Saturday, September 23, 2006

Quickie Update While the Power Holds 9.23.2005

Subject: Quickie update while the power holds Date: 9/23 11:48 AM

Hi all,
I have many of you to answer. Today isn't the day. Yesterday I was forwarded a very eloquent letter re: my use of the Mirror link in the last email. I will absolutely answer that. It was beautifully written and made good points.

Rita is on her way. Winds gusted to 48 mph this morning here in NO. It's been raining pretty much on and off since last night. A tree across the street was just too wet and weak and fell over in the night. Heard things bouncing off the walls of our house and the house next door. Looked this morning, no damage, just a lot of noise. We're currently under a tornado watch til 6PM and are being told that if we won't leave, we need to write our social security numbers on our arms in Sharpie so they can identify us.

Lost power for most of the night last night, but it came on gratefully this morning about 6AM. Cable is gone again, so back to dialup. If the wind keeps increasing the power may go again, so wanted to let you all know that we're fine.

Lower Ninth Ward levee was topped. You'll hear on the news that it was BREACHED. It wasn't. It was topped by storm surge. The eye wall of the Rita has gotten smaller, which means that it can gain strength before it hits landfall. If it gains strength it could cause more storm surge and yet more rain. We were thrilled when it looked like it would be downgraded. Might not be the case if continues forming the way it is now.

Pray for all those Houston folks who are still in their cars, out of gas. I hope they don't have to ride out this storm in their cars. That was my greatest fear during Katrina.

Looks like this storm will split the difference between Houston and New Orleans if it keeps on this track. But things change fast.

Right now we're just watching for tornadoes. They can pop up fast.

So far so good here though. Will write more when this is over.

Love and Light,
Bec and David

NOTE 9.23.2006
The Lower 9 flooded again as the levee had already been breached by Katrina. From what we heard, Rita caused a storm surge that caused what was left of those levees to overtop, as if that area hadn't had enough to deal with.

Rita did indeed "split the difference" and hammered Southwestern Louisiana, an area that has been greatly overlooked compared to New Orleans or the Mississippi Gulf region. Homes and businesses in SW Louisiana were just gone and they're still struggling.

I spent the night Rita hit sitting on my front porch hitting redial on the phone that still worked trying to get through to the Red Cross. I figured everyone had either evacuated or would be busy battening down their own hatches and maybe I'd get through. No. Never did get through to them that night.

I do remember vividly the power of the winds, which in my area were really nothing compared with SW Louisiana. But having grown up in the Midwest, when I thought of high winds, I thought of cold winds. I remember being struck by the warmth of them on that porch that night. I sat there in shorts and a tank top, dialing the phone and being amazed at the warm powerful winds. And, hey, I was so totally on the outer edge of it. Rita blew a few more shingles off roofs around where we were, but nothing too huge, and after what we'd just been through with Katrina, there was a strange sense of resignation.

The stories of the people in Texas on the roads were horrible though. What a mess. Just mass panic and gridlock.

But we were lucky she didn't hit us again.


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