Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

New Orleans Stories - Hurricane Katrina - the first ten updates

These updates were part of my longer post at http://insomnia.livejournal.com/599039.html , but they were cut off due to a LJ bug, which automatically truncates posts/edited entries that are over a certain length without telling you. Thankfully, Google just went live with their earlier caches of this today...

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** 10th update, Mon. August 29th, 4:00 pm CDT **

This will be my last update until this evening, so that I can catch a break and some zzz's. Probably just as well, as things have been pretty silent for webloggers in New Orleans, presumably because power and phonelines took another hit during the storm's departure. Combine that with portable phones, laptops, etc. that cannot be recharged and you tend to get a whole lotta silence. WWL is reporting the grizzly headline "Mayor: 200 trapped on Ninth Ward rooftops; bodies floating in Bywater". Sadly, that figures. You can't expect to have tens of thousands of people not evacuating from a major hurricane like this without the potential for hundreds, if not thousands, to lose their lives. Just be glad that the evacuation worked as well as it did, as it no doubt saved thousands of lives. As relieved as I am that many of those whose stories I've shared are alive today, obviously, many others are not.

It's hard to say this morning that New Orleans was "lucky". They clearly weren't. Rather, this hurricane should be a wake-up call. More needs to be done, not only to safeguard the great city of New Orleans and its people, but to protect the entirity of the United States from hurricanes, flooding, and coastal erosion. Humans don't cause hurricanes. That said, many scientists believe that their actions can make them more severe. I don't know about you, but on matters of science, I would rather put my trust in scientists rather than politicians.

Oh... and BTW, help the Red Cross help others. They can use it.
</a></strong></a>interdictor - "Ok, wind has died down significantly. Rain is minimal. It's still overcast, but the cloud cover isn't nearly as dark. By now, the news crews should be back out all over the city. I see a lot more pedestrians walking around and some civilians driving down Poydras, Camp, and St. Charles. Lots of reports of windows out in most high rises. Power loss is virtually total in the CBD, and water pressure is very low. I can only imagine what sanitation conditions will be over the next week -- or longer depending on Entergy. You never know what to expect from a company which has a government-mandated virtual monopoly. Some people are saying a month before power comes back. We've got 10 days or so of fuel for the generators. No word on when water will be back to normal. There's debris everywhere. Lots of damage. Here's the good news: No flooding here in the CBD as far as we can see in any direction. No flooding means New Orleans has survived."

** 9th update, Mon. August 28th, 2:30 pm CDT **

Although the storm is still blowing over and the news is generally pretty encouraging, considering the worst case scenario, obviously there will be very bad news for many others. I'm seeing reports of a New Orleans warehouse being looted and 15-20 feet of flooding in St. Bernard's Parrish. In Mississippi, Katrina brought a 22-foot storm surge, blew out the windows of a hospital, and washed sailboats right up onto the coastal highway. I've heard unconfirmed rumors of major damage to practically every structure in Slidell, but confirming that information will have to wait.

I'm sure most people will return home to find significant damage to either their property or their possessions. Even a simple leaky roof and some busted windows can can become a big deal if the contents of your home are exposed to the elements for up to a week before you can return to do something about it. No knowing how many people lost their homes altogether, but obviously, quite a few did, or will find their homes structurally damaged and needing significant repair or even demolition and rebuilding. It's really easy right now for things to look better than they are.
</a></strong></a>bobbysan - "I'm still here. Most of me at least. There is no power (yay laptop) but everything seems to be getting a little easier now. There were times the place was shaking like I was riding a train. My nice safe attic turned into storm central. The big window blew out right when the winds and storming was the worst. I ended up getting cut up something nasty on my hands and face as I tried to board it back over. But I got it. There is no flooding here right now so that's something. Just have to wait for the power and water. That probably means days. Will have to use the laptop sparingly. I just want to say thank you all for your kind wishes and support. I've never been the type who wanted that from others but usually tried to give it. This time, I appreciated it more than you can think. This especially goes out to complete strangers who posted for no other reason but to show caring. I used to think that was really rare in the world and am very happy to be proven wrong. Thank you all. Now I'd better shut down."
</a></strong></a>interdictor has set up a live webcam feed down Poydras Avenue at mms://204.251.3.10:2423 ... doesn't work for me, for some reason, but maybe it works for you.
</a></strong></a>sammielynn reports:
"My mom is uptown at Touro and said there were two to three feet of water in the streets and they had lost some windows. WDSU said uptown doesn't have catastrophic flooding, but significant wind damage."


