Hurricane Isaac roll call. August 28, 2012 10:09 PM   Subscribe

Hurricane Isaac roll call. How are Gulf Coast MeFites holding up?

Conveniently I moved to California earlier this summer so I don't have to deal with this Isaac nonsense, but I wanted to check in on everyone else in Louisiana/Mississippi/etc. Everyone okay?
posted by radioamy to MetaFilter-Related at 10:09 PM (107 comments total)

How could they possibly tell you if they were truly not doing well?
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 10:44 PM on August 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


They could be like the server admin holed up in a colo during Katrina: "doing poorly, low on diesel and diet coke."
posted by zippy at 12:12 AM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


They could be like the server admin holed up in a colo during Katrina: "doing poorly, low on diesel and diet coke."

I'm still waiting for the hollywood movie about the Interdictor. The story had all the elements of a good popcorn movie right down to the fashion model girlfriend.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:38 AM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Given I haven't seen any reports of serious injuries much less worse I'm going out on a limb and saying they're doing pretty okay.
posted by Justinian at 2:06 AM on August 29, 2012


The eeriest thing about the Interdictor's account was how it started lapsing further and further away from jokey "we're making do" talk into what I thought of as "army-speak" as the ordeal went on.

(Which means - ColdChef, if you check in by quoting from Apocalypse Now or something, I'm gonna flip right the hell out.)

My brother's wedding was the day before Katrina, and a friend reminded me that Hurricane Irene hit New York a year ago today. What the hell is it with my brother's marriage and hurricanes?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:01 AM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


August
posted by DU at 4:32 AM on August 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Went to Hattiesburg to avoid the worst. May be forced to try to go back to N.O. tomorrow morning for a doctor's appointment (yes, they will be there, no, the appointment is not canceled) but have no idea how to make that decision!
posted by liketitanic at 4:58 AM on August 29, 2012


We're doing fine weathering the Very Large Typhoons here in Korea, too. Just in case anyone was wondering. you bastards
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:56 AM on August 29, 2012 [30 favorites]


Yeah, it's an end of August thing. I've stopped visiting home around Labor Day for this very reason - better than 50% chance of a hurricane.

This is not so much a "MeFi Roll Call", but everything I'm seeing from my Facebook friends in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Terrebonne/Lafourche parishes implies that it's mostly just inconvenient. A few reports of trees down and fences blown over, but (so far) this doesn't seem to be a disaster on any level that would merit real concern. Power doesn't even seem to be out for most of my LA facebook friends.
posted by Sara C. at 6:01 AM on August 29, 2012


Of course we were wondering Stavros!
We just didn't want to get too personal or anything
posted by SLC Mom at 6:06 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken: We're doing fine weathering the Very Large Typhoons here in Korea, too.

But you're lucky enough to have Gangnam Style to comfort you.
posted by gman at 6:07 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


What are you talking about stavros? There are no storms in Menifee County, Kentucky!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:11 AM on August 29, 2012


I love the smell of hurricanes in the morning.
posted by ColdChef at 6:13 AM on August 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


Not Gulf Coast, but Charleston's had it's normal flooding that happens every time there's more than half an inch of rain. My sister lives downtown though, so she's had it a lot worse than me.
posted by theichibun at 6:34 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just want you to know: we are all OK here in Montana.
posted by The Deej at 6:45 AM on August 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


I survived eating fried pickles.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:46 AM on August 29, 2012


Brandon: the fried pickles or the hurricane?
posted by roboton666 at 6:55 AM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I predicting the only serious injury will be one of the idiots on the weather channel, just after he says something like "I'm standing here in the middle of the street in 80mpg gussssssttttttttss....aaaaaaarggg..." SPLAT

/I hope y'all are OK down there....
posted by HuronBob at 6:59 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Went to Hattiesburg to avoid the worst.

I am SO turning that into the hook of a song.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 AM on August 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


Just lost power, so I'll be going dark for a bit. The main body of the hurricane is about to hit us. It's slow moving, so we'll have a few bad hours of vicious wind and rain. I'll check in on the other side. I love you all.
posted by ColdChef at 7:17 AM on August 29, 2012 [14 favorites]


Houston is looking forward to the rain, but not the mosquitoes or street flooding due to shoddy infrastructure.
posted by Renoroc at 7:20 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love you too, sweet cheeks!
posted by h00py at 7:20 AM on August 29, 2012


Hold onto to something firm, ColdChef! Something NOT attached to your body!
posted by The Deej at 7:23 AM on August 29, 2012


A good friend will help you move.

