Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac: Live Blogging from the Heart of the Big Easy*

*The French Quarter, That Is.
4:25 PM, August 28th:
Peeked through a crack in the shutters. Misty rain sheeting in all directions while being whipped about by balmy breezes. Sun still refusing to be clouded over. DirecTV remains operational.

4:58 PM:
Just heard from a city-certified Evacuteer asking if I needed help. Not yet. Reminded me of that time a few years ago when I met a Disney Imagineer during Mardi Gras. But that's a story for another day.

5:21 PM:
Wonder if Verti Marte is still delivering.

Our Courtyard, 5:23 PM
Oops, Potted Plant Down
5:47 PM:
Just caught a little of the coverage on CNN. Sorry, guys, but Grand Isle is not New Orleans; and the sky over here is not falling yet. Loved the detailed explanation by the weatherman, though, about why Anderson Cooper's microphone went out. It's that rain whipping all around. Rain water gets into the spongy outer covering of those mics, you see, and can thus screw up a million-dollar operation. A good newsman has to remember to squeeze out the excess. Got that, Andy?

7:18 PM:
And it's getting windy. Sadly, lost most of the second-grade class of our school of goldfish in the patio pond. The teenagers are still partying. Damn punks. Decided to trim back the Pride of Barbados since it was twisting in the wind, and we were afraid parts of it might topple onto some of the smaller plants. Trying to avoid watching the local television channels. It's all weather, all the time now; and those people enjoy this crap too much for anybody's good.

He's Here
8:22 PM:
Okay, it's a-blowin' out there. Gonna try to catch a few Z's so I can get up early and make a go of riding the rest of this thing out awake and alert. I don't entirely trust the roof on this old, old building I call home, and I want to be awake if it decides it's gonna crash down on my head.

The Farmer's Market
Earlier Today
10:13 PM:
My brother Russell just telephoned to see how we were doing, and he woke me up. He's been watching the Weather Channel and was wondering if what Jim Cantore was saying was true. I couldn't say if it was or not. Apparently, Cantore is standing outside on the balcony of the Riverwalk overlooking the Mississippi River and I'm in my apartment set back from the street and surrounded by high walls. The wind is noisy up here on the second floor where my bedroom is, but when I opened the shutters to look outside, it wasn't all that bad. Certainly not as bad as the rainstorm we had a few weeks ago, back on the 20th of July. That was a doozy.

Bobby has looked out into the patio and tells me another potted plant has tipped over.

12:36 PM, August 29th:
Everything here is fine right now. Rain and a little wind. Going to bed for real now.

Ain't Budged
2:52 AM:
Still awake. Had a power outage sometime around 1:45, but the lights flashed back on within five minutes or so. The gate to the back patio no longer has a latch-catch and has been swinging open and shut throughout the storm, growing louder as the winds have increased. That industrial-sized paint can we pushed against it to keep it closed hasn't held; in fact, it has been flung aside. The local television channels are telling us we will be entertaining this stormy guest until Thursday now.

A few days ago, the Mayor described our city as being situated within the "cone of discomfort" within the predicted path of Isaac. I thought it was a silly term. Tonight, I believe it fits.

This hurricane is an inconvenient storm.

4:28 AM:
Fixed the gate! The clanging was getting out of hand, so I went in search of bungee cords I could use to try to wrap around the handle and keep that mother shut.

Once I stepped out back, another thought flared up in my mind. If the big-ass can of paint wouldn't keep the gate shut, maybe it would keep it open. Long story short: it did. So far.

Relaxed and watched a little television. Yep, DirecTV is still running. It functions through a hurricane but dries up and goes blank on a partly cloudy day? Gonna have to talk to those people soon.

Near the end of the crime drama I was passing my time with, I noticed something up on one of the living room walls, right above the new drapes over our French doors.

A great big bubble of water under the paint.

Well, I scurried up a stepladder I keep in the kitchen for just such emergencies (!) and popped that monster pimple with a paring knife. So now the rainwater leaking into the apartment can't hide anymore, but rather has to seep through and out into the open and into the pot I've placed on the floor beneath the open wound.

Bob is sleeping the sleep of the just.

Ain't fair.

9:11 AM:
No change. No change? No change! This thing doesn't seem to be moving out of here. "Isaac" was a waste of a good name. They should have called him Sheridan Whiteside!

Water is slipping in through cracks in the shutters. Laying towels down to keep it all localized. Wind, too, is blowing in through the crannies near the cracks.

If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to build myself a house all made of steel and concrete. It will have no windows and only one waterproof and windproof door; and the biggest room will be the bathroom!

And the bathroom will not be dependent on any Sewerage and Water Board.

Tropical Storm Isaac
3:19 PM:
Fell asleep. That lasted longer than I expected.

Hurricane has been downgraded. Back to a Tropical Storm.

Thought you was somebody, huh, Isaac? You ain't so tough. Not tough like your Auntie Katrina. Or even your Auntie Rita. You and your Uncle Gustav should a stayed home, 'stead of trying to run your numbers in the 'hood. Yeah, turn your back and drag your tail back home. Go on! (You don't think he's packin', do you?)

8:38 PM:
Plan on getting some restful sleep tonight, beginning soon.  Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers. Good night.


  1. it's wonderful to still have power!! thanks, sp

  2. Yes, power is so empowering! I know I complain about all the little inconveniences of living in the Quarter, but Entergy is good to us, at times like these.

  3. Stay safe and do tell about Disney Imagineer :)

  4. I'm a man, and I can take it. The story about the Imagineer, on the other hand...well, I can only tell that one after he dies.

  5. We just lost power for about a minute. Don't know how much longer we're gonna have it. Chalmette has already lost power.

  6. Thank you for the heads-up. We haven't lost any yet [knock on wood]. So far, we are coping.

  7. to bc: we lost power too for about 5 minutes and then it came back. we already had a nice hot dinner. But it's just gonna get worse from here! sp

  8. they're definitely good, that's for sure.

  9. I am thinking about you so hard and praying all is well.


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