** 8th update, Mon. August 28th, 11:15 am CDT **

Looks like all the good news for New Orleans was a little premature. Obviously, the eye of the storm was the cause of the calmer weather, because interdictor is reporting the following:
"Ok, winds have picked back up some and the direction has changed mostly to north to south. Most of the windows on our building have two layers, glass outside and plastic inside. Some have completely broken, but or offices have a few with the glass broken but hanging on slamming against the plastic. I'm telling you though, if there's no flooding, the city will be fine. This can't be any worse than cleaning up after Mardi Gras. So far. I'm hearing reports of an 18 foot storm surge, but who knows. There's a sports car on the street in front of our building -- spanked. No windows left, debris in the back seat, etc. Rain has picked up too now. Looks like Benson is getting his retractable-roofed stadium after all ;) "

So, the feeling seems to be that the worst is over, but now that the eye of the storm has passed over New Orleans, they'll be facing the tail end of the storm. Winds and rain should be less than that experienced earlier, but the question is whether already damaged structures will collapse and whether the levee system will keep Lake Pontchartrain from being whipped up and blown into the heart of New Orleans. Obviously, there has to be some concern for the Superdome too, which has already had significant roof damage. 

</a></strong></a>malkierie - "This is Amanda (aka basket__case on LJ) and I'm on the phone with John right now as the hurricane is hitting. He wanted me to let you guys know that they are ok for right now...but the weather is horrible (obviously.) The slates are slowly being pulled off the roof in the back of their house, the water is up to their first front steps. Trees are bending, power is out, they're running out of Guiness. The house is shaking like a roller coaster ride, they're feeling wind coming up through the floorboards. But somehow, amazingly, the phone lines are still intact and their cell phones both work too. Apparently Sprint is pretty awesome. If you want to call him he and Chris's cell phones both work. John says he's got a mardi gras cup to start bailing the water out of the city. Only one window has been lost in the house....the transom window in the kitchen. They hadn't secured it and it just kinda fell out with a thud and a crash. John moved out of his room since they ran out of plywood and could not board up his windows...but he brougth the house phone with him into Davina's room. John will update again via me (as long as the phones are still working.) And I'll relay any comments you leave on the journal."

** 7th update, Mon. August 28th, 11:15 am CDT **

</a></strong></a>morrigann has checked in via phone post with good news about the weather and, better still, about how things went with riding out the storm with </a></strong></a>enlabelleaurore and company. This is a relief to me, as I would've felt bad if the post I made indirectly caused her to get hurt.

I'm in touch with </a></strong></a>interdictor, who is providing me information from a data center in New Orleans. He says that the worst is definitely behind New Orleans now. My concern was that this may have something to do with the calm of the eye, but it's still hopeful news. The heart of the city has been spared, and they have crews driving around the city assessing the damage, even though winds are still around 50 MPH. That said, information outside of the heart of the city appears to be sketchy at this point. No news as yet on how long New Orleans will be shut down.

"No flooding downtown from where we are -- 650 Poydras. Lots of broken windows, lots of debris, downed trees, total loss of power in the city, except for places with generators like we have. Could have been 1000 times worse. Sounds like Gulfport is taking the beating that was meant for us."

** 6th update, Mon. August 28th, 10:00 am CDT **

Good morning, everyone. New Orleans is still there, but it's taking a beating. The city's natural "shield" appears to have deflected the hurricane somewhat, and the strength of the hurricane has decreased, but it's still a killer hurricane which is still causing significant damage and flooding to the city, and seems likely to cause even worse damage to places such as Biloxi as it approaches. So little can be known for sure until the region has been thoroughly inspected -- right now, what seems like a victorious riding out of a wet and rainy night might turn into a sad and almost insurmountable loss elsewhere, as we discover that well-known, beloved buildings and sections of the city are lost.

It is still too early to say just how bad the flooding will be, as the worst of it has yet to occur. WWL reports that a levee breach has occurred along the industrial canal at Tennessee Street, and that significant flooding is expected to occur.