A true friend will help you move the bodies.

A special friend will give you something firm to grasp when the lights go out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:31 AM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Brandon, that last line is dripping with innuendos.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on August 29, 2012


My friends and family in NoLa and coastal Mississippi have moved inland. My sister-in-law is the closest to the coast, in Biloxi. She says it's windy and wet, but nothing too bad yet. From Weather.com, it looks like NoLa is at the center of the downpour, with lots of flooding outwards, as Isaac is pulling warm moisture from the gulf and raining down over 100 miles east of the center of the storm.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:53 AM on August 29, 2012


Good luck from a former MS Coastie!

Went to Hattiesburg to avoid the worst.
The worst is about all that is to be found in Hattiesburg.
posted by solotoro at 7:57 AM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Having lived in hurricane, tornado,earthquake and, this year in particular, wildfire country at various times I feel pretty empathetic for all of you in natural disaster areas. Sending good vibes to all my IRL and online friends in LA and the Gulf Coast.
posted by Isadorady at 7:58 AM on August 29, 2012


I've decided to stay in my dormitory here at LSU, and we have yet to lose power. There's been a bit of rain, but mostly just whistling high-speed wind. People around here were prepping for Isaac as if it was another Katrina. I don't blame them, though. Katrina sucked.
posted by Evernix at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2012


Brandon, that last line is dripping with innuendos.

no, no.
This is just a scenerio were the lights go out and you suddenly have a new handle on life...wishing Chef and GC mefis well.
posted by clavdivs at 8:08 AM on August 29, 2012


I'm in Arkansas at my aunt's house. I'll be spending the hurricane in her pool. Hopefully everything will be pretty much OK when I get back, my house is in Mid-City which is very low-lying and got several feet of water during Katrina, though that was due to a levee breach and by all accounts Isaac doesn't have anything like the freakish storm surge that Katrina did so hopefully it'll just be a street flooding issue. I heard reports that a house a block away from mine has collapsed and that Tulane Avenue which is two blocks away is completely flooded. I'm fine though, and I expect all my things will be fine when I return.
posted by Scientist at 8:11 AM on August 29, 2012


Also sending good vibes to the coastal folks: may you stay as safe and dry as possible.

I have family in Covington and they're sheltering in place last I heard (they ran at 2 AM before Katrina hit, and we last heard last night, so they might have changed their mind) so I'll be following word here and elsewhere with interest.
posted by immlass at 8:12 AM on August 29, 2012


Oh man, this storm made me think of the Interdictor! I wonder where he is now.

Hang ten, y'all.
posted by cavalier at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2012


Quickly here, from what I've witnessed and heard from my network here on the gulf.

Florida is all clear, rainy and cloudy only here in the capital, except for Escambia county (read: Pensacola) which may be getting some flooding.

The next county over in Alabama (Baldwin Co.) is getting moderately heavy rain with 10 inches predicted and some flooding / PITA stuff.

Despite what I heard from a cousin who is waiting for a job offer at this refinery in Pascagoula, MS that they would be shut down sometime mid-week in preparation for landfall/outages, it seems they're open and operating and not shutdown (as he was told they would be).

Things farther west than that are outside of my realm, but I've heard not-good things through the grapevine...
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:42 AM on August 29, 2012


The Interdictor blog stalled out in 2010.

Reuters news update: Water tops levee in Plaquemines Parish on city outskirts, New Orleans mayor says levees in city are holding.
In low-lying Plaquemines Parish, which stretches southeast from New Orleans, emergency officials reported the overtopping of an 8-foot (2.4-meter) high levee between the Braithwaite and White Ditch districts.

"The federal levee system ... is fine," New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu told local radio.

"There are no risks. It is holding exactly as we expected it to and is performing exactly as it should. There are no people on rooftops from flooding that even approximates what happened during Katrina," he said.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:43 AM on August 29, 2012


And damnit why can't the weather channel website take me to the projected storm path when I click on it? Instead it takes me to some random ticker or story about a mother and her infant being rescued.

Hey weather channel, when I click on a picture of the storm path take me to a larger picture of the freaking storm path or give me my money back! Oh wait...
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:52 AM on August 29, 2012


I'm glad that it sounds like it is "just an inconvenience" for folks in Louisiana, but if they want to freak the fuck out every time a hurricane heads towards them again, I would completely understand. Stay safe all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:54 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brandon, that last line is dripping with innuendos.

I think you meant 'from.'
posted by zippy at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2012


Latest breakdown I've found from the weather channel here.

