Monday, August 29, 2005

Voices From Katrina

I spent several hours digging through the cyber to find the following links to bloggers from New Orleans. Most of them are now on the run. I've included their blog links, and also their last blog post to date which deal with their survival plans, etc.

This blogger Evacuated:

"All indications are that this is absolutely worst-case scenario"
"All indications are that this is absolutely worst-case scenario," Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, said Sunday afternoon.
It certainly can't look much worse. With near-record low pressure and a track that's been drummed into my head as "the worst case" for the last 30 years or so, I'm inclined to agree with Mr. van Heerden. Thankfully, my family and friends have mostly all been able to evacuate successfully, some to Columbus, and some to Houston.

One grandmother is in the hands of her care providers at Woldenburg, where they are riding the storm out. Employees are all expected to work, and the facility allows them to evacuate their families to the facility for the duration, which strikes me as an excellent arrangement. Being a medical facility, they should have ample generator capacity for the immediate period during and after the storm, the facility itself is quite new and well built, there is upper-floor capacity, and, of course, stocks of food and medicine. I hope that with these extreme circumstances it is enough.

My parents are a bit morose at the situation. Understandably. Not knowing exactly what will happen is taking its toll. The wait to find out just how bad the aftermath will be is worse. Despite attempted distractions, the catalog of items that they might have brought with them except for the rush in which they left grows steadily. As does the list of mostly unproductive "what-if" speculation: "If the roof doesn't come off the house, the dollhouses might be ok." "The camp might lose its roof but the building is strong, so it might survive."

The next 12 hours will be antsy, to say the least. At least they're all safe, despite the discomfort. Best of luck to the folks unable to get out in time.

Posted by Joe B. at 08:09 PM

Outside looking in...

We've relocated to Apalachicola FL, staying in the Rancho Inn (American Owned, the sign says) and have secured mixers for the rum and other needed supplies. We'll likely head up to Tallahassee and stay with friends for the next night or so.

We got out about 3:30 this morning, taking my business inventory as well. I don't know when I'll get back in production (I'm in the food processing business), so I figured I'd sell what I had on me to clients in Florida. So farso good, taking in $350 today alone.I found refrigeration space for the rest, fow now.

Not much traffic on the way out, as early as it was, and pretty much smooth sailing all the way to Florida. Part of me felt glad to be leaving, but another part felt like a quitter on my city and yet a third part was missing the action. No matter -- we're here now and don't know when we'll be able to get back. My experience tells me two weeks without power and a wait of at least several days before they'll begin letting us back in.

Weather Channel -- shut up with the same crap over and over. Please.

Pulled into the Florida Welcome Station on I-10 and nearly all the other plates were from Louisiana. All of us started saying "Go Saints" and stuff. Kinda of a rolling fraternity.

Stopped at the boat in Panama City to find the water already a good 2-3 feet higher than usual. Water is also up this far east and expected to rise a little more but not dangerously. It was weird to see California-type surfing waves in St. Joseph Bay, east of Panama City. Lots of surfers out to enjoy it too. We're hearing about bad beach erosion in Walton County.

We'e determined to make this as much a vacation as we can, despite the budget limtations. I used to live in this part of the world, so I know the free stuff and the places to go. But they're also recovering from Dennis back in early July. We have no idea what we'll be going back to and, if predictions hold, my business location will be ruined. But y'know -- it's only stuff.

For now, we've got plenty of rum, some money, a pickup truck, a motel room with a pool, a box of Wheat Thins and a cooler half-full of smoked cheese. Life could be a hell of a lot worse.

But I miss my city and can't wait to get back --regardless.

Posted by Craig Giesecke at 05:26 PM |

August 28, 2005

We're Praying for You.

I've always had a knack for being out of town when any type of hurricane evacuation is issued. For Ivan I was in Dallas. Now I live in a completely different country.

I thought it would be appropriate to repost an entry I made on September 26th. At the time it didn't seem like it would be a realistic possibility so soon. Now, it gives me chills. For those that are staying, my prayers are with you.
25,000 to 100,000 People Would Be Killed

The University of New Orleans Survey Research Center and the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force found that a major hurricane, with 130 mph winds and an 18-foot-high storm surge, would not scare 60 percent of southeast Louisiana residents.

"In 2002, an American Red Cross estimate found 25,000 to 100,000 people would be killed if a major hurricane hit the New Orleans area."

With an above-normal 2005 hurricane season predicted and over four months left, will you become an I-10-clogging evacuation monkey?

This begs the question that if 60% wouldn't (and didn't) evacuate in the past and we have this kind of congestion to evacuate in the future from only 40% of residents (remember the contraflow silliness from Ivan, forget the recent contraflow confusion from Dennis?) , can a new plan handle the tide if people change their minds? 100% of us will find out soon enough.