Although power was knocked out for large sections of the city around 4:30am, it appears to be back up for sections of New Orleans this morning. This means we're still getting people in New Orleans who are able to report to us the conditions there. If you are in New Orleans, or along coastal Mississippi or Alabama, I'd like to hear from you. Please email me at insomnia @ livejournal.com. And now, the latest reports from New Orleans:

</a></strong></a>interdictor - "Lots of creaking now. The blinds are rattling. The trees in Lafayette Square behind us are all still standing. We're getting . . . light power flickers now -- infrequently. Not even enough to reset the computer, but just enough to dim the lights for a sec. I'm gonna step outside on the 11th floor balcony and get a feel for the wind.

For those of you who haven't been reading this, I'm on the 10th/11th floors of a 27 floor high rise at 650 Poydras in downtown New Orleans. If you go to Google Earth or some other map program, we're the big brown building between Poydras ave and Lafayette Square and between Camp Street and St. Charles Ave. We're about 6 blocks from the river. We have a view (in the daytime) of the river, the twin spans over the river, the interstate, the Entergy building, the landmark building, the federal court of appeals building, a bunch of hotels, etc. Welcome to ground zero. It's definitely a mess outside, but as long as no flooding occurs, the city should be fine. There's really nothing to say... imagine a low rumbling turbine engine for several hours, lots of wind and debris, and me taking pictures and video. . . . I'm updating from Directnic.com's data center on the 10th floor of 650 Poydras. Lots of windows out all over the building. Total mess outside, but no water in the streets. Downed trees, signs gone, flags gone, debris everywhere. One truck was pushed down the street into a car..."


</a></strong></a>zeldakitty has left yet another phone post, which is promising news in itself. Maybe the mobile phone network held up pretty well! She reports heavy-duty winds and trees down everywhere, and water coming in through the roof, but other than that, things are looking as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

More disconcertingly, </a></strong></a>scyllacat reports "in old apt. rainy windy. . . Power out now. Things going thud outside. Building next door collapsed. This may go soon wall missing big cracks. Fun trip. Love you."

Let's hope for the best. Obviously, lots of buildings will face a similar fate, as these winds are not going away anytime soon. Despite all the talk that will inevitably occur about how the evacuation was not necessary, I suspect that wiser souls will point out that the evacuation saved thousands of lives. It almost assuredly will make the job of emergency crews much easier.


** 5th update, Mon. August 28th, 1:30 am CDT **

I've been watching the ParadeCam's live streaming broadcast, which seems to be about the most useful way to determine the current weather in New Orleans, while it still has power. Lots of wind, lots of rain, and even the occasional emergency vehicle, but no major flooding yet, although enough wind for downed powerlines and the occasional bit of wind damage. It's still *way* too early though.

The last post from New Orleans I've seen was 40 minutes ago, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're necessarily cut off from the rest of the world. I kind of doubt it, given that the cam is still working. Rather, they're probably trying to get a bit of rest. Lord knows, it's been a long day. I don't know how much longer they will have power, but I've been surprised in the past with other hurricanes, where people on the scene have used car batteries and laptops to post pictures of the storm the next morning. There's at least one LiveJournaler who is working in an emergency-related position, and who might be able to check in, even if power and phones are out for most, so we'll see, I guess.

</a></strong></a>alobar - "Rain is now harder & steady. Wind has picked up. Feels nice in here. Hasn't felt this pleasant in a long time. I still have the window fns on. I can detect changes in fan blade pitch which lets me know more about the wind. Soon I shjall turn off the fans.

I am gonna keep the windows open. Big roof over-hang in the front of the building. In the back some water will get in, but it dripsd into the stairway. A bit of water in the stairway is the least of the landlord's problems at this point. If I can keep the pressure differential from getting too high (between outside & inside the building, I may be able to prevent the roof from rupturing.. . right now there are 26,000 people inside the Superdome. There are no exits for massive amounts of people onto the roof. Just a few one-person hatchways for repair people. Even if the 26,000 people were not old, feeble, sick, invalid, confused, and/or frightened, no fucking way you get an orderly procession onto the roof in heavy rains and high winds. I, on the other hand, am in an apartment with windows. If the waters get deep, I can leave with no problem. I do wish I had a good quality Mae West floatation jacket right now. Not sure I can stray afloat with an air mattress. I do plan to buy a good qulaity flotation vest & flare gun if I get thru this. I never thought I would need either one of those! But being here in my apartment sure seems better to me than being trapped in the dome should the worst worst scenario come to pass."


