Hurricane Hoopla!

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans   What’s the right thing to do when a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico?  The truth seems to be that no one really knows.

On Sunday afternoon the storm looked to be a category 2 (of 5) headed between the Florida panhandle around Panama City and Pascagoula, Mississippi, a couple of hundred miles from New Orleans.   Sunday night the “spaghetti pattern” was hundreds of miles wide between the Florida panhandle and Lake Charles in western Louisiana with New Orleans towards the center, maybe?  The European model on the Weather Channel had landfall way to the east of the City, while the so-called American model had landfall right on the border of Louisiana and Mississippi not 50 miles away.  There was still no mandatory evacuation at noon on Monday, and the morning newspaper (we have a paper for another month on Mondays) said it was already too late for a full counter-flow on the traffic so if there were an evacuation it would be a horrific traffic jam in all directions.

So in answer to a common question, what do you do?  Everything and nothing.

So, I spent almost $200 for gas to the truck and half-dozen beautiful red 5-gallon plastic “cans.”  No small amount of this had to do with being prepared to fuel a small generator at my home and a big 5500 watt capacity for Fair Grinds Coffeehouse and the last showroom model at Lowe’s in the same size for my mother’s house, adding another $1600 or so.  Will they be needed?  Sure hope not, but if so….you go ahead and pay the money, so you can keep operating and make sure there are fans that can be plugged in, cell phones and computers charged, and the rest of the life giving machines from coffee makers to refrigerators kept moving.  Finally after 18 months the 25-foot ladder against the side of the house has to come down.  Flying objects are inspected, and some moved and some met with shrugs, as in f*** it, enough, there’s only so much time.

On a category 3, I would board up the house.   This morning Issac was almost a three and then almost a one.  Not sure the plywood will come up for anything but the stained glass.

Eventually, you look down and realize at dawn while topping off the tank, you hit “premium” instead of the cheaper unleaded, and your grocery bag had frozen dinners, which wouldn’t make it far when power is out and there’s nothing but a gas stove, and, you say, well, “let’s hope for the best.”

No one can really seem to predict the weather, and we end up doing what we can and finally realizing we are simply pawns in the hands of greater powers be they nature or somewhere above.