I can comment on the Alabama bulletpoints since I grew up there.

1) I'm surprised there were mandatory evacuation orders, unless they're referring to Dauphin Island/Fort Morgan area (where I got hitched!) but those folks really know to GTFO or drown, see 5 below.
2) The "6,000" customers out of power number is lower than I'd fear. It sounds well within reason.
3) Tornado watch, nothing we're not used to.
4) "Officials expect tarballs to be washed up", *sigh*... that sucks, the beaches were clean when I got married a few months ago.
5) Flooding in Dauphin Island and Bayou la Batre, yep, happens everytime. Dauphin Island is basically one of those places that just gets demolished anytime a storm even looks at it askance, people know, rich/insurance money rebuilds.

Honestly, at this point I'd be more concerned with flooding, if Isaac hovers that is, than any sort of wind damage type stuff. I remember when Hurricane Georges dropped 30 inches of rain in my hometown, that was devastating to people in low lying areas.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:01 AM on August 29, 2012


I'm in Baton Rouge. Today is my birthday and it is certainly proving to be a unique one.

LSU was closed yesterday, is closed today, and I just received a text that it will be closed tomorrow. My power definitely went out during the night, but it is currently back on. I strongly hope it will stay on, but experience predicts that it will go out again soon, and probably stay out for a while. I'm prepared to wait out the storm if I go powerless by drawing, reading, and socializing with other people in my apartment complex.

I have received emails from Geico and Chase bank trying to expedite my hurricane experience, which impressed me as good for customer morale.

It is currently extremely windy but not nearly as rainy as I had imagined.

It took about half an hour to drag inside all of my patio plants and furniture Monday evening. My entry/living room is unwalkable and I've already knocked over one cactus onto the floor necessitating a vacuuming and repot. Many of the people in my apartment complex have evacuated, but there are at least nine other apartments that I know of that are also sitting it out.

My maintenance man who is an amazing employee and who manages by dint of his awesomeness to keep tenant retention high lent me a really powerful flashlight that looks like a drill. I have filled a variety of containers with water and turned my fridge up really high. I ate some ice cream last night and it was far harder than normal, which impressed me because I always keep my freezer on the highest setting but apparently my added stock of ice and my higher fridge settings are working.

We swam yesterday during the start of the gusting and light but large pieces of palm tree were landing in the pool along with larger than normal quantities of leaf debris. Parking my car took some considered thought, but I'm hopeful I chose a spot where flooding and tree damage are less likely. My complex is built on swamp plain and is definitely flash-flood-able.
posted by vegartanipla at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've already knocked over one cactus onto the floor necessitating a vacuuming and repot.

Hurricane Isaac
Never Forget


I'm sure most people here have already seen the meme going around the internets but this sentence reminded me of it. I'm sure you'll forgive the gallows humor.

Stay safe vegartanipla, I know how it is waiting for the power to go out for who knows how long.. Charge up the electronics, mix a drink, eat some ice cream, and watch the storm. Life could be worse.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:08 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the power goes out here for hours sometimes over a stray cloud so I'm super impressed I've got it now.

I'll have you know the cactus is not amused by your mockery of its plight. Despite requiring a repot, it will not actually get one until I can access the potting supplies currently blocked by all the patio stuff so until everything goes back outside, it is sadly leaning on its brethren for support. How do you feel now, RolandofEld?!
posted by vegartanipla at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


theichibun: "Not Gulf Coast, but Charleston's had it's normal flooding that happens every time there's more than half an inch of rain. My sister lives downtown though, so she's had it a lot worse than me."

Yeah somehow a hurricane that squarely hit New Orleans still managed to flood Charleston. WTF weather?

Hope y'all all stay safe down there.
posted by This Guy at 9:22 AM on August 29, 2012


We stayed here in New Orleans to ride it out, and it looks like we're the only block in the neighborhood with power. One window leaked, but other than that it has been more sound and fury than damage for us.

We took advantage of the lull near the eye of the storm to drive ten blocks, and saw a lot of branches and trees down, though. The gigantic griddle on the side of the atchafalaya restaurant on Louisiana Ave is lying in the street.
posted by umbú at 9:25 AM on August 29, 2012


Fingers crossed for you all, glad to hear that so far it's not having the impact that Katrina did.
posted by arcticseal at 9:30 AM on August 29, 2012


The worst is about all that is to be found in Hattiesburg

Well, yeah, all I want is a Galouise, a copy of the New Yorker, and a latte.
posted by liketitanic at 10:15 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do you feel now, RolandofEld?!

