We can’t leave Florida, but we can’t stay either. Help us!

We can’t leave Florida, but we can’t stay either. Help us! By Darlena Cunha. There is plenty of reporting of the hurricane just about to hit Florida on the mainstream media, but this story was less usual.

Already, more than 20 counties have been told by the government to evacuate, and more are being added to the list by the hour. We’re looking at one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. More than 6 million people live in southern Florida. …

But Florida has only two main roads: interstates 95 and 75. They are parking lots, and have been for days. People are sitting in their vehicles, completely stopped on four-lane highways, running out of gas. There are no exits on these roads for scores of miles at a time. Once you get on a Florida highway, you are not getting off. You’re stuck. So, my family’s choices are: We stay here in our flimsily built house, made of sheet rock and plywood; or we hop on an unmoving highway and risk running out of gas closer to the coast, with only our car for protection

We would further clog those roads for the people in South Florida who need to get to safety, too. At least I’m inland. Irma is going to blast right over us, but she can’t bury us in rising seawater. Miami needs the roads. We’d better stay off them to keep others alive. …

In Gainesville, we are nearly out of gas. So is Orlando. So is Florida — half of Miami’s gas stations closed. Scott has ordered highway patrols to escort fuel trucks to gas stations as people scurried to refill their empty tanks. Shelves of water have been empty for days.

The article ends with a political statement calling for more government and less individual resposnsibility:

What Irma makes clear is this: It is not the residents’ fault when a storm takes everything they have. It’s the country’s. We know these storms come, and private citizens only have so much spare cash and time to deal with it. We need comprehensive state and county evacuation plans. We need a preventive plan set into motion before a storm hits to save lives. Sending in the cleanup crew to count the bodies and save the traumatized survivors isn’t enough. …

We need access to sturdy buildings and shelters. We need places to store bedding, blankets and food. We need people and organizations with generators to open up, not after the storm, but now. We need places to keep our animals safe. We need planes flying in and out of here, getting people to safety cheaply.