More than 100 evacuees died

And another thing. The AP reports:

Trump had raised eyebrows and drawn an emphatic fact check from the National Weather Service on Sunday when he tweeted that Alabama, along with the Carolinas and Georgia, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

You know, in ordinary times presidents talk to us about approaching hurricanes in order to give relevant useful advice. They can advise people to leave or to hunker down or to relax because the hurricane has faded out. What presidents say has an impact on what people do. Something I’d forgotten until I watched a NOVA on hurricanes last night is that in 2005 people in Houston died trying to evacuate, because the traffic locked up and they were stuck in the heat.

Hurricane Katrina had devastated the U.S. only a few weeks earlier. And with Hurricane Rita – documented as the strongest Gulf storm on record – on track to bash East Texas, Houstonians heeded the call to evacuate. That’s the moment residents remember best a decade later.

In the Houston area, the muddled flight from the city killed almost as many people as Rita did. an estimated 2.5 million people hit the road ahead of the storm’s arrival, creating some of the most insane gridlock in U.S. history. More than 100 evacuees died in the exodus. Drivers waited in traffic for 20-plus hours, and heat stroke impaired or killed dozens. Fights broke out on the highway. A bus carrying nursing home evacuees caught fire, and 24 died.

Evacuations themselves are dangerous, which makes sense as soon as you think about it. Trump really shouldn’t be out there squawking random bullshit about hurricane danger that doesn’t exist, and he shouldn’t be pitching a fit now about being corrected on the subject. He should act as if our health and safety were the issue, not his enormous prickly ego.

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