Those who fled their homes before Hurricane Isaac makes landfall arrived in southeast Texas on Tuesday.
Many people traveled west on Interstate 10 and stopped at motels in Baytown.
Some families evacuated early because they did not want to get stuck in traffic jams on I-10.
"It's better safe than sorry, just in case. I wasn't too sure how strong the winds were going to be, so in case it started to be unfortunately like Katrina, hopefully not, we said go ahead and take the chance and go ahead and leave. Pray for the best that everything works out," said James Hunter, from Gretna, La. "When a storm is in the Gulf, I pay full attention and always plan to evacuate."
Hunter said he wanted his family to evacuate before hotels and motels had no more rooms. He stayed at a La Quinta in Baytown, which was filling up quickly.
"A lot of family stayed for Katrina. It was ridiculous. Don't want to go through that again," said Chadsity Blackston, from New Orleans East.
"We don't want to take chances. It's a serious situation. We ain't riding it out," said Jeremy Armstrong, from New Orleans East. "I wanted to stay and enjoy my birthday in my city, but I'm here. I'm 21 tomorrow. It is what it is."
Many of the evacuees kept their eyes glued on television reports, news websites and social media to track the storm.