New Orleans It was so quiet that it felt like living in the country. If there had been more stars and fewer houses, I might have thought I was stepping out of my trailer in Wyoming, rather than standing on my porch at 3AM to check on the Tropical Storm Barry. There was hardly a drizzle. Hours later walking Lucha at 630 AM, the drops hitting my face weren’t rain, but water that still needed to be brushed off the leaves by the wind.
Mi companera keeps up with Twitter. She read me a tweet from a New Orleanian calling the storm a “nothing burger.” If that’s the case, nothing tastes better!
We’re still packed in by the clouds. No one is back. Nothing is open. That’s OK, too. We are still worried about the reports of potentially heavy flooding around Baton Rouge and eastern Louisiana on into western Mississippi, where smaller rivers are still swollen with water. The reports on the giant Mississippi River are all good. The Bonnet Carre Spillway has been open 108 days already between the city limits and LaPlace, twenty miles upriver, and has diverted 1.2 trillion cubic feet of water into Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Maurpas, hitting the oyster beds badly with so much muddy fresh water, but doing its job of saving the city. The Coast Guard closed the River to vessel traffic for more than 100 miles.
We ventured out to a food dive called Melba’s at the corner of Elysian Fields and Claiborne which is one of those places that stays open 24-hours a day and doesn’t know the meaning of calorie counts or recycling with everything served “to go” and three entrances, through the back parking lot, through the front door, or through their laundry mat. The biggest crowd was a gaggle of women who were members of the Delta Sigma Theta who had obviously stayed over despite their convention wrapping up Friday in the wake of the storm. Almost all of them lined up for the free refill before walking out with their leftovers. Delta Sigma Theta sorority is a predominantly black organization founded by 22 women in 1913 at Howard University. The Washington Post reported that they donated their convention’s 17,000 uneaten meals to those affected by the tropical storm Barry in Louisiana. Second Harvest sent a 50-foot refrigerated truck to hold the meals so that they can be warmed up for flood and storm victims later in the week. Thanks, sisters!
The Rolling Stones rescheduled their concert for Monday night. Our son had been marooned at his sister’s place in Brooklyn after having the last leg of his flight home from Turkey and Bulgaria cancelled in New York. We rebooked our flights to Europe for meetings with ACORN organizers for Monday as well. Flight trackers are now showing more flights departing from New Orleans than cancellations. The mayor is taking heat for not passing out sandbags because they clog the draining system, but she made the right move.
We’ll reopen our coffeehouses tomorrow, and things will gradually get back to normal. Newspapers will be delivered perhaps. Our offices and others will be open.
Maybe we’ll learn something, maybe we won’t. Too many will confuse the fact that we were lucky with whether we were good.