Posted by Mike Hoffman at 10:16 AM |

Game Over

Alright, in a rare display of common sense, the old lady and I, along with the whiskey, are moving to higher ground. The National Hurricane Center's forecast track hasn't changed in 24 hours; usually a pretty good indication that it's going to do exactly what they say it will. And now Katrina's a pretty intimidating category 4, 145 mph winds, and the hurricane center has even amused the thought of it strengthening to category 5. In short, this is no longer something that I'm comfortable joking about.

We live in a one story single shotgun in Mid City, we don't have storm shutters, elevation is 1.5 feet below sea level, and there's not a room in the place without windows.. hardly a safe shelter in a category 4 or 5 storm. At this point I'm going to be pleasantly surprised if we return to find it in livable condition.

I think the plan is to go to Jackson, which is still in the path of the storm, but at least high enough up and far enough inland to weather this thing a little better. The other option was to stay with a friend in Galveston, but frankly I've always preferred Johnny Cash's "I'm Going To Jackson" to Glen Campbell's "Galveston."

Posted by Chris Martel at 03:57 AM |

We're out

We've reached a decision to go ahead and get out of the city, at least for a while. I saw, up close, the damage from Hurricane Andrew in South Florida back in 1992 and my ex-wife was a relief worker in the wake of that terrible system. I have also seen, up close, what Ivan did to Pensacola last year. It's quite enough, thank you.

We'll be headed east toward Panama City and the boat, and we'll be there well in advance of Katrina's arrival. This is outside the watch/warning area and I'm taking the laptop, though I'm unsure exactly when I'll get another chance to add to this blog.

This house has been here since 1853 and I'm sure it will be here when we return. But, given the amount of loose debris in this old city, I'm not going to remain inside as a potential target for whatever is flying around.

Katrina is a living reminder that Mother Nature always bats last. Good luck for those of you choosing to brave it. I'll be looking forward to hearing your stories and I'll be adding my own from the evacuation and recovery. But I've reached the point in life where safety trumps adrenalin.

Posted by Craig Giesecke at 02:18 AM |

This blogger is evacuating to Florida. Here's a repost of his evacuation:

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Photo 79
traffic is bad all the way out to florida, and supposedly worse for those fleeing to the west. I just hope everyone gets out of the city before things start to hit.

I'm on the way to florida, think I've made it past all the really bad traffic, and I think that all of my friends and relatives are outta there. which is all that matters.

new orleans is under a mandatory evacuation and martial law. they've commandeered city buses and private buses to get people out. the storm is almost beyond category 5 - 175 mph sustained winds.if it gets any stronger, it ceases to be a hurricane and becomes a hundreds of miles wide FUCKING TORNADO. they think it may be the strongest storm on record.
there may very well not be much of new orleans to go home to.

looks more like i'm headed east, to my parents' condos in destin, on the florida panhandle. it might be a little wet and windy there, but i won't be in a bowl of toxic floodwater soup with floating balls of fireants.

i've heard there are nearly 100,000 people here with no mobility - no car, no way to evacuate. (i know several. if you're one, call me ASAP and come with!!!) which is why we've never had a "mandatory evacuation" - it's pretty much impossible.

the mayor has already put his family on a plane out of town. The head of the NOAA just called him and told him we could have a 25 foot storm surge - and our levees are built for 12-15. They're talking about putting people on buses and trains - anything to get them out of the city - and what may in a few hours be the city's first mandatory evacuation in history.

just helped batten down the hatches here at my condo building; we've got one of the other board members who's set on staying - he's on the third floor - and he just chained up his small bass boat in the parking lot, and - shotgun in hand - made us a solemn promise to defend the place from looters. this is no joke, friends.

i love this city, anyone who knows me knows that. i cannot imagine the loss we may be about to undergo.

if you're the sort who prays, please do.

Saturday, August 27, 2005
I'm back, after what was really too long a hiatus. See, unapologetic broke sometime in late May, and stopped posting what I was writing. I was a little turned off on blogging at that moment in time for some reason - it happens occassionally - so rather than fix it, I thought I'd just... not fix it for a while, and, well, that went on a bit longer than i expected. In that time, i've turned 30, taken a trip to boston with melinda, a trip to an indie music festival in chicago, and had both my sister and my best friend leave town, jessica to fort lauderdale for med school and melinda to bloomington, indiana for a masters in library science. I did occasionally try to post during that time, so there are a few posts from that period which have just showed up, now that i finally put it all back together...

and why the sudden reappearance? well, mostly because within about 36 hours, new orleans, where i live and sleep and eat and work and have done all my life except for college, is facing what may be a direct hit from a category 5 hurricane. which is basically what we've been waiting for to wipe us off the map.

Katrina is scheduled to hit with storm winds starting at about 1am Monday morning, and actual landfall Monday afternoon. It is now... 9:45 on Saturday. i'm still in new orleans. my parents are staying here, in a hotel downtown; most of my friends have left, though a few are going to ride it out. my current plan is to leave sometime later tonight, but i haven't decided yet quite where i'll be going - most likely, north to Jackson, Mississippi.

