I took a bike ride. The I-10 was just about empty. At Xavier they were putting some newspaper dispensers on the back of a truck.
Homan came by with some hurricane mix. We made a few drinks and, with Xy, took a walk to the Bayou St. John to see what we could see before the curfew was imposed. Jason joined us there with a couple friends. We did observe some national guard troops passing by in trucks, but other than that there was little to see.
Even now, no rain, little wind. Looks like Mobile will be getting it bad, though.
Here’s what’s in my hurricane mix in iTunes:
Butterflies and Hurricanes Muse
Calm Before The Storm Fall Out Boy
Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix) U2
Hurricane Bob Dylan
Hurricane Roots, Common, Dice Raw, Mos Def
Hurricane (weather patterns) something corporate
Hurricane Party Cowboy Mouth
Hurricane Storm Warning #1 Leopolds
Hurricane Storm Warning #2 Leopolds
Riders on the Storm The Doors
Storm (Feat. Jay-Z) Lenny Kravitz
Stormy Blues Billie Holiday & BB King
Stormy Weather Billie Holliday
Stormy Weather Nat King Cole & Ella Fitzgerald
I would have included “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” but I can’t really stand to listen to the Scorpions or REO.
We’re now outside the projected cone of possibility.
That’s nice, but it hardly means we’re safe. Hundreds of thousands of wiser people have left, but hundreds of thousands of fools remain. Fools, and of course the poor, people who have no way to get out.
Xy and I moved all the potted plants in front of our house to the shelter of our downstairs porch, and parked the car . We have brought most of our valuables up to the second floor: old journals, ROX tapes, etc. I’ll grab a few more things, like the CPU of Xy’s old Mac, if flood waters appear.
The city has opened up the Superdome as a shelter for people with special needs, and they’re considering whether or not to open shelters for the general public. Curfew goes in effect at 2pm. Homan said he’ll come by around noon for a drink. We’re out of hurricane mix, bit we’ll scare up something.
I expect heavy rains at the very least, probably starting in a few hours. There’s a good chance we’ll lose power. We have plenty of water, food, batteries, and other such supplies. But whenever it rains heavily, BellSouth seems to have trouble with my Internet connection. This could be my last post for a while.
Winds are picking up now…
The National Hurricane Center’s projections continue to predict Ivan will take a turn to the north.
(Per M. Whybark’s request, I’ve marked the location of New Orleans with a big purple dot.)
Here’s hoping they’re right. Ivan has been heading north by northwest, and if it doesn’t turn, we are in deep shit.
We’re under a hurricane storm warning now. Xy and I took a walk around the neighborhood, watched people boarding up their windows, stopped in for a drink at the Red Door.
I notice that the New Orleans doomsday scenario is getting some play on the Internet. That’s the scenario wherein the hurricane sucks Lake Pontchartrain down into the bowl that is our fair city, flooding us for weeks, with massive loss of life and destruction of property. The story in USA Today bears a strange resemblance to the story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer… Even the photos are similar… I guess they must be editing the same wire story.
I’ve heard it all before, of course. And, make no mistake, I believe it is all too possible. Maybe this hype will mean some measures are taken to improve the situation in the future, though I doubt it. Bob Breck (a local weatherman) has been ranting about how people are stuck in gridlock trying to get out of the city, asking why contraflow wasn’t put into effect sooner, and recommending people not leave the city just yet. What’s the point when traffic isn’t moving? I just talked to my boss and it took him something like six or eight hours to get out to Slidell. (And why is he going east? Turns out he wanted to drop off his chickens at his in-laws’ house before heading west to Baton Rouge.)
It looks like Ivan will make landfall to the east of New Orleans. That would put us on the weak side of the storm. In any case, Xy and I will probably ride it out, which is a bit of a gamble. Ivan could turn at the last minute. No one knows what these storms will do. But we are packed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice. I’ll check the scenario at four o’clock tomorrow morning.
If we had kids, we’d have left last night. So I tell myself.
On the way home from our walk, I saw a chef in front of a neighborhood restaurant, in his puffy chef’s hat, washing his dog with a hose. I thought that was a great pre-hurricane New Orleans image.
Ivan cometh. New Orleans (and much of the Gulf Coast) is under a hurricane watch. The university is closed today and tomorrow. So is NOPS.
The National Hurricane Center says there’s a 20-49% chance that the eye of Ivan will pass within 75 miles of New Orleans within the next 72 hours.
Panama City Beach is in the 10-19% range, but MAD bugged out for Indiana. Here in New Orleans, Homan says he’s staying no matter what. The neighbors are staying for now. I don’t know what our plan is quite yet. Xy doesn’t seem inclined to take this very seriously and refuses to have a real conversation about it; right now she’s grading papers. It’s a sunny day here with beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I’ve gotten calls from friends both panicked and cavalier.
If they evacuate the city we’ll leave for sure, even though at that point we’ll surely be peeing in a cup. I hear it takes hours and hours to get out of the metro area during an evacuation. The real question is: What critical determining factor would cause us to leave early? A hurricane warning? A strike probability of over 50%? I think we’ll wait until tomorrow morning and see.
We do have a hotel reservation for Wednesday night in Baton Rouge, thanks to my boss.
The projections for Ivan have been drifting westward, and now New Orleans is in the cone of possibility.
And it is a category five hurricane.