Saturday, September 24, 2005.
We survived the night! No surprise, really. The wind was up, but we didn't get much rain. The vent cap blew off my roof vent again. I'll have to get up on the ladder and put it back again. Maybe I should put some screws in it...
Message from Ashlee in Denham Springs this morning:
We're doing fine here at work. We have some mega leaks in our roof, so a portion of the hallway is flooded. We'll probably loose part of the ceiling. We have to dump the 30 gallon plastic tubs about every 2-3 hours. Our parking lot is flooded and we lost power earlier this evening. We got word the the apartments behind the chapter are flooded. Thank goodness for a large generator. Looks like the storm made landfall about an hour ago. Time for me to get some R&R. It's liable to be a busy day tomorrow.
Message from Bill in Houston:
Shawn, jack, matt, jenn and bill in houston all ok. See you all soon. - Bill
The latest computer models don't look good for our rainfall potential...
Breakfast was bacon and eggs! Life must be getting back to normal. Everybody seems to have done OK, and we still have power (obviously). I've got more paperwork to do today, and I intend to go back to work on Monday, barring accidents and misadventures. Now begins the long climb back to normal... Of course, Rita is going to rain on us for awhile first, but we can take that. Some sunshine might be nice, though...
All the Jefferson Parish pumps are operating at 100%. "We hope to have the levee system restored to its original, Category-3 resistance by next June." That's good news.
By Andy Sullivan Wed Sep 21,11:40 AM ET NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - After the storm came the carjackers and burglars. Then came the gun battles and the chemical explosions that shook the restored Victorians in New Orleans' Algiers Point neighborhood.
"The hurricane was a breeze compared with the crime and terror that followed," said Gregg Harris, a psychotherapist who lives in the battered area.
As life returned to this close-knit neighborhood three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, residents said they hoped their experience could convince political leaders to get serious about the violence and poor services that have long been an unfortunate hallmark of their city.
"I think now it's a wake-up call," Harris said.
After the storm, the neighborhood association had to act as law enforcement and emergency response unit as city services collapsed and the police force was unable to protect them.
Citizens organized armed patrols and checked on the elderly. They slept on their porches with loaded shotguns and bolted awake when intruders stumbled on the aluminum cans they had scattered on the sidewalk.
Gunshots rang out for days, sometimes terrifyingly close.
For Harris, the first warning sign came on Tuesday, the day after the storm, when two young men hit his partner, Vinnie Pervel, over the head and drove off with his Ford van.
"A police car drove up behind me and saw it happening but he didn't do anything," said Pervel, who heads the 1,500-household neighborhood association.
Then residents heard that police vehicles were being carjacked and looters were taking guns and ammunition from nearby stores.
"We thought, 'Perhaps this is going to get really ugly,"' said Gareth Stubbs, a marine surveyor who lives across Pelican Street from Harris and Pervel.
A Texas woman who runs a Web site called Polimom.com served as a link between those who stayed and those who had left. With her help, they stockpiled an arsenal of shotguns, derringer pistols and an old AK-47.
They were put to use the next day.
"Some looters came up and pulled a gun on the wrong group of men," said Harris, who said he did not fire a gun himself and declined to say who else was involved in the battle.
"Two men were shot right there," Harris said, pointing down the street as he watered his rose bushes. "One was shot in the back, the other in the leg, and the third I was told made it a block and a half before he died in the street. I did not go down to see the body."
The next day a nearby stockpile of chemicals exploded, shaking the houses and sending a fireball 300 feet into the sky. The fire burned for another three days, Harris said.
"For five days we didn't need FEMA, the Red Cross or the National Guard," Harris said. "The neighborhood took care of itself."
Yeah, and then the cops came along and took away everybody's guns, and with them their right to self determination.
I was just outside for awhile. The clouds broke and we had sunshine! Amazing...
I forgot to post this when I first saw it:
Here is some very biased reporting:
Billy came by for a visit. The temporary patch we did on his house didn't hold in the wind and was all torn off. I'm going to go help him put some tarps up tomorrow.
I managed to get an hour nap. I really needed that. I could use another few hours...
Just got this from Ken:
Uneventful night other than losing power about 2:30AM. Some rain and winds of about 40-50 MPH is all we've seen. Pretty much a non event on the south west side of town. My house had power so we moved operations over here this morning. Only got cable/Internet about an hour ago. Almost lost the cover on the deck but it held. I actually was hoping to lose it as I need to replace it anyway.
The tragedy is in Port Arthur/Beaumont/Lake Charles areas.
The folks who made it out of the Houston metro area ( some estimate close to 2 million) are going to face a challenge getting back in. The govmt is trying to control that by dividing the city into quarters and assigning return days based on where they live. Good luck on that. Nothing much will work without gas. The major suppliers are just now getting back online to deliver to stations.
Other than that, all is well. Hope this finds you and yours safe and in good health!
I've been watching the Second Amendment Foundation's convention on http://www.freedombroadcastnetwork.com
Mas Ayoob just gave a speech about what happened in New Orleans. Very good stuff. I'll try to find a transcript.
Got this from Bill in Houston:
The power is back on at my house now. Came on maybe 2 hours ago.
Last night was uneventful, pretty much. Our bedroom is on the windward (north) side of the house. Every now and then the wind would get strong enough to make the few raindrops hit the window and wake us up. I liked the waking up every now and then, just to keep track of the time and storm's progress. The branches of a tree hit a power line and took the power out at maybe 2 AM. Wife eventually decided that she didn't like being woken up, so we went to the kids bedroom and slept on the floor in there. We slept pretty well.