Somewhat stressed but at least I don't beat up on my houseplants.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:31 AM on August 29, 2012


Hey, more seriously, I just saw the bit about your fridge. Put as much of the water you've stockpiled into the fridge itself, it'll help with the thermal mass and add some inertia to the system if/when you do lose power. You want that sucker as full of stuff, even non-edibles, as possible. The rest I'm sure you already know. /PSA
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:36 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in Picayune, MS with my mom. My dad passed away last Tuesday and my flight home got cancelled so I'm riding this one out with her. This isn't our first hurricane together. We went through Donna together back in the Sixties when I was a kid. The storm is coming in waves, or more accurately, bands. Recently heard a loud explosion in the distance. Figure somebody's generator or maybe a transformer blew. Got a small leak in the roof, but that's the worst of it so far. My sister, neice, and nephew all work for the Tammany Parish Sheriff's office and they're working: Sis at dispatch, neice in the prison @ Covington, nephew on patrol. We've lost power but still have water pressure. Just grabbed a shower with the last of the hot water. Reading Lives of the Monster Dogs to pass the time. United just cancelled my flight for the fourth time. Won't leave till Friday at the earliest. I suppose Dad would have preferred me riding this out with Mom. Still, can't help feel a bit Job-esque. At least God gave him a moment to bury his dead. When the roof started to leak on the mantle with Dad's ashes, I just had to laugh at the absurdity of it. Trying not to take it personally. Hopefully, the worst is over.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Saw a bunch of LA license plates on the streets of H-town today. Hope all y'all weather this fucker just fine.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:30 AM on August 29, 2012


A few reports of trees down and fences blown over, but (so far) this doesn't seem to be a disaster on any level that would merit real concern. Power doesn't even seem to be out for most of my LA facebook friends.

Hurricane Isaac leaves over half a million without electricity

You seem to have very lucky friends.
posted by justgary at 11:41 AM on August 29, 2012


I'll check in on the other side. I love you all.

Wait... even eyeballkid? ColdChef is hard core, man.

See you on the other side!
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:43 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]




I ESPECIALLY love eyeballkid.
posted by ColdChef at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


You seem to have very lucky friends

Or know people that live in areas with newer infrastructure that have buried power lines.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


StormPulse.com should have the tracks.
posted by roboton666 at 1:13 PM on August 29, 2012


I just moved to New Orleans a month ago yesterday. We stayed in our apartment near downtown. Our power went out last night and three of our four windows are leaking, and there are some new and suspicious damp patches on the walls. As of today we don't have running water either. It's raining steadily and intermittently getting heavier, and the wind has slowed way down since last night but I still wouldn't want to be out there.

Right now we're basically just hot and bored and hoping the Internet continues to work.
posted by MadamM at 1:16 PM on August 29, 2012




Hurricane heat is really kind of weird to experience because the extra low air pressure is quite tangible.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on August 29, 2012


You seem to have very lucky friends.

No, I just seem to have jinxed them. When I got up this morning everybody was hunky dory playing scrabble, drinking wine, and baking cookies.

Now everyone's posts are coming from their smartphones.

I'm sure they'll all be fine, but I'm going to keep my mouth shut about the specifics from here on out.
posted by Sara C. at 1:31 PM on August 29, 2012


I"m hugging you all tightly. Stay safe.
posted by deborah at 1:38 PM on August 29, 2012


Escambia County, FL, checking in here. Some rain bands, some small limbs down. Biggest problem was the storm surge (1.5-2') and wind-driven waves that have taken out some docks on the bay. Other than that, power held up just fine.
posted by squorch at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2012


squorch, my family's getting pelted across the state line from ya.

Mobile Bay is up quite a bit, I saw some pictures of the Causeway underwater after the storm surge, as usual. They also mistakenly refered to it as the Bayway which was also closed for a while, again as usual.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:47 PM on August 29, 2012


stavros and Brandon: Menifee County?! Who in the hell wants to be on THAT side of Kentucky?!?! WEST-IST.

(And no, not Jessamyn)
posted by deezil at 6:59 PM on August 29, 2012


The weather in New Orleans has calmed down enough to go out, the bartender was sober enough to open the bar, but to drunk to make change without electricity, so beer was free, on the downside no power for a few days, so it will be a sweaty time.

