Abbott: Do Not Second-Guess Houston on Not Ordering Mandatory Evacuation
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said nobody should "second-guess" the city of Houston's decision not to issue a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Hurricane Harvey.
Abbott responded to the questions of recent days about why the city of more than 6 million residents did not issue the order as the storm approached last week.
"There's no way that can be second-guessed because you don't know what would have happened had an evacuation occurred. All we know is we need all hands on deck," Abbott said on "Fox & Friends."
He said the state is a "quintessential example" of effective collaboration between federal, state and local authorities after an "all-time catastrophic disaster."
Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said evacuating the highly populated urban areas would have been logistically impossible.
“You literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road. If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare," he said.
Officials pointed out that in 2005, more than 100 people died while fleeing Hurricane Rita. Others have noted that the flooding on a main freeway out of Houston would have submerged cars.
23 hours to get from Houston to San Antonio, where we evacuated. It usually takes 3-4.
— Kam Franklin (@KamFranklin) August 27, 2017
Abbott said that conditions remain "horrifically challenging" Tuesday morning as rain continues and dams overflow in the city.
"We are deeply concerned about those dams," said Abbott, adding officials are making "minute-by-minute" decisions on releasing water to counter the spillover.
Watch the full interview above.