</a></strong></a>zeldakitty left another phone post... sounds windy there. She may be sending waves of calm and peace, but she sounds a bit spooked to me. She should be. As she says in this comment, "I should have done a lot of things that I didn't do. Oh well. If I had a dime for every time I could say that... I'd pay off my mortgage."


** 4th update, Sun. August 28th, 10:15 pm CDT **

The hurricane is coming in slowly but surely towards New Orleans, which is being buffetted by strong winds and squalls. Just heard of a tornado warning for Orleans/St. Bernard Parrish/ Shell Beach/ Reggio / Hopedale moving west northwest. Anyone on that track could face tornadoes soon. And now, more posts from those still there.

</a></strong></a>zeldakitty recorded a phone post with the following message - "Hey, guys, this is Michelle and this is my first, only phone post. Hopefully it won't be my last. I'm standing out here on my porch and the wind is fucking CRAZY and my wind chimes are crazy and my oak tree is crazy and I was hoping that you all could get a sense of the sound the radio towers on River Rd. make when the wind whips through 'em. Ya know, it's a sound that pleases and disturbs me (laughs) and therein lies the duality that is me (if I wanted to be dramatic). Uhm, someone's house is burning. Either that or it's like a fire at the candle factory. I don't know, there's some strange smells out here. And, uh, the wind is nuts. It's not really raining much. We've got everything pretty secure. And, uh, I don't know what else to tell you. The clouds are crazy, the trees are swayin' and we gotta hurricane comin' and, uh, it's exciting and frightening and, uh, beautiful and very disturbing. And, uh, thank you all for your support and hopefully I'll still have power and I can keep you updated. . . Where I Live is right by the Mississippi River levee and there are two large blinking radio towers that, when the wind is big and gusty, creates the most amazing sounds. Anyway, the wind is howling and whipping up a little bit. It's drizzly and while I'm dreading what's coming, I'm not all gloom and doom yet. It's when you guys haven't heard from me for over seven hours, then you'll know that I've lost power and perhaps will be experiencing some stormlike "discomfort" (putting it mildly.) But I've been through that old loss of power before. Jesus, I just don't know how I'm supposed to feel right now."

</a></strong></a>scyllacat - "she's turning north, we've had only light rain here at Fahy's. Asprin's here now."

</a></strong></a>nolawitch - "We still have power as of 9:00 pm. We also have bug-out bags ready just in case. I'm getting ready to shut the computer down in a little while and yank the hard drive out to keep my data. We're still planning to stay. . . Whatever happens, there are people across the planet suffering far worse than we will suffer. They will have died by random violence and not had the luxury of preparing provisions to make their suffering easier. I spoke with the daughter of my elderly neighbors. She told me that the last time this area flooded was 1947 before they had the levees in place out here. They're not leaving and they're in their eighties. Even if we left right now, we'd be caught in the wind and rain in the car with four unhappy cats on the way to nowhere close that would be immune from the effects of the storm. It's a HUGE thing. The crazy neighbor guy with the beagle is staying. Pat across the street is staying. I spoke to them and we all have a mutual support pact for afterwards. I've got a bunch of food cooked which can be eaten cold. In a couple of hours, we'll take showers and then fill the bathtub with water for flushing the toilet. I've got jugs of water in the fridge. We have ice. We have plenty of cat food and kitty litter. The outer feeder bands are starting to roll in. I'll post updates as often as I can before the electricity goes off. Some of you whom I know in person, I love dearly. Some of you whom I've never met in real life, I love you too and look forward to the day we'll slink into some bar or coffee shop to hang out and chat in person."


** 3rd update, Sun. August 28th, 8:00 pm CDT **

The hurricane is still a cat-5, still headed for New Orleans, and a Weather Underground meteorologist reports an approximately 70% chance that the levees will be breached and the city flooded. Fortunately, I have found fewer new people in the path of the hurricane lately. Most of the reports coming in from people in New Orleans are people I've already identified, who are keeping us updated on what is going on.

