Weather

Experts say decision on Houston evacuations was complicated

Posted August 29

Houston's mayor keeps facing questions about his decision not to order an evacuation of the notoriously flood-prone city ahead of Harvey's arrival.

Instead, Mayor Sylvester Turner remained resolute in his advice to residents since the storm made landfall on Friday: hunker down at home.

Experts said evacuating is a complicated decision with major ramifications, and none interviewed by The Associated Press second-guessed Turner. Harvey intensified quickly after reaching hurricane status midday Thursday and making landfall the next night, leaving a tight timeframe for relocations.

The George R. Brown Convention Center nearly doubled its expected capacity of 5,000, with people seeking refuge from the waist-deep waters that had neighborhoods resembling lakes.

The situation is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when officials drew criticism for not ordering an evacuation sooner.

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