Sunday, August 31, 2008

From the man in the eye

Posting this for paT, verbatim, as he's currently bunkered down in Baton Rouge, awaiting the arrival of Gustav.

We're staying in Baton Rouge at the Tracy Center. There are some
folks from Catholic Charities who just rolled in and are getting
things together. When I left New Orleans last night, traffic to BR
was OK. During the night, I've heard it took some folks many, many
hours to get anywhere to the East. But the interstate looks to be
flowing rather smoothly through here. What I've seen on the news
suggests all roads out of NOLA are clear or are becoming so. I have
no evidence to back that up but word of mouth and what I'm reading on
the internet. This may have something to do with the fact that we've
evacuated 95 percent of the population of the coastal parishes since
Friday. The Times - Picayune is reporting 1.1 million have now
evacuated the coast to areas north of I-10 and I-12. That is a very,
very good thing.

Now the real waiting begins. As if we haven't done enough of that
already. Waiting for the storm to turn. Waiting to see what friends
and family are doing and where they are going. Waiting in traffic.
Watching as the storm pummeled Haiti and Jamaica and Cuba and knowing
what may be in store for us. Wishing it would just go away and not
hurt anyone else. Waiting in line at the grocery store. Hoping it is
not our turn. Seeing the green and yellow rain bands coming into the
Weather Channel's radar sweep, and waiting for them to start rolling
over our own zipcode. And the waiting is terrible. Everything is
closed in this part of Baton Rouge, so I don't have the distractions
of being out and about.

Not that any sane person would be out and about right now, but I like
having the option.

I'd love to take a nap. I'm exhausted and sore and didn't sleep well
last night. I've had that bitter taste of adrenaline in my mouth for
about 18 hours now. Or that may be the coffee and cigarettes mixing
together because I forgot to brush my teeth before I went to bed last
night. Whatever it is, I can't get rid of it. I feel like I used to
back in Athens after an all nighter.

Went to mass at noon. Prayed. Thanks to everyone out there praying
for New Orleans and South Louisiana. Once you're done petitioning the
Almighty, please remember that we've got a lot of evacuees out there.
Some may have come your way. Drop off a canned good or something at
the local shelter. I know you've got something in the cabinet you
aren't going to eat. And some Crystal hot sauce. Everything tastes
better with a little hot sauce.

I've gotten so many texts and calls and voicemails today I feel like
one of the cool kids. That reminds me, I need to charge the phone up.
Power won't last too long once things really get going, so the phone
and the computer will need to be charged. Cell towers will probably
be down for some hours, so if you call and don't hear back don't worry
until Wednesday.

Yup. I'll try and be back later with updates.



liberalandproud said...

Glad you got out. Praying for strength and rest for all the evacuees.

the lady said...

Thinking of you every minute...

DADvocate said...

I've been keeping an eye on the cable news coverage. It's a little scary right now.

On a lighter note I just read this comment by a Georgia Tech grad at DrHelen's. "Now excuse a minute me while that guy wearing the red shirt with the big G on it brings me my french fries. ;)"