Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Liveblogging Hurricane Isaac, Part 3

Well hello, concerned citizens of the Shtetl! I am back from various neighborhood (mis)adventures and ready to report on this hurricane!

Tell 'em, Sammy
On a side note, I have been accused of misusing the term "liveblogging" due to my long gaps of time between posts, and to that I say, THIS IS A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND I WILL NOT BE TAKING YOUR GUFF, MISTER/MA'AM.

Now that I have dealt diplomatically with my critics, I will tell you what has befallen the fair city of New Orleans thus far:

Over on Independence Street, Taylor and Chessa were having a nice porch party where we shared microbrews and wasabi peas next to their freshly boarded-up Empanada Intifada food truck. A visitor showed off the machete-induced banana harvest he had collected from N. Rampart Street earlier in the afternoon.
Empanadas must be protected at all costs

[NB: That is my complete knowledge about that last situation...]

We talked about how fast the clouds were moving and how creepy the wind had become. While I was there, a branch fell from a tree onto a car, but didn't seem to cause much damage or alarm.

Later, I braved the rain - which is now more of an aggressive drizzle, a change from this morning's steady mist - and went over to Jessi and Jason's house, where the PBR was flowing freely and the broccoli cheese casserole was making delicious smells. The consensus there was to stay inside and hope the hurricane action wouldn't be too, well, active.

Hurricane party: BYO Plywood
I hurried back home before dark and have since been sitting in the kitchen listening to the inanity that passes for NPR hurricane broadcast coverage these days: "A spinning motion is taking place," we are informed. "Be advised."

Alright, NPR, I will take that to heart.  As a friend wrote, "During a hurricane they really shouldn't be called 'weather reports,' as much as 'whether reports,'" seeing as the so-called experts seem to know very little about what's actually going on, and know more about what's going to freak people out and keep them listening.

Mixed media messages seem to be contributing to the general confusion coming my way: In the past two hours, I've received a few frantic texts from loved ones in New York, and then a few reassuring calls from loved ones more familiar with Southern weather patterns. "Looks like this is going to be a major storm," one said. "Seems like it won't be so bad after all," said another.

When the wind blows
When eventually I got home, my roommate said she'd been receiving regular calls from Entergy our electricity and gas provider. The first message had been comforting, telling us they'd be over right away with a repair crew should service be interrupted. Subsequent communiques had suggested that while Entergy was really, really sorry for future power outages, they were not about to send repair crews out in 80mph winds. Thank you, Entergy. Your concern will take us far in this storm.

And "the wind is indeed blowing," the NPR reporter is saying. I can confirm this with eyewitness reporting data, ie: looking out my damn window.

We've also been told a tornado watch is in effect for all of Southeast Louisiana, coupled with the hurricane watch and flash flood warnings that will last until tomorrow afternoon at least.

Downed tree on Pauline Street
My cat, who is normally unperturbed by most events, has been extra cuddly all day today. Taylor, the porch party host, said he heard a seagull making a distress cry. Unfortunately, video footage of Taylor's imitation of this birdcall has been lost due to my technological inadequacy, and so, Dear Readers, we have met an early casualty of Hurricane Isaac. Please allow me to take a page from Entergy's book and extend my apologies to comfort you in this time of need.

'Til later, I remain your faithful reporter.

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