I am using the last of my telephone power ration to see what is going on in the rest of the world, and to see who is fighting about what in metatalk.
posted by St. Sorryass at 9:34 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oops posted to soon, free beer can be problematic. I also wanted share the other thing I have been wasting my electricity on. I was trying to get a Timelapse of the whole storm coming through, but only got a few bits, here is the view from my bathroom, Tuesday afternoon, and a little of Wednesday morning. Resolution is pretty awful I can upload again with proper Internet.

Also while I am posting Timelapse videos from my phone, here is the nighttime floor raccoon, thinking he is sneaky enough to get the cat food.
posted by St. Sorryass at 9:55 PM on August 29, 2012


It's the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene, which is reminding me of a very salient point: guys, we all have been focusing on how the people on the coast and in New Orleans in particular are doing, but the storm is still going on and still moving north, even though most of the rest of us aren't looking.

Everyone was freaking out about how Irene was going to do in New York City, but NYC made it through just fine -- but it was further north that got clobbered, after everyone else had gotten bored and stopped looking. I remember Jessamyn talking in the Hurricane Irene thread about how Vermont got clobbered, and some places in upstate New York were horrifically flooded and are still trying to recover.

So hoping those of you in upstate Louisiana and Arkansas are okay.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:13 AM on August 30, 2012


No bueno: Dam failure possible in LA/MS. Forcible evacuations occuring now.*
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:48 AM on August 30, 2012


Holy god, apparently the dam is expected to fail. That link mentions a downstream rise of 6 to 8 feet over a river that's already at the 14 foot mark.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:52 AM on August 30, 2012


Just got power back. Cell phones still spotty. Thanks to MeFites on Twitter for all their assistance.
posted by ColdChef at 10:53 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hurricanes in the Gulf tend to peter out within a couple hundred miles of making landfall. The East Coast is a little different, both because of the directions the storm moves in and because the northeast is a lot more densely settled along the coast than the Gulf is.

For example, I grew up in probably the southernmost biggish town (or small city?) in Louisiana, and we're still several miles inland from the actual waters of the Gulf. The towns that get pulverized and take years to recover are the tiny villages directly along the water, like Grand Isle and Golden Meadow. Those towns tend to get devastated in storms because the population is comparatively poor and the local government is relatively powerless. (I'm assuming that small towns in Vermont and Upstate New York had a hard time in the wake of Irene for similar reasons.)

Meanwhile, Albany is just about 200 miles inland, still within the range of a hurricane. Most of the state of Vermont is closer to the shore than almost anywhere people in the Gulf South tend to want to evacuate in a hurricane.
posted by Sara C. at 10:56 AM on August 30, 2012


Re the dam thing:

Oh. Shit.

My elderly semi-senile grandparents evacuated into the wake of that dam failure. To their remote cabin on an unpaved private road. I really hope they're OK.
posted by Sara C. at 11:02 AM on August 30, 2012


Hurricanes in the Gulf tend to peter out within a couple hundred miles of making landfall. The East Coast is a little different, both because of the directions the storm moves in and because the northeast is a lot more densely settled along the coast than the Gulf is.

* Opens mouth to say "yes, but --"

Re the dam thing: Oh. Shit.

* shuts mouth and nods *
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:06 AM on August 30, 2012


(And I hope they're okay too.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:06 AM on August 30, 2012


(Grandparents safe and accounted for. Whew!)
posted by Sara C. at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Um... seriously, I'd consider alerting authorities. They'd probably send someone in to check on them. It looks like they're planning an intentional breach to relieve pressure and hopefully direct the water into less populated, woody areas. If I'm understanding things correctly this is not an upstream breach of a separate levee but is indeed a breaching of the dam itself, so this is still most certainly a risk to your grandparents.

To be clear: They evacuated into, not from, that area?
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2012


Wowza, good deal.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2012


Grand Isle sort of stays pulverized. I stayed in a motel there near the beach (like you can get away from it) a few years ago that was made up of trailers (not even mobile homes) that looked like they were pieced together from remnants collected after hurricanes.

That dam is bothersome. It isn't in an area where you'd normally be concerned about flooding. Most of the hurricane damage in that part of the state is usually from falling trees. It's a pine forest. People do evacuate to Hammond and McComb and they're both in the area.
posted by Carbolic at 11:11 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


FWIW, the part of Louisiana and Mississippi they're worried about is about as far inland as Western Massachusetts. Again, while there is some risk of bad stuff happening, the way that the Gulf Coast is developed vs. New England makes this stuff a little easier to deal with.
posted by Sara C. at 11:12 AM on August 30, 2012


I'm having trouble locating the Tangipahoa River on Google map with any confidence. Does it run along Hyw 51/I-55?

