Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Time Warp # 1 - The Day After

Outside the Algiers Point Grocery. Landed right on that poor bastard's truck.
A blast from the past. Somewhat. As I write this, it is 11:31 a.m. on Saturday, September 1, 2012 in this foul year of our Lord. As I will detail below, whenever this is posted, it won't be whenever I get tired of writing as usual.

 Anyhow. Hurricane Isaac has blown through and, last I heard he's on up into Arkansas making them folks wet and miserable. All in all, it was not as bad as it could've been but worse than most of us expected. It never got higher than Cateogry 1, but even so it was a nasty booger before all was said and done. It had the distressing tendency to sit and stay in one spot, and managed to do so twice. Both times resulted in little areas around New Orleans getting the ever-loving shit kicked out of them.

 Plaquemines Parish got hit pretty hard, as did Jefferson Parrish. Little town called Lapalce had an almost Katrina-like experience, with massive flooding and loads of damage. Apparently, it'd never had any real hurricane damage, even during the really foul ones. It got it hard this time, and theres also a dam up in Mississippi that’s under considerable stress because of the truly herculean amount of water Isaac dumped on us.

 Here in New Orleans, though, the worst we got was some tree damage and no power. At the little corner grocery store here in Algiers Point, an electric pole was snapped in two, with one half unfortunately landing on some poor bastard's pick-up truck. Power outages are sporadic throughout the city, as are the reconnections. Entergy, the local company, is doing what they can, one assumes, but folks are still getting grumpy. Understandable, as it's back to a miserably hot and muggy late New Orleans summer.

I, however, do have power. Yesterday evening at work, several of the lads said the Point had lights, so I decided to give it a shot. After work, I drove over and, sure enough, we’re back in business. Well, more or less. I have neither cable nor internet, but I do have A/C and a hot shower in the past 12 hours, so I’ll take what I can get. The only other stumble in my weekend is the lack of ferry service, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about that but take the bus.

 We had power until about 3 a.m. Far as I know, it's still out. The girlfriend stayed with a friend in Mid-City who had power and food. Unless her power's back on, she'll probably come over here tonight. If her's is on and she's got cable, I might go back over there. If we break even, I'll probably stay here and I imagine she'll stay there.

 Bless her heart, she had a rough time of it. Like, well, just about everyone who lived through it, she has Katrina scars, and stayed antsy as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs the whole time. When we drove across the river the day after the storm to make sure my place hadn't blown away, she became visibly upset at seeing the mess and especially the National Guard presence. I admit, seeing guys in uniforms with guns just standing around watching never actually fills me with sangfroid, but that was part of a bigger whole for her.

 Me, I sort of enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, when I woke up yesterday morning drenched in sweat and still no power - plus knowing I'd have to go to work - I damn near wanted to cry. Beyond that, though, the power of a truly awesome piece of weather never fails to grab my attention. The wind made the house rumble. That's pretty neat. Scary as hell, but pretty neat.

 For me, violent weather is like a roller coaster ride, I suppose. I enjoy the thrill of danger and never quite know what calamity might lie ahead. I don't mean to be flip about something that does cause so much harm and pain, and I strongly encourage you to give money to worthy charities so the thankfully few (relatively) people who were really hurt by this storm can get back on their feet that much faster. Still, though, there is something heart-quickening about being in the middle of Nature reminding you just how small a part of it you really are.

 That being said, I'm good on hurricanes. I doubt I'll try to ride out the next one. We've screwed the ecosystem of this area up so badly that they're just going to get worse and more destructive, and frankly, this is just where I'm living at the time being. I am not saying a hurricane is going to make me leave New Orleans, but it's another reason I have no good reason to stay any longer than I really want to.

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