MS as well.

I also noticed quite a few cars heading west on I-20 between Ruston and Monroe LA between 5-6am....not bumper to bumper but there were a lot more people heading west than there were heading east. I didn't think a whole lot of it at the time but after seeing what Morgan said about hotels being booked in Tyler and Longview I have to wonder how many of them were evacuees.
It was kind of funny because your driving on a Interstate and you are usually looking to other side seeing incoming traffic but they are going the same way with you. I have to give a hand to the La State Police every highway we were on and every town we went through Police everywhere all red lights off and they were directing traffic. Contraflow like I said needed to be longer, as long as they can go because one little section that they did wasn't a very big help because yea you seperate everyone for a couple miles and then you have to bunch them all back up. Plus, they make you go places if you are on the true side to drive on I-10 you are forced to turn North and that was a hassle because most people need to get West and so they turn you back West into bumper to bumper traffic on I-12. May be cool for you to think but I left my house and it looked like a ghosts town and then I go a mile and boom all break lights and this was no where near the Interstate or even a Highway this was a Boulevard. Something that would take us 15 minutes to get to took us 2 hours. Finally we got on Highway 90 bumper to bumper to bumper.. Constant traffic. Something that would take us 1 hours took us 5 hours. It was a cool sight to see but eventually it got aggervating. We left at 4PM....10PM in Baton Rouge it felt like we weren't moving. Finally got to Shreveport at 3AM but even once out of Opelousas, La we were out of bumper to bumper. You can still see no cars incoming then you look at all the cars your driving with, and this was on I-49 North constant cars and it was very interesting to watch the amount of people going all North and this one only one Interstate. I don't think there was one break 100 feet wide on any interstate once you got out the bumper to bumper traffic from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

On to some reports I got about other roads out. I know one things for sure everywhere you went you sat in traffic there is no way out of it. I did recieve a report from a friend she sat 2 hours to go one block.
Not Fun At All especially when your dealing with a life or death situation and a Hurricane. Another report it took someone 4 hours to go 14 miles.
Just unbelievable!

The State Police are working on some other ways, mainly extending Contraflow further. We also have an agreement with Mississippi to extend Contraflow on I-59 through Mississippi.

Road Rage with all this aggervating traffic I saw little if any. I know peoples emotions were very high because everyone was tense. I don't blame them I was worried also, you have a Hurricane on the way and people in New Orleans know if it hits New Orleans mostly all homes will be gone and the city will be gone alltogether. Thousands of lives will be lost with the people who think they are superman. In this generation in New Orleans people have yet to experience the power of a Hurricane not to mention a Cat 4. Maybe millions will die because they are to hard headed and then when it does hit and that howling winds comes and then the surge they are going to go crazy call the police and the police will not go out, they warned them and said once the storm hits your on your own. They also say you may be on your own for weeks to months to come.

All it will take is one Hurricane in New Orleans! This isnt a rebuildable City like Punta Gorda and Pensacola will be. I wish people would understand but they don't and thats why I am afraid, a direct hit on New Orleans would put millions of lives in jeopardy and this city in ruins.

If anyone is down here reading thank you for reading this very long speech about New Orleans, most of you are from the plains so who cares about Hurricanes and the Coast but that is one worry I have to have.

Good Luck On Your Storm Chasing I love the photgraphs and videos some of you bring to the table. That gives me a chance to see something we don't see all that often down here but I hope I bring you some good stories about Hurricanes something you don't see ever. If New Orleans does go under another evcuation I will give an update before I leave now and then while I am in my hotel.

Thank You,
Zachary Fradella