Why Didn’t The Mayor Call For An Evacuation Of Houston?

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner didn’t call for an evacuation of Houston in the hours leading up to the worst hurricane in decades.

In fact, he told people to “think twice” before leaving.

Now that the city is under water, thousands have been rescued. But more rain is on the way, and people are asking why didn’t the mayor say to evacuate Houston?

Here’s his tweet asking people to not leave Houston.

Heavy.com has the ins and outs of the disaster in Houston and also wonders why no evacuation order was issued:

Those are questions people are starting to ask as horrific images circulated of the dire flooding in the city. People begged for help from rooftops, were photographed up to their waists in water in nursing homes, a man was rescued from a partially submerged truck, and families pleaded for rescue on social media.

… Houston residents were given mixed messages before the storm struck. The Republican governor suggested evacuation, but the Democratic mayor and a Republican judge overseeing the city’s emergency operations suggested otherwise. The decision was complicated, others say, by past evacuations that caused problems of their own and by the sheer population size of the city.

The National Weather Service said the storm was unprecedented and catastrophic. At least two people have died, more than 1,000 rescued, and some 911 calls going unanswered.

The Governor encouraged people to evacuate, according to the Washington Post: 

“On Friday, before Harvey made landfall, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) encouraged residents to evacuate low lying and coastal areas, even if a mandatory evacuation order had not been issued.

‘Even if an evacuation order hasn’t been issued by your local official, if you’re in an area between Corpus Christi and Houston, you need to strongly consider evacuating,’ Abbott said at a news conference. ‘What you don’t know, and what nobody else knows right now, is the magnitude of flooding that will be coming. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you could be subject to a search and rescue.’”

He’s right!

Praying for everyone in Houston.

Meanwhile, many Americans from non-profits and churches went to Houston to help the victims.

This man from Texas City brought his boat to “save some lives.”

Others came from further away.

The Chicago Tribune reported: 

“Volunteer Jim Connelly, a longtime shelter supervisor, made it to Dallas late Saturday after three flight cancellations in Chicago. With torrential rain and wind still battering Houston, Connelly and the other volunteers were standing by Sunday at the regional Red Cross headquarters in Dallas awaiting assignments and instruction. They are in a holding pattern there until it is safe and logistically possible to travel into the disaster zone.

‘We’re all here to do the job, and we’re anxious to get to work,’ said Connelly, 78, of Lincolnwood.

Connelly, a volunteer with the Red Cross for 48 years, is an experienced responder to post-hurricane disaster areas. He helped at a shelter last year in South Carolina after Hurricane Matthew. In his duties as shelter supervisor, he helps run the aid centers set up at schools, churches or community centers where displaced residents can receive food and a warm place to stay.”

Some noted a contrast between the events in Houston and the events in Berkeley over the weekend:

True!

Image: Source

To Top