Houston resident and The Hill contributor Kristin Tate said Monday that Mayor Sylvester Turner “failed the city” by not ordering an evacuation sooner and sending mixed messages to his constituents.
“I really think the Mayor Sylvester Turner completely failed the city,” Tate said during an interview on Fox Business. “He didn’t even call for a voluntary evacuation and it seems like no real provisions were made to help residents before the flooding, and I want to know why not. Because we knew this was coming, this was in the reports. We certainly didn’t know the hurricane was going to be this bad but a city should always be prepared for the worst.”
Tate said when she evacuated Friday with her family, the weather was so bad they couldn’t see where they were going.
“As my family and I left the city on Friday, we could barely see out our windshield because it was raining so hard. And what has happened since, just widespread devastation. Most of my friends decided to kind of stay put in Houston and ride it out, but now they’re wishing they had left,” she said.
Tate said that Turner sent mixed messages by not suggesting a voluntary evacuation, and cited a tweet he sent out Friday.
“I think what made it most difficult for the residents was that we were getting mixed messages. Greg Abbott the Governor was suggesting evacuation but the mayor actually told people to just stay put. He tweeted this on Friday,” Tate said.
Please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse. No evacuation orders have been issued for the city. #Harvey
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 25, 2017
Tate said some of the blame for the suffering falls on Turner, calling him “irresponsible.”
“I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for him not to have done that. And I think we can blame him for at least some of the suffering we are seeing because a lot of this could have been avoided,” she concluded.