In the morning our water worked, and the power was still off. I bet we got a total of maybe 1/2 inch of rain. No rainwater collected in the bar (borrow) ditch out front. We had quite a bit of leafy debris and branches in the yard. AND, our only noticeable damage was three sections of our cedar privacy fence. Snapped two of the old rotten vertical posts.
We had a nice morning. Cereal and milk for breakfast. Cowboy coffee on the campstove. Later on we had bacon and eggs and tortillas and salsa for lunch. Got a little stir crazy, so we got out and drove around. Provided TV for the kids and A/C for the grownups.
That's about it. Our pal in New Iberia made it okay and then was going to go out with her family to visit other relatives in Iowa, LA.
Bill in Houston
THE SAGA OF LOUISIANA UNEMPLOYMENT
I - along with a few million other people - filed for unemployment, either by calling the number or going to the website: http://www.ldol.state.la.us/ . Since I was clever enough to have internet access, I filed online. It was quite easy, and I was fairly impressed with the system. After a few days, I was stunned to receive no less than FOUR envelopes from the Louisiana Department of Labor. They sent me a brochure, an explanation of benefits, a declaration of benefits, and a benefits form all in separate envelopes! My tax dollars at work...
I read the information carefully. I would receive a debit card in the mail and after that I would get benefits by calling the Easy Call System. Seemed easy as pie.
Well, I got the card last week, and in the middle of trying to get everything done, I didn't call for the benefits. I just got to do it tonight. I called the Easy Call System, and it really is easy. I've got to give LDOL that much - they really have their stuff together.
My problem is that since I didn't file for the benefits right away like they expected, the recording told me that I had to go to the local office. The local office isn't functional right now - it's in Baton Rouge. So, I'm supposed to drive to Baton Rouge to get my benefits. Sheesh.
We got some news about my brother-in-law Jeff's house. He was flooded to about six feet. His house is a total loss. My brother-in-law Eddie's trailer is a total loss. Eddie didn't have insurance.
I've got some pictures to share.
A helicopter that crashed in mid-city. That's the old American Can Company in the background. Ouch.
This is what Sidmar's looks like today. It was one of our favorite resturaunts. To see what it used to look like, you can see the website: http://www.neworleansrestaurants.com/sidmars/
I guess this Time's Picayune says it all.
Here's a looter sign down in Arabi.
Got this from Ashlee.
The biggest thing we're dealing with right now is flooding. We have reports of water in the houses in Ascension and Livingston Parishes. Maurepas (a very small town on the Amite river) had to be evacuated today due to the flooding. There are trees down on houses, and of course the further West you go the worse it is. When I left work this afternoon, we still did not have electricity, but luckily we have it at home. The lights were out a lot longer for Katrina, but Rita seems like it was worse (for us) than Katrina. It doesn't really make sense. I am home tonight and will be tomorrow as well. The slight cold I had a couple of days ago has turned into a mega cold that has me miserable. Being out in the storm last night didn't help, nor did lack of sleep and long work hours. Tomorrow will be the second day I've had off since Katrina, so I am looking forward to it.
P.S. I know I must be insane because at this point, I still love my job.
Cheap Gas A man traveling in Louisiana was headed for the Texas border ...when he saw a large sign... "LAST CHANCE FOR $2.95 GAS!"
He still had more than a quarter of a tank left, but figured he'd better take advantage of this opportunity to fill-up his tank.
As he was getting his change from the attendant, he asked, "How much is gas in Texas?"
The attendant replied, "$2.50..."
Reports of looting in Beaumont and Port Arthur. You'd think folks would figure it out...
Seen in Lake Charles:
I've seen a lot of things since Katrina, and I wanted to comment on it. I've seen rich people and poor people put out of their homes. I've seen people of all races hurt by the storm. I've seen all the Churches get together and help people. I've seen atheists help people. I've seen neighbors pulling together to help one another. I've seen thugs, hoodlums, and scammers trying to take advantage. I've seen people fighting over supplies. I've seen cops helping people, and I've seen cops hurting people. I've seen them hurt people who needed hurting, and I've seen them hurt people that they had no business hurting. I've seen out of town people come in, set up shop, help as many people as they can, and then go back home with no thought to get paid or thanked. I've seen the Red Cross doing an amazing job with what they have. I've seen Salvation Army trucks in the street. I've seen utility trucks respond to trouble within minutes. I've seen public officials doing the right thing. I've seen public officials doing stupid things. I've seen long lines at gas stations. I've seen some insurance company representatives doing everything they can for people. I've seen insurance companies ignore their clients. (We're being ignored...) I've seen National Guardsman patrolling the streets, passing out relief supplies, and all of them with a wonderful attitude. I've seen doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel working tirelessly, sleeping where they fall, and getting back up to do it all again. I've seen people helping people.
What I have NOT seen is the ACLU setting up a relief station. I haven't seen the NAACP doing any work or offering any help whatsoever. I haven't seen the Coalition of African American Leaders do anything but talk. I haven't seen People for the American Way helping anybody. I haven't seen Jesse Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Black Leadership Forum, the National Urban League, or the National Council of Negro Women doing anything but running their mouths. Lots of folks are willing to express their outrage about some things, but none of them are willing to get off of their asses and actually come down here and DO something useful.
The gripers and the whiners in Congress, and other organizations should come down here and work in some relief lines and shelters. Hillary, Ted, and a couple of others ought to come down here and get their hands dirty. The lazy ass people we call Senators and Congressmen should come down here and help somebody clean out their house, tear up the carpet, and rip out the walls. They should shut their damn mouths and open their hands.