Ida evacuees spend hours on the road to Houston

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Sunday, August 29, 2021
Ida evacuees arrive in the Houston area
For many, it's been a welcome stop from hours on the road as thousands left south Louisiana this weekend ahead of Ida's arrival. One commuter told ABC13 it took them 14 hours to ge

KENNER, Louisiana (KTRK) -- A journey that normally takes more than six hours to complete more than doubled this weekend as thousands got on the road and away from the dangerous storm headed for Louisiana.

SEE ALSO: Ida's surge expected to be life threatening

As Hurricane Ida moves northward toward landfall, travelers along Interstate 10 and other major roadways were faced with congestion that extended well into Texas.

One family who stopped at the Baytown Buc-cee's along I-10 in Baytown told ABC13 about their trek westward and their apprehension about what they left behind.

"Terrified," a family member said Sunday morning. "The projected path is literally 10 miles from our house."

RELATED: Houston SPCA takes in over 150 animals from Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida

As New Orleans and countless other towns in southeast Louisiana braced for impact Sunday, even the Texas Department of Public Safety urged patience like it's law enforcement counterparts across the state line.

"Please be patient, reduce speeds and use caution," DPS representatives advised on Twitter.

"I survived Katrina, and I don't want to be in the same place," one evacuee told ABC13's Ted Oberg on Saturday as he fueled up his vehicle before leaving suburban New Orleans.

Bulk fuel trucks were busy delivering gasoline to convenience stores along interstate 10 Saturday morning. At one gas station, trucks had made five deliveries in 36 hours to keep up with the surging demand.

"They're scared. I'm scared," one resident said. "I've been in it more than once. As you go from town to town, all the hotels have filled up and you keep going."

Representatives with the Louisiana State Police reported congested roads across the state because of the mass exodus.

Interstate 10 Lake Charles to Orange remained congested Sunday morning. The influx of traffic combined with road construction projects in the area may have compounded the issues.

While congestion was an issue Saturday, residents who waited until Sunday morning to leave low-lying areas around New Orleans said the lanes were mostly clear.

One resident of Barataria, Louisiana, a small community south of New Orleans, told WWL-AM they had planned to stay but the worsening conditions prompted them to change their mind.

"The wind reports and the surge warnings were what did it," he said. "I was all ready to stay, had everything I needed, but I decided to ride it out at my parents in Grammercy (Louisiana)."