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Tropical Depression 13 or Tropical Storm Lee. Maybe a little Katrina, Baby

So here we go. New Orleans with a storm sitting out in the gulf, they call it Tropical Depresson 13 or is it Tropical Storm Lee? perhaps, waiting to hit us and drop tons of water on us but I just wonder about all that and how much of it is just media hype, yes, even from the Weather Channel.

They say we can get 20 inches of rain in the next three days. Well, OK, but if it is a slow moving system then that will be spread out over a period of time, over days, and as we know in hurricanes it’s mainly wind not water. I mean, yes, there is water as in storm surge and such and rising water caused by the surge but usually not much rain is dumped.

But perhaps this will be a different thing, as it seems like it is going to sit and spin and go up and around again. All we have to be concerned about is the water in the streets and the pumps being able to pump out fast enough to keep the streets from getting too much water. Of course, there will be places in the city that will flood. That is a given in this type of system. We have flooding several times a year here anyway in heavy downpours.

As I type this it is early morning, overcast and looks like late afternoon. There is no rain and there looks to be a slight breeze outside, just barely enough to move a few branches. So it looks just like a typical overcast day.

Getting Prepared

Maybe we will not see the sun for a few days as this system plays itself out. I hope that we don’t lose power although I do have a nice little Honda generator to keep the fridge going and some fans and some lights. I will have to go out and fill up the 5 gallon gas can so we can have gas if need be.

So we have been through this before but not with a 97 year old mom. If the power goes out as long as I can keep some ice handy for ice water and maybe a nice neck wrap and all that to ward off the heat. So we will see what we will see, as my dad used to say.

I’m also going to go to Sam’s Club and buy a bunch of food, stock up and get ready not only for the storm but for labor day weekend.

The Early Days  

I was wondering what it was like back in the early days of New Orleans history, back before there was electricity and weather services and such. They did have barometers so they knew when something was coming, they could see the pressure drop.

I am almost positive that the Indians knew when something was coming. That there were those who could read the weather and the sky, look at the birds and such and get a sense that something impending was coming.

It would be hard for me to believe that people were not aware enough to know that they were in for something and took precautions. Although, I can’t imagine what kind of precautions they would have taken. Maybe stocking up on water and food and closing the shutters and boarding up windows.

I’m guessing the Indians taught them how to read the weather if they didn’t already know how to do it. Europe didn’t get hurricanes like we do so it must have been a learning curve in that regard when they started settling here.

But after being here for a few generations I’m sure that the New Orleanians at least those who took on that duty to be aware of such things probably figured out that something was up. They could probably see the color of the sky, the way the entire sky was dark and filled with clouds.

Here in the summertime we don’t usually have the entire sky filled with clouds or rain falling on the entire city at once, it’s usually spotty storms that move around the city. Sometimes you can be walking down the street in sunshine and right across the street it will be pouring. No kidding.

But back then they could see that something was different in the weather, maybe even the quiet before the storm as it is right now. A few birds sing, the air is still and the sky is completely grey. As they say the calm before the storm.

Just Waiting

That is the way it feels right now, like waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know. And when it drops it will drop 20 inches of water, at least that is what they say. But I always have to wonder about the news media since they are so accustomed to frightening people, so committed to the drama and saying words like dangerous and terrible and all that stuff. Instead of just reporting they have to editorialize, instead of just giving us the facts that have to paint a violent and dangerous scenario. Gets kind of old after a while.

So we sit and wait and go about our business and get the gas and the groceries, get the flashlights together, bring out the candles and oil lamps. It’s actually kind of fun in a way torn out of your routine, living a little differently, a little more primitively, reading by your battery powered lamp or the kerosene lantern, casting big shadows on the walls, little pools of light moving from room to room.

It’s the heat at night and the day that I am concerned about, having to keep the windows closed. I just pray that we don not lose power or if we do that it only be a few hours.

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Posted in Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life.

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