The option remains, also, to stay here and document the effects of the storm with my DV camera, but that strikes me as a bit cavalier. hmmmmm. well, i've got a few hours to decide, don't i?

well, unapologetic is back, and i've got my trusty sidekick, so no matter where i am, i'll keep you posted. wish me (and everyone in this city) luck.

Another Blogger
somewhat sad, this person loves New Orleans - go to the blog to see what I mean:

Sunday, August 28, 2005

i'm going to have to find another job.
and we have lost one of the best radio stations on the planet. there's no way that tin can monk simons building is going to survive this. the top is going to rip right off and wtul will be destroyed.

let the gig offers start pouing in: satchmointergalacticspaceport at
have powerbook, will travel.
this, friends, is called closure.

so what are we supposed to do? hook up with the tsunami survivors and declare planetary peace??

Here's another blog - not sure what to think of this - sound's a bit dangerous:

[27 Aug 2005|02:53pm
Re: Hurricane Katrina

I said it before, I'll say it again: Flanagan's doesn't even have a lock on the door. We will be open to the public until the power possibly goes out. If the power goes out, we'll only be allowing people we know to stay and hang out. When the beer gets too warm, we'll send you to your homes and Andy and I will sit in the bar polishing our guns with the doors shut tight. If the water starts to rise, we plan on taking refuge in the Hotel Royal, which has rooms above Flanagan's.

If the city is going to be "destroyed" I'd much rather be here watching it than stuck on some highway in snail's pace traffic stressed out about everything I left behind, and then pissed off when I return and find out nothing happened anyway.

If the power doesn't go out, it'll be business as usual at the bar. Maybe wet and slow business, but business none the less.

Here is another New Orlean's blogger who has evacuated - she was a regular blogger so you can tell just how quick this thing came up on the good folk of New Orleans:

Sunday August 28th 2005, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Thoughts, ARGH!

Doug and I got in to Longview, Texas. We left last night about 10pm and got here about 5am. We had no traffic, and the only reason it took so long was the length of the drive.

Katrina is now a Category 5 storm.

There are people saying that this might be the worst storm in recorded history. She’s at least in the top four worst storms in history. One was Camille. My mother’s family went through Camille. They lived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, right outside of Biloxi.

During Betsy, people died in their attics because the water level rose so high so quickly that they were trapped and drowned. Since then, people in Southeast Louisiana keep an axe in their attic in case something like that happens again. Betsy was a Category 3. My father’s family went through Betsy. They lived in New Orleans.

I have no doubt that Katrina’s name will never be used again.

I don’t want to go home and start over. And the closer it gets to landfall, the more I think that might just be happening. I don’t have savings or money to start on. I have only what I brought with me…some clothing, the laptop, my important papers.

New Orleans is a bowl. I’m afraid that in that bowl, my little apartment will be one of the noodles in the soup that will be the New Orleans area. I’m not a majorly spiritual person. I’ve been praying my butt off since yesterday. Doug and I are both safe, and that means more to me than anything. I’m still scared as hell, though. Scared for my beloved city, my home.

May New Orleans survive and prosper.

One Final Blog (It's getting late folks - past one in the morning). This poor soul was finally closing on a house - it might just be that there won't be a house after all. And that's not meant to be funny either. There's no post for Sunday, I suspect evacuation:

Sat Aug 27, 2005

This Just In...

The folx have a mandatory evacuation, so they will be coming to stay with us.....with the dog and the cat. Nevermind that the apartment looks like the hurricane already hit us. I'm sure this will be great fun.


Posted by: spork on Aug 27, 05 | 5:58 pm | clix!

[1] comments (6 views)

It's Coming Right For Us

God must hate me.

Otherwise the projected path of Katrina wouldn't be raining on my house purchasing festivities. The good news is that maybe I'll get a day off of work or something at an opportune time. The bad news is that there is nothing like packing and moving smack in the middle of a natural disaster. Not that I know what that's like really....I just assume that it is probably a real pain in the rear.

Posted by: spork on Aug 27, 05 | 8:02 am | clix!

[2] comments (12 views)

Fri Aug 26, 2005

Breaking News....

We've moved up the closing date to what looks like its going to be Monday. Yeah, that's in three days.
And we really want to get all of our crap out of the house by Wednesday because that's the last day of the month.

So, as a result I'm going completely and totally insane. Yay!

Posted by: spork on Aug 26, 05 | 10:55 am | clix!

And for those of you interested check out this site below:

The blogger/s are monitoring amateur radio broadcasts, and emergency communications frequencies in the effected areas. The site list many excellent links as well.

1 comment:

nolapoet said...

Hi, Jerome--I am just one person. Thanks for spreading the word.


email jp






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