Eight years ago, Hurricane Rita threatened the Texas Gulf Coast, leading to the largest evacuation in U.S. history.
Somewhere between 2.7 million and 3.7 million people evacuated the Houston area in September 2005. Drivers clogged the roads trying to get away from the coast, causing traffic jams that stretched for miles. Heat exhaustion and accidents killed dozens during the evacuation.
The exodus was prompted by Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed New Orleans just three weeks before Rita’s arrival.
The storm did not do major damage to Houston, though strong winds busted windows and knocked out power across the city.