Looks like McComb is north and Hammond may be far enough south not to be hit hard by flooding but there are loads of little towns down the hyw and, if I remember correctly, a lot of motels that are likely evacuation points for people fleeing the hurricane.
posted by Carbolic at 11:16 AM on August 30, 2012


A decent map of the area affected by the Tangipahoat dam evacuation.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:17 AM on August 30, 2012


I don't know that it runs directly along I-55, but you're in the right neck of the woods.
posted by Sara C. at 11:18 AM on August 30, 2012


Yea, I don't know that area so trust true locals for sure, just thought it might be helpful since it was the first graphic of any sort that I'd seen.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:19 AM on August 30, 2012


According to Wikipedia Osyka, Mississippi, Kentwood, Louisiana, Amite, Louisiana,Hammond, Louisiana,Robert, Louisiana and Ponchatoula, Louisiana are along it's path which is basically Hyw 51

Just checked RolandOfEld's link. That's a decently populated area. Almost a suburb of New Orleans.
posted by Carbolic at 11:23 AM on August 30, 2012


I have a ton of family in the area and know it well. (In fact, if anyone's watching the weather channel cameras of the Percy Quin dam area, they're apparently in the parking lot of my uncle's bait shop!)

The area on the map, and the towns Carbolic mentions, are about what I assumed was up when I read the report RolandofEid linked to.

That said, no, they are not "almost suburbs of New Orleans", unless things have really changed a lot in the last couple years. We're talking about a part of the country where you have to drive 10 miles off I-55 to find a bathroom if you have to pee between Hammond* and McComb. If we're still comparing this to the post-Irene flooding, this is an unbelievably rural and sparsely populated backwater compared to anywhere in Vermont, NY east of the Hudson, or New England.

I don't want to make light or to pretend like nobody will be affected (and I'm worried about my family and property damage - lots of old folks around there in flimsy housing in the middle of nowhere with limited access to what shitty infrastructure there even is), but in terms of Gulf Coast population centers, this is probably the best dam that could be threatening to burst. This is nothing that anyone from the North would remotely consider "suburban".

*There's this one gas station off the Hammond exit that has been my family's "last chance pee break" ever since I can remember.
posted by Sara C. at 11:36 AM on August 30, 2012


Sara C. - I also have a ton of extended family there but most are 20-30 miles east of the area. In fact, my grandfather was born in Robert. Saying it's almost a suburb of NOLA is an exaggeration but Hammond's population is probably close to 25K now and its only 40 miles from metro NOLA heading south and 20 or so from the North Shore east. Admittedly, pretty much nothing for those 40/20 miles.

I was really thinking about people fleeing from further south who might have gone to the area to avoid the hurricane only to be faced with a dam break. The way I remember it there are a least a few motels along that stretch of I-55. But, then again, I don't pay a lot of attention to my surroundings when I pass through.
posted by Carbolic at 11:59 AM on August 30, 2012


The sort of OK thing about the motels in that area and evacuees is that the local authorities can buzz through there pretty easily and re-evacuate people. Yes, that means you end up in a high school gym somewhere rather than a hotel room, which sucks.

But it's a lot easier to do than going door to door in Montpellier, VT, trying to convince people that a storm hitting a hundred miles away is a big deal.
posted by Sara C. at 12:23 PM on August 30, 2012


People still have the ability to amaze me with their bravery. Louisiana Father-Son Team Rescues 120 From Flooding
posted by ColdChef at 2:37 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm in Central Arkansas, on the outskirts of Little Rock. The wind picked up this morning and the rain started this afternoon. We've had sustained winds of 20-30 MPH (depending on location), with some occasional higher gusts. So far there's nothing majorly exciting to report...a few random trees down over the area, a couple of power poles down, and some power outages in different areas. Looks like our tornado risk was decreased, but still possible in the overnight hours towards Friday. The particular neighborhood I'm in doesn't flood (I've never known it to), but down the road is Otter Creek which will flood and block I-30 when there's enough rain. We'll have to wait and see if that happens.

I have a friend who is in Ponchatoula, LA and lives about 10 miles from the Tangipahoa river. She posted earlier that the water around her is receding, which is a good thing.

