The series is notorious for its inconsistency and lack of continuity where Barry's speed is concerned, and one possible explanation lies in the fact that unlike his comicbook self he doesn't tend to have the proportionate speed awareness and perceptions you would expect in a Speedster.
A good example of what I am pointing at comes in the season 2 episode where he meets renegade Speedster Trajectory, as she speed-raids the club he and Team-Flash are at and he, bafflingly, fails to even register her. It may be down to his innate insecurities, that he is consistently hesitant in reaching for his potential and it takes either a monumental external stimulus to goad him to do so, or some equally deep soul searching and a resultant decision to break his own mental blocks that forever cause him to hesitate in accessing his full power.
For it is one of the truths to this show that if and when Barry ever found his own inner plateau and fully arrived as The Flash then there would be no need for the existing format of team-flash as his day-to-day support...
He is still stuck arounf mach 2 usually, seems to be limited like right after COIE.
In the comics thought, wasn't his city nuked, and he had to run 200, 000 poeople away in less than a second or something?