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New Orleans: Hurricane Isaac – the Aftermath

Here are entries from my journal the day after Hurricane Isaac blew through New Orleans. Without access to the Internet for 5 days I have not been able to do a post here to give an update of how we fared with the storm Hurricane Isaac. So here is the update.

In New Orleans: The Aftermath of Hurricane Isaac

hurricane isaac moonlight new orleans

Hurricane Isaac lit up by moonlight as it hovers over New Orleans

Wednesday August 29, 2012

We thought we might be lucky and make it through the powerful wind and the rain with our electricity intact. Around 8:30 Tuesday evening we lost cable. I was looking forward to hearing Chris Christie’s speech at the Republican convention and bam, no cable. So we watched Sister Act on DVD until it was time for bed. Had a hard time actually getting to sleep because I could hear the storm intensify. Big rushes of wind and rain beating hard against the window. I was beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea to not have closed all the shutters.

Around 4:00 AM Wednesday I woke up. Isaac was raging outside, a constant onslaught of high wind and rain with no let up. It reminded me of the time a tornado come down our street and blew in the windows. With Isaac no way could I sleep so I got up and went downstairs to listen to the radio to get the scoop on what was happening.

Still had power. Were we going to be one of the lucky ones, not one of the 400,000 without power already? Then I heard a boom and the power went out. A few minutes later it came back on and then out again for good. I texted some friends to see how they were faring and they were not sleeping either.

On the radio they were telling us that the storm had stalled over the area and was just battering the hell out of us. And it didn’t help that the eye of the storm was to the west of us, the worst place to be in a hurricane. But that’s where we were, to the east of the eye and feeling the full brunt of it.

I was beginning to wonder at the wisdom of staying in town. I mean I’m sitting in the kitchen with the radio in front of me, in the dark, this intense wind rattling and pressing in on the windows and the news on the radio telling me the storm had stalled and to prepare for a couple days of high wind and rain.

Places in lower Louisiana had storm surge overtopping the levees and conditions were continuing to deteriorate. That never sounds good. It just seemed like this thing was a lot stronger than a Category 1 and folks who had called in on the radio were saying that it seemed worse than Katrina.

And I kept hearing the same thing over and over from the radio people. It’s like they have a playbook that they go by, all saying the same thing. The phrase that stood out the most was ‘hunker down’. Yeah, make sure you “hunker down, everybody’s hunkering down, gotta hunker down till the storm passes.”

I went up and checked on my mom who had not been able to sleep either. Then I made it back to my bed and finally was able to get back to sleep and woke up around 7:30 AM. The wind had subsided a bit, although it was as strong as before, it at least had lulls in it this time which told me that the hurricane was passing.

Getting up around 8:30 I literally had to drag the dog out in the back yard which was flooded with half inch of water. The little thing didn’t know what to do. Pee in the water? What’s that? But she figured it out, emptied her bladder and we skedaddled back inside. We both got wet.

Then I waited till about 10 AM to make my way back outside to get the generator going. I got one of those little Honda eu2000i thingys that is just amazing. I had bought it after Hurricane Gustav when I determined that after getting stuck in Baton Rouge during and after that storm never more would we evacuate.

This thing is a little gem. It runs the fridge (we have a big Amana side by side), some lights, a fan, TV with DVD player and this computer that I am typing this on. It’s been running on one gallon of gas for almost 7 hours now. Everybody who lives in a hurricane prone area should have one. You can pick it up with one hand and they are amazingly quiet. It’s just purring away giving us a nice continuous jolt of power. Yeah!

Now it’s evening and it seems likes it’s been a real long day. The wind still howls outside and they say we’ll be getting a lot of rain till this thing finally blows over. Batman is on the DVD and around 5:30 I filled the generator up after it had running smoothly for about seven hours giving us all the vital energy we need.

Hurricane Isaac has passed. So on we go, family around us, food on our trays and drinks in hand, a few doors and windows open giving us a nice breeze flowing through. It’s amazing what a little generator can do to take the edge off a survival situation.

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