Coldchef, the pic of caskets floating out of the cemetery freaked me out! I've always heard of that happening but never could wrap my brain around it.
posted by MultiFaceted at 5:06 PM on August 30, 2012


It's so sad, floating caskets are such a part of my childhood/culture/heritage that I don't even mark it as interesting.
posted by Sara C. at 8:41 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Without power since about midnight Tuesday night, still have running water. Trees down everywhere, debris, but overall not bad. My work has power, so I've just had my second 13 hour day this week. Not optimistic about power coming back in the next 2 days, but I'm basically ok.
posted by Night_owl at 9:53 PM on August 30, 2012


Went to Hattiesburg to avoid the worst.

I am SO turning that into the hook of a song.

posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 on August 29 [16 favorites +] [!]

Well, here it is. I'll try to post it to Mefi Music as soon as I have a decent recording.

I Went Up to Hattiesburg

i felt a strong wind coming on
with the smell of crude oil, and fishermen's nets
i'd been hanging around the gulf coast
looking for a likely place to place my bets
ah but people that's one bad habit
that i never should have nursed
so i went up to Hattiesburg
to avoid the worst

there's been women in my life
who've tried to turn me around
steer me away from the music i love
to close my ears to the healing sound
and one almost enslaved me
i almost let myself be cursed
so i went up to Hattiesburg
to avoid the worst

now there's hurricanes that'll knock you down
and others that'll cloud your mind
leave you turned in the wrong direction
break your bones or strike you blind
others will fill your soul with hate
man, you'll be ready to burst
so i went up to Hattiesburg
to avoid the worst

my daddy told me long ago
from your problems son, you can't run away
they'll catch up with you for sure
when you least expect it, on some sunny day
but when you're up against superior forces
never mind the front lines, only fools go first
so i went up to Hattiesburg
to avoid the worst

now i'll be heading back down south
once this hurricane has passed
cause people, when it comes to wind like that
the good thing is, it just can't last
and if you always stay where it's safe and warm
you'll never quench a certain thirst
so i'll be leaving Hattiesburg
to avoid the worst
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:03 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


God. DAMN.

*slow clap*
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:14 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


...AND I HAVE INTERNET!!!

I lost power shortly after I last posted, and it was out for about 30 hours. I do need to go through my fridge (and particularly my freezer, which was dripping by the end) and toss out some food but I haven't yet. We regained power yesterday evening, and just got internet about half an hour ago.

The fish in the courtyard pond seem distressed - something's messed up the oxygen levels in the water - and there's a load of debris everywhere, but otherwise all seems okay inside the apartment complex though we are continuously draining water from the pond and possibly the pool into the parking areas. When I went outside earlier today, I learned a lot of street lights are still out of power. We also lost several trees around the lakes. And the lake runoff ditch is at the highest water level I've ever seen it.

I repotted my cactus yesterday afternoon and it looks no worse for the wear.
posted by vegartanipla at 2:09 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Still no power or running water in our apartment in New Orleans, but we've left to stay with a family friend in Metairie. Best. Shower. Ever.
posted by MadamM at 4:05 PM on August 31, 2012


Future hurricane advice, vegartanipla - the minute you see on the news that there's a hurricane in the Gulf, start working on whatever's in the freezer, as well as anything particularly delicate in the fridge.

So many childhood memories of hurricane's-a-comin' ice cream feasts...
posted by Sara C. at 4:09 PM on August 31, 2012


You know that story about babies being born nine months after a hurricane? Untrue. No power, no air conditioning, no laundry. House smells like a wet rag. Everyone smells terrible. My wife won't even look me in the eye. Cuddling rapidly devolves into despair.

Other than that things are good. All sound and fury and no electricity or cuddling.
posted by gordie at 6:11 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm back in Pennsylvania, finally. All and all, Picayune and the surrounding area that I saw seemed to weather the storm okay. I only saw one tree breach a roof in my mom's community. A few trees down, here and there, broken shutters, shingles missing, but the roads were cleared and opened by Friday. Big issue now is flooding. The area is already pretty swampy, and the water from the Pearl River swelled until it was practically level with the shoulder on route 59.

Driving to the airport yesterday I saw an impressive array of resources; Trucks filled with utility poles, a parking lot with several trailers, about 50 gasoline trucks, maybe 100 bucket trucks. Jindal was bitching about how the Obama administration was being unresponsive. That was not what I saw. There was a world of difference between how this one was prepared for and responded to compared to Katrina during the Bush administration.

Power was restored in the town of Pearl River, my sisters community, late Thursday night. She later told me that one of her neighbors worked for the power company and although he wasn't on duty and didn't typically work where he lived, he fixed the problem himself so their whole block got power back a little early. Typical of the self-reliance ethos you find in that area.

