Traffic on I-10 lightens after day-long traffic jam



Posted on August 27, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 27 at 10:29 PM

KENNER, La ( -- Traffic that had crawled all day along Interstate 10 near Kenner has cleared up Monday night as residents continue to evacuate on the eve of Isaac's arrival.

The tie-ups began mid-morning and by the afternoon, traffic was bumper to bumper as thousands headed out of the New Orleans area to take shelter. 

Resident Sean Rastanis fueled up on his way to Baton Rouge from Metairie. He says he can't afford to take any chances with his family. 

"I almost made the mistake of staying during Katrina, we have a two-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old dog," he said, "So, you know if it was just me, maybe I'd stay. But with my wife and then we decided to get out of town.

But the exodus wasn't as smooth for everyone. Others say it took them hours to get from downtown New Orleans to the Loyola exit in Kenner Monday afternoon in thick traffic.

"You just really ride the brake the entire way," said Pamela Davis. "I haven’t used the gas. Truthfully, I've just let the car coast the entire way. I haven’t seen anything like it down here."

Cars poured out of town packed with families and their belongings. Some even tied bags to the roof of their car as they made their way out of town. Many stopped to fuel up, and by around 7 p.m., the Exxon station on Loyola was out of gas. 

Getting gas is only one hurdle. Once out of town, evacuees still have to find lodging. Maria Rivera said hotels outside of the metro area were hard to come by.

"Baton Rouge there were only like three hotels left," said Maria Rivera. "No hotels in Alexandria, even Houston Texas."

With Isaac expected to unleash its wrath so close to the 7th anniversary of Katrina, some say that adds to their anxiety. Still, in true New Orleans form, people are making the most of it.

"Vacation- that’s what it is, vacation with the kids," said Rickeva Burnett. "We’re going to have fun. One of my kids has a birthday- we're going to have fun."