11 years since traffic nightmare before Hurricane Rita

Millions sat in traffic for hours while leaving Houston before hurricane hit


HOUSTON – It has been almost 11 years since Hurricane Rita made landfall, and millions of people hit the road before the storm hit Houston.

The rush to leave the city led to large traffic jams and stretched for miles and left drivers waiting in traffic for hours.

During the traffic rush, 23 nursing home residents died when their chartered bus caught fire on the way from Bellaire to Dallas.

The group was being transferred to a sister facility in Dallas on Sept. 23, 2005, when the fire happened.

Rita made landfall on Sept. 24, 2005, near the Sabine River, hitting the area of Port Arthur, Texas, and southwest Louisiana.