</a></strong></a>dreamcasto - "For weeks, all I could think was "Gotta get home. Everything will get better when I get back home. Gotta start classes. Everything will be better when classes start." So I get home, and I get to sleep in my bed for ONE NIGHT before Tulane gets evacuated for this damn hurricane! I figured "okay, last time, we stuck around for a while, then mom chickened out and evacuated, and that's what will happen this time." So I figured I'd hold out until her breaking point and then evacuate with her, but my friend, Sage, said that she wasn't going to leave until I left. I would feel bad if she got hurt because my parents are stubborn, so I called my mom and said "I'm going to pick Sage up and we're going to evacuate," but my mom and brother wouldn't budge. So I call Sage's house, only to find out that Sage (who had me worried sick) left without calling me first (she had called me every 20 minutes prior to leaving, but couldn't tell me that she had left). So at that point, I was okay, because she was safe, mom was stubborn, but I knew she would break, and since my brother was only staying to take care of her, at least we would be safe. Well, BJ called me at about 9PM to tell me that he had left to go to Atlanta, and left mom with her boyfriend. A little irksome. Little did I know that mom ALSO left, without telling me (I called to check up on her, and her answering machine said "as of Sunday morning, I have evacuated to Texas for Hurricane Katrina"). So now I'm trapped in a house with my dad, his family, and his in-laws. Theres a catagory 5 about to plow through, and all I want is to be ANYWHERE else, but I have no one to travel with. Why are these people so stubborn? Why didn't anyone take me with them? Why the fuck did I leave DC? I hate New Orleans so fucking much."

</a></strong></a>scyllacat - "I am at Fahy's again. I moved things until I was sweat-soaked. Perhaps I'll go back and do more in a bit. This is what I'm worrying about, in this order: 1. My stuff . . . 2. I am stranded. The mayor's decision making and timing has insured that. I will have to be adaptable and light on my feet the next while. I do not want to be herded anywhere by the National Guard, particularly not to the Superdome. No, I wouldn't rather die than go there, but if I do you can bet it will be by breaststroke. . . 3. My vacation. I needed this vacation a whole hell of a lot. So much that I will still try to take it as soon as this storm gets the heck out of my way. The #1 thing I am not worried about is... Me. Living, breathing, eating, recovering. I hate, in triplicate, losing control, losing functioning, disappointing people, missing people... but it doesn't seem like a day to die. I have my baby blanket with me, though, just in case. Thank you for your thoughts, attention and prayers."

</a></strong></a>padiwack - "I can only admit it here... I am trying very hard to not second guess myself about staying here with this storm coming. I don't recall ever being this afraid (and I'm keeping it to myself, trying very hard not to scare the Teen Queen). . . . I am trying to stay busy, be prepared and try my best to stay positive. The escape window has closed. I have to do this. I will stay calm."

</a></strong></a>cherriesontop72 - "Man, this sucks. . . the hurricane is a catorgory 5! i gathered up all my pictures and everything, now im at my aunts house on the northshore , which is still in the path of destruction.. I hate this, I'm so nervous and scared, this is the worst hurricane ever, catorgory 5 people!!!! and possible tornados will be formed. I'm afraid to see how my house is, it might be gone."

</a></strong></a>cobaltgreen - "I just called a friend of mine who is riding out the storm. I was extra nice to him because there is a real chance that he will die by this time tomorrow. I hate to say something so ominous but that's how real Hurricane Katrina has become."




</a></strong></a>zeldakitty - "Just got back from my second trek to the levee in one day. The good news for residents along the river is that the levee is a full 22 feet high and the river, at least at the riverbend where we live, is far away from the levee, the river is incredibly low right now and far away from the levee. This gives me peace. I'm not as worried about the house filling up with water now. Just the back yard. . . . If you don't hear from me for a while, it means either nothing's changed or I lost power. Either way, stay calm... think good thoughts."

</a></strong></a>bobbysan - "That knot in my stomach is getting pretty darned tight now. THe more they keep talking about catastropic damage the more it freaks me out."

