The wheels of the bus go ’round and ’round….
I seriously have to wonder just how the hell this is all gonna work out, if we actually have to use it.
Sure, we’re a much more mobile city than we were before Katrina. A larger percentage of us have personal transportation, meaning we can haul our own asses away or at least pile into a car with someone else. And, given the metro area’s smaller population, there’s going to be less gridlock on the highways. But the logistics of getting all this together are incredible. Kinda gives a new meaning to “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” or “Ridin’ On the City Of New Orleans.” Given that hurricanes have their own unpredictable minds, I wonder if there will be a time so many will flee the city like so many roaches, only to find themselves on the streets of Shreveport, Atlanta, Monroe or wherever and the serious part of the storm will have diverted to someplace like Pensacola or Houston.
That said, “a plan” is better than “no plan” or “how we did it last time,” I guess. And I agree there will be a lot of people who are simply going to stand their ground this time. Today being the first day of hurricane season, just about everyone has formed in their own mind what they’re going to do. Here at the headquarters of the Irish Channel Reprobate Society, we’re more likely to stick around this time — despite our lack of some items we had last year. For starters, we no longer have a bigass generator (thank you dickhead looters who stole it). TBK and I also look at the Tinkertoy framing of the power lines around the house and in the neighborhood. Most of the lines incredibly remained on the poles last time, but we wonder if they’ll stand another such event. And, though we’re on demonstrated high ground and the roof is solid, we’re not about to hang around to watch the top of the house go suddenly asail in a mighty wind.
For many of us, it’s going to be a personal comfort issue as much as one of personal safety. Would we rather endure a long period of no power and possible threats to personal safety or hit the road (again) and ensconce ourselves with friend/relatives for an indeterminate period? Is it worse to be safe and wonder about the conditions in New Orleans or remain here and know the situation but wish we’d gotten out? Is it worse to know what you have or wonder what you’ve got left? The questions might sound easy to answer for those who don’t face it up close and personal. It goes so much deeper than just playing it safe — like it’s part of your responsibility to remain if at all possible to Be There when your city, your neighborhood and your friends really and truly need it. After all we’ve been through in the last nine months, part of me thinks it would be chickenshit to just turn and go when/if it happens again.
Many who stayed last time say they won’t stay for the next one — that they’ve learned a serious lesson. But for many of us who left, they feel they missed Something Important — not only for the city but for themselves. It’s a hell of a gamble either way — and one I hope I can simply ponder for another year.