Counties are defying Governor Rick Perry's order to empower one person to make evacuation decisions during a disaster. Perry's order came in response to the chaos and traffic-choked highways seen in the counties before Hurricane Rita last September.
Instead, a group of elected Gulf Coast leaders adopted a different plan Tuesday that puts the authority in the hands of a 15-person committee. That's even though the ultimate power to evacuate still rests with individual counties.
Houston Mayor Bill White is among more than two dozen government
executives from a 13-county region surrounding Houston who created
the Unified Area Coordination Committee.
During a hurricane, the committee would make decisions like how to stagger evacuations and when to enable contraflow on clogged
County officials have said that appointing one incident commander as Perry directed last month is impractical and welcomes uninformed decisions.