My father-in-law and I made a quick trip tonight in Houston to get some supplies. We only scored a water cooler, but at least it wasn't totally in vain.
This city is completely shut down -- nothing open, very few cars (duh, because there's no gas) and that cliched "calm before the storm" feel. This was likely our last outing before Rita hits tomorrow afternoon, for two reasons. First, future trips would probably be totally useless. Second, we need to conserve every ounce of gasoline for the time when we might possibly leave the city after the storm.
Here's a quick directional breakdown of evacuation routes, which will show why we're staying home:
S/SW/SE -- Right into the storm. Wouldn't recommend it.
W -- I-10 is completely blocked up, almost all the way to San Antonio. No gasoline.
NW -- HWY 290 totally jammed, all the way to Austin. No gasoline.
N -- I-45 totally jammed, for over 100 miles. No gasoline.
NE -- HWY 59 totally jammed, for 100 miles. No gasoline confirmed all the way to Longview.
E -- Passable, not much traffic. But no gasoline. And also right into the highest probability of where the hurricane will hit.
Evacuation decision could pretty much be summed up like this...
"Where would you like to run out of gasoline tonight?"