NEW ORLEANS -- During the 2008 hurricane season, Houston and New Orleans avoided repeating disastrous evacuations that cost lives during the deadly 2005 season.
Many Gulf Coast cities overhauled their disaster plans after hurricanes Katrina and Rita three years ago. With another destructive storm season ending tomorrow, emergency planners are reflecting on lessons learned from Gustav and Ike to get ready for next year.
Texas learned that the hard way. Hundreds of thousands jammed the freeways in September 2005 and 110 people died in accidents or from exposure or heart attacks.
This time, the freeway was jammed leading away from Galveston immediately after the order. But by late afternoon on Sept. 12, the day before Ike arrived, many evacuees had made it north of Houston
The 2008 hurricane season was one of the most active on record, with 16 named storms, including eight hurricanes, forming in the Atlantic. Five of the eight hurricanes were at least Category 3 strength.