Picayune got power for a few hours, late on Thursday, but then went out again at midnight until late in the day on Friday. Just talked to my mom and it's still on.

Mom also told me that the remainder of the storm is now heading North and could, in it's diminished state, hit PA. Isaac, you are really an asshole.

For a little historical perspective, here are some pictures I took when my father-in-law and I drove down there about a week after Katrina seven years ago, so I could bring my parents back to Pennsylvania while that part of Mississippi rebuilt. After Katrina it took Picayune about a month to get reliable power and cell service.

The airport in New Orleans had just opened when I got there yesterday morning. Because of that I got to experience something I haven't experienced in a long time—a half-empty airplane. No one sat next to me. I'm guessing those seats might normally have been filled with connecting flight passengers.

I got to Pittsburgh around 10pm and drove three hours back to State College. I feel like I've been in a fight.

I'm going to take the kids swimming and then barbecue some shrimp with the fig jam my sister sent me home with, and some Jack Daniels. And then, after a beer or two, I'm going to sleep.

To those still there, hang in there. You're in my thoughts tonight.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:34 AM on September 1, 2012


Mom also told me that the remainder of the storm is now heading North and could, in it's diminished state, hit PA. Isaac, you are really an asshole.

Isaac will hit inland areas and points north as generic rainy/stormy weather. For instance, midweek looks pretty stormy here in New York City per my iOS weather app. Pretty sure that's Isaac.

While there are always potential dangers from any storm, anywhere, Isaac is not going to hit Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, or the Northeast as a hurricane.

(Sorry, HUGE pet peeve of mine when the remnants of a hurricane hit the Northeast and the news media describes it as an actual hurricane. It's a sustained period general shit weather, not Katrina or even Irene. I'm sure that the implication that a hurricane is headed for [inland city] makes meteorologists feel better about their career choices, but UGH NO SHUT UP.)
posted by Sara C. at 1:53 PM on September 1, 2012


More adventure. My nephew's just been re-activated because they think one of the Pearl River locks is about to bust. They are evacuating all of St. Tammany Parish between locks 1 and 2. Good times.

Mississippi: Come for the funerals, stay for the hurricanes and floods.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:03 PM on September 1, 2012


Well, they're expecting both locks are going to blow so they've evacuated all my peeps out of Pearl River. Mom's now hosting my sister, her husband, my niece's daughter, and my nephew's wife and kid. I bet my mom is loving having the great grand babies around, though might prefer other reasons for the visit. Nephew Sam is evacuating and retrieving folks from the floods. Might not go to bed as planned.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:32 PM on September 1, 2012


Howdy from New Orleans. We have been without power since 8/29 at 2:41am CST. It wasn't too bad until yesterday when I decided to clean up the front yard (the backyard can wait.) Was not fun, thank goodness the neighbor's kid brought me a bottle of icy water and helped me finish because I know I was getting into the danger zone of heat exhaustion. (I know stupid.) Anyway, once the the inside of the house hit 90 degrees I decided to visit my dad in north Louisiana. Just looked at the power outage map and my street is still without power. According to Entergy "By Sept. 4th, we estimate that 70 percent of customers will be restored. By Sept. 6th, we expect 90 percent to be restored. We appreciate your patience as we continue restoring power to this area." I don't have much hope.
posted by govtdrone at 6:03 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


We got our power back about five hours after we gave up and left, sometime late yesterday evening. It feels back to normal for us, but ugh- I hope you guys get power soon. With the heat this weekend, it's gotta be seriously dangerous for vulnerable people stuck in un-air conditioned homes.
posted by MadamM at 10:22 PM on September 1, 2012


NOLA.com story on the erosion at lock 2 and the evacuation. The pictures are pretty illustrative.
posted by Toekneesan at 8:26 AM on September 2, 2012


Spent 96.5 hours without power in Mid-City / Bayou St. John area but was able to sleep in air-conditioned comfort last night. Past that and a few boards blown off my fence I have nothing to complain about.
posted by komara at 10:28 AM on September 2, 2012


It appears things are looking better.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:58 PM on September 2, 2012


I thought my mom might have been mistaken about the hurricane we were in before and it turns out it wasn't Donna, which occurred before I was born, it was Camille, which only grazed Fort Myers Florida, where we were living back in '69. Camille would go on to become a Category 5 storm and devastate Mississippi, particularly Pass Christian, Mississippi, where it landed. Florida got off relatively easy that time. I was five and only barely remember that storm. This one is likely to last longer in my memory.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:58 AM on September 3, 2012


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