This is a continuation from my journal during the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans. Two weeks have passed since that time and everything is back to normal. Those in other communities are still struggling with the long slog back to normalcy. Some folks are without homes others work tirelessly to clean out and repair what they do have.
In New Orleans: Dealing with the Aftermath of Hurricane Isaac Part Trois
Last night I took the dog for a walk before bed, before I turned off the generator for the night. Let it rest. We walked down the street and it felt eerie.
No lights on in the houses anywhere I looked save for a few lanterns and lights run by a generator. No street lights, or lights in the nearby eateries.
The moon was full and shone down sporadically through passing grey clouds. There was something strange yet comforting, had never seen the neighborhood like this except one time in the ’60s when Hurricane Betsy came through and felled huge trees and caused mountains of debris.
It was hot then too as it usually is during hurricane season and we had to wait a week before we got electricity.
And then we had no generator so we had to eat all the food in fridge and survive the sweltering and oppressive heat without the benefit of fans. Night time was eerie then too and even more so. There was not a light to be had in any house save for a few oil lamps and candles.
As I walked the streets now one thing I found that kind of spoiled the night was the sounds of generators. Now the one we have is very quiet and you can really only here it if you are close by.
But the sounds of these other generators were this loud rattle with deep tones. On another street I passed by a big brick house that had what sounded like a huge generator on their stone porch. The sound was absolutely horrendous.
So obviously some of these homes had the AC going with windows closed, while others who did not have a generator had to sleep with windows open and had to listen to the awful noise from their neighbors.
I found when I went to bed even though the sound of the generator two houses away across the street was not so loud it still was kind of annoying through the open window. I had to to put ear plugs in just to get to sleep.
The quiet solitude of the night was broken by all these engines clattering away. Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, it someone could invent a generator that had a muffler on it that would silence it.
This morning Saturday I came down around 6:00 after not being able to sleep very well, turned the generator on, opened all the windows in the den, turned on the fan, lay on the couch, found that I actually felt a little chilly…hm strange. And I slept for 4 hours till 10:00 AM. It was a hot day today.
I went to visit my brother and his wife on State St. who is still without power save for a couple generators. When I walked into their home I was surprised at how comfortable it felt inside although they had only one window open and a couple fans going. The ceilings are really high and maybe they have more trees keeping the sun off the house. You could really see why they built homes with high ceilings back before electricity. Really makes a difference.
It seems that my generator is supposed to go for 8 hours on one gallon of gas, or at least I had read that somewhere. Whenever I went to fill it up there was still gas in there. So I decided to let it run till it stopped by itself. It ran for 11 hours! On one gallon of gas! Wow. I’m impressed.
Didn’t feel like doing much all day. It was just too warm to want to do anything. Even now just to sit at my little laptop and type… so we mostly just watched TV. Cable had come back on last night.
I made some gazpacho for dinner using the immersion blender which the generator handled with no problem. We sat on the porch for drinks with my mom, sister and brother-in-law, reinstating our usual evening ritual that the hurricane had disrupted.
Before dinner the power came back on. We decided to eat under generator power with the windows open and the fans going anyway.
Honestly, when the power came back on I wasn’t that thrilled. I wanted just one more day of sleeping with the windows open, and being inside during the day and smelling the outside air coming through the windows. And also seeing how much more our little generator could handle.
So our little adventure with Hurricane Isaac is over. The windows are closed, the lights are on, the AC is going and there is more cleanup to do outside. I feel for people in the low lying areas who’ve lost their homes to flooding. It’ll be a long time before their lives return to normal.
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- Hurricane Isaac Hits Fortified New Orleans on Katrina’s Anniversary (insurancejournal.com)
- Volunteers Step Up to Help in US After Isaac (voanews.com)