</a></strong></a>alobar - "Some time ago, I remember reading something in a friend's LJ . . . He attended a Tibetan Buddhist . . . retreat . . . The retreat was out in the open. Everyone was camping out in tents. The weather was miserable. Lots of rain & storms. There was this shaman . . . whose job it was to do weather magick. So he visits the shaman . . . watches him work, doing his weather-shaman thing, then makes a comment "Not going well?" The shaman dude turns to him and says "Eh? What do you mean. Everything is going very well. All you soft Americans and Europeans here for an empowerment. Can't have pleasant weather! Gotta make for really intense weather! You can't get an empowerment without paying the cost!" . . . I do not have the courage of Doctor Feelgood, who, I suspect, plans to weather the storm outside on Jackson Square. In past hurricanes I have gone for walks. Doc was always on the Square, under the balcony of the Pontalba building. He always greeted me with a pleasant smile and asked if I was having a good day. Doc is the craziest New orleans shaman dude I know personally. I have not worked up to where Doc is at yet. For now, being here in my apartment is as close as I can come."


** 2nd update, Sun. August 28th, 4:00 pm CDT **

The hurricane is still a cat-5, still headed for New Orleans. One of the parrish representatives said that approximately 20-30% of their people aren't evacuating, despite evacuation orders. That could mean about 100,000 people citywide will attempt to ride out the hurricane.

I discovered additional people who haven't evacuated the path of the hurricane, for one reason or another.

Looks like </a></strong></a>morrigann has made a phone post and is taking </a></strong></a>enlabelleaurore up on her generous offer to ride out the storm at her 4th floor apartment. Let's just hope things are as safe there as they might've been for her at the Superdome, where morrigann had planned to go otherwise..


</a></strong></a>bobbysan - "And so starts the rain..."

</a></strong></a>adustierstar - "Katrina's asleep right now, which is the only reason I'm certain she won't scream at me for typing that. She's been getting pretty tired of all the Hurricane Katrina jokes...for which I can't say I blame her. Dreadful weather aside, I am attempting to rally together the necessary bits of my worldly estate and wrangle it all into a tidy batch of luggage, but I hate doing it. I know you're all upset with me now because you've all done it already. Well, I've done it before, too, and that doesn't make it better. So there. I'm starting to get a little antsy because I was supposed to be done by now."

</a></strong></a>xtina - "Katrina is looking icky, but I'll be safe and fine. I was going to stay at the hospital, but now I'm going to be at the phone company work center holding down fort. I'm going to stay with my godfather and Molly and Omen dogs. The building ain't going anywhere; it's the hub of all the bellsouth shit in Slidell. So I'll be in olde towne, and when the storm lifts, I'll walk the block to my restaurant and access the damage."

</a></strong></a>scortia - "my ass is staying at home... good chance electricity won't be back before the con... let alone if I'll still be alive. Rawr our family has balls! We're gonna have like 8 people and 5 animals sitting in a bathtub! . . . . I need to scan some stuff and then get my favorite books, videos, and costumes into boxes and out of the trailer because there's a high probability of it losing its roof or at least rolling. And there's no insurance on my belongings... JOY."

</a></strong></a>amenaspointyhat - "My father was all packed and ready to drive to Dallas and about two hours later decided to turn around and head back to his apartment. He was worried about my cat (who would have been fine) and tired of sitting in traffic. He says "you make different decisions when you're my age". Right. My sister reamed him once, then I talked to him again, he's now talked to my sister and is on the phone with my brother right now. My mom is still there, and even though I'm pissed at her, I'm still worried, but the fact of the matter is that we are more concerned about our father. It really upsets all of us that BOTH of our parents are staying there, but the truth is that our dad is much closer to us and has provided for all of us our whole lives. I've been pretty good with not crying too much, but I am sad. I hope to any and all Gods that my parents will be as safe as possible. I'm really scared."

</a></strong></a>thebedespeaks - "random jottings whilst I pack . . . Television is loaded with Chicken Littles right now. Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard is the biggest screaming pussy of all time. Someone please punch him. It took me nearly an hour of driving around to find a working gas station. And please note that it wasn't open, but the pumps did still take debit cards. No one inside, tho. Did they deliberately leave the pumps open, or just forget? The change in barometric pressure has Willow freaking out. Plus she's noticed that I'm packing things. I probably wouldn't bother to evacuate except for her. . . . Ya know what's cool about an emergency? You find out who your REAL friends are."

