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.
“Oh, maaaaaaaaaaan……..”

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.

9 Comments so far

  1. Craig (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 7:36 am

    ..and yes, I know TOMORROW is the first day of hurricane season. May indeed has 31 days.

  2. Jack Ware (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 8:17 am

    I think we’ver seen the last of hurricanes – it was a brief fad; like computers and television. Seriously, though, I find my thoughts wandering toward security with people stressed and strained, a down-trodden, exhausted, and somewhat apathetic police force, and a fairly steep rise in gun purchases after Katrina, elements are in place for some serious violence. The city can’t even enforce traffic laws in Orlean parish.

    That said, I’m tempted to stay in order to protect my shit, which is a flawed logic, but still, my gut instinct.

  3. Laurie (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 1:31 pm


    Are you in Australia?



  4. Covingtongirl (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

    only 8 hours to go till dooms-day.

    Yes, we should all be prepared, but pulez – all this media hipe is going to kill the small business man, if, say a tropical storm starts a brewin’.
    We all need to be informed, but this is scaring the hooey out of me.

  5. Covingtongirl (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 4:16 pm

    Craig – I in no way ment that your post was ‘media hype’ — I was directing the comment towards T-P, TV etal.

  6. Laurie (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 5:45 pm
  7. sue (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

    New Orleans was standing and pretty much intact after the hurricane…or at least in my area. (UNO) It was the shoddy levees that destroyed a good portion of the city. That said, it wasn’t a direct hit and the levees are still shoddy. I stayed. And now that I know all that I wouldn’t even attempt to stay a second time. All I can say, if you’re taking advice, is that the decision needs alot of serious thought. Good luck to you all.

  8. Drury (unregistered) on June 1st, 2006 @ 2:39 am

    From Seattle, I remember watching the news reports from inside the Super Dome, while Katrina was raging outside, and it sounded like a giant beating the building with a train.

    You’ve always lived with hurricane threats, and most of them have skipped NO, but it’s best to be safe. The city had it’s immortality stripped from it so I know you are all extremely anxious. The thing is, if you do have a “genuine threat” approaching, which doesn’t seem to happen all that often, get out of town. It may turn out to be a waste of time, but please don’t risk putting yourself in harms way. You can’t hold down a roof with good intensions. Please be safe.

  9. Roy Kareem (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    Hi Craig,

    Apologies for using the comments section to get in touch, but I couldn’t see an email address for you.

    I’m a post-grad environmnetal research scientist based at University College London in the U.K. I’m writing my dissertation on Katrina, and specifically on how people were able to use blogs as a platorm for the production and consumption of views in its aftermath, as opposed to relying on more traditional forms of mainstream media reporting.

    I’m in town for the next month doing interviews with various folk, and wondered if you’d be interested in having a chat about your blogging/Katrina experiences? If so, please get in touch on the email address below, and hopefully we can arrange something.


    Roy Kareem

    Post-gradutate researher
    Department of Geography
    University College London

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