Saturday, September 01, 2012
A Lost Week
Hi all! It's been a miserable week, but we were amongst the fortunate. Far too many of the surrounding parishes are still battling floodwaters. (Remember the plantation where Steve and I spent that wonderful retreat weekend? It was in Plaquemines Parish. I haven't heard if it survived.) Our losses are simply a fence, part of the garage roof, a lemon tree (loaded with lemons), and my beautiful 25-foot orchid tree (which luckily fell AWAY from the house). With 18 inches of rain in 24 hours (plus lots more rain the day before and the day after), there was one point where the drains were overwhelmed and the water started creeping from the street toward the house. One advantage to not evacuating is that because you are home, you can clean the debris from the storm drains in front of your house. One of the disadvantages to not evacuating is that you find yourself out in the middle of a hurricane with water swirling around your knees as you try to clean clean debris from the storm drains in front of your house.
We are amongst the lucky few who now have power. At about ten o'clock last night, just as we were contemplating trying to go to sleep without air conditioning on a hot, sticky, airless night, our electricity blinked back on. A rousing cheer--reminiscent of the night the Saints won the Superbowl--echoed around our little neighborhood. Something like 80% of the city is still without power. One takes his life in his hands venturing out to find ice and food (can I just say that I'm getting really sick of PB&J sandwiches?), since most streetlights are still out and major intersections--think eight lanes--have simply turned into four-way stops.
I have written almost nothing in the past week. Sunday and Monday went to storm preparation. I think I managed to scribble 4 pages on Tuesday before the winds got so high that I couldn't focus. Then it was too dark (no electricity+storm shutters on the windows=dark house), and I spent most of my time simply listening to our little hand-cranked radio (note to self: buy new batteries before the next storm). We've spent the last couple of days trying to clean up, and it will probably take at least another week. Now that we have power, we can get to work cutting up the downed trees and trying to do something about the downed fence. Everything is still such a mess; hurricanes strip the leaves (and lots of branches) off the trees and plaster them everywhere. You can barely see the walk to my front gate buried beneath the leaves and trash:
In the past, here in south Louisiana, we tended to sneer at Category One hurricanes, with people saying, "It's just a Cat One." I don't think we'll do that again.