</a></strong></a>babycat_6 - "We are not leaving! I'm staying here with my cats and my man. The cats were sitting in our window about an hour ago like nothing is wrong. I think it will get bad but not as bad as everyone thinks. Happy Hurricane Everyone. Besides why leave and miss all the action?"

</a></strong></a>justlike_a_cat - "For the second year in a row, Brian and I going to be holed up with his awesome grandparents at their fourth floor condo over at the American Can Company in mid city. We'll have hi-speed internet, cable tv, workout room w/mutli screen cable tv, and good good company. We will call you guys to see how everyone is doing. Brian's parents were already out of town when news of the storm poured in. So, we're gonna take care of the Italian grandparents."

</a></strong></a>phantom_blood - "I'm not really planning on leaving."

... meanwhile, if you search over at Craigslist in New Orleans, you can find dope. Finding marajuana, however, may be harder.

** 1st update, Sun. August 28th, 11:30 am CDT **


Most of the latest posts I've noticed from LJ users in New Orleans are from people who have evacuated:

</a></strong></a>blackpetalroses - "All of the hotels up to Jackson, MS are totally booked. There is no more gas in some gas stations in south LA. It's crazy here. We'll probably lose power, and like I said, my area is even supposed to keep watch."

...but several posts are from people who haven't evacuated.

</a></strong></a>alobar - "No evacuation for me. No way to evacuate, and no place to go. The City wants people to go into the Superdome. I'd rather take my chances here. Last place I'd want to be if the flood waters started rising is inside a sealed dome with 10,000 panicky people when the lights go out. Make a cool disaster movie, but I sure would not want a starring role in that movie! Not sure if the rising flood waters would kill more people, or the panicing people killing one another to get to high ground. They will have bad food, and the stink of fear would make it hard to breathe."

</a></strong></a>executorvs - "I'm not leaving unless I can make certain IVY KROLL has gotten out... she also needs to remember her cat is at home and has nowhere to go if it floods... she could ask kent about cats during a flood.. I very well might leave if I could make sure everyone was safe as is I've got 3 family members holding me here... but that's us parkers.... now Ivy I promised her mother I would watch out for her."

</a></strong></a>bobbysan - "If I had the money to run like a little girly-man, I would be right there with Rupaul. Seriously. I am not a moron and I know that by Tuesday, I could be treading water in a very literal way since my neighborhood is something like 9 foot below sea level. But I can't. And I suck. But that does not change things. . . . Oddly enough, I can't (go to a shelter). I checked and you are REQUIRED to bring food and water for 3 to 5 days. And since I can't get to a store that's open, I don't have it. Weird huh?"

</a></strong></a>thesexgod - "We woke up this morning to realize that we were fucked. Dev left sometime in the night like a sneaky, wet bastard. Me, Billy, Ingrid, and Shashank are now in New Orleans, will be in New Orleans for the hurricane, and will stay in New Orleans after it's past us. Feel free to call me and see that I'm not actually dead. 5044522180! I'm riding this bitch like a fat man on a whore."

</a></strong></a>zeldakitty - "Forgive my laissez-faire attitude, I don't mean to mock the fates whatsoever. It's just entirely too difficult for me to comprehend evacuating with my two dogs and four cats and leaving behind my house and my mother to go god only knows where and wait god only knows what, out. So I'm staying."

</a></strong></a>insou2you - "I think we're staying. Sean was making noise about going up to beaux bridge this morning, but really - the three cats and the endless freeway congestion - FEH. Plus, i hate the thought of missing a good hurrication :) Nothing beats whiling away an insane storm with a bloody mary and all of your friends around. It just feels so damn decadent, you know?"

</a></strong></a>strangelet - "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." 

[info]interdictor   "I'm still here. On the 10th floor of 650 Poydras; been stuck here since last night."

Just in case it might help someone, I'm organizing LJers to offer up free shelter for evacuees and to offer carpools out of New Orleans. Is there a better way to get to know another LJer than to ride out a hurricane with them, ideally in relative safety? I think not
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