D come before E except when it comes to named tropical depressions that threaten the Gulf of Mexico, I suppose. Erin will grace/graze Texas sooner than we know the fate of Dean. While at lunch today, I caught the WWL morning news re-broadcast in which the meteorologist said something to the effect of “Keep Dean in the back of your mind as you head into the weekend.” For the love of God, woman, have you not heard of Katrina and Rita? The only things that will be in the back of my mind are my eye sockets for passing out from the abject worry and packing up my important belongings in this infernal heat. Katrina and every Atlantic hurricane since are right here up front, as big knots in the pit of my belly. This is the way we live now, and the following is what we fear for the next one.
Storm 1 Trailer 0 – Friend A, who lives in St. Bernard Parish, has to evacuate if the approaching storm is Category 2 or above given that The Parish is outside the levee system and as she says, “Most of our folks still live in trailers, and those tin cans aren’t going to make it even in 45 mph winds. That’s why our parish has enforced mandatory evacuation for such hurricane circumstances.” Many in Orleans Parish are still in trailers, too.
No Faith In Levees And Pumps – Colleague Billy and I talked this morning – he, along with his entire building crew will evacuate if any thing larger than a tropical storm comes by New Orleans as he has no faith in the levee and pumps system. “You can’t control a storm, but you can’t have faith in those who can’t fix our levee walls. My house survived the storm, but never again am I hunting for friends in a boat.”
The Threat Of Chaos – Other friends, B and G, will stay here up until a Category 3, but worry if they are armed enough. I’m not as brave. Stuff is stuff. If someone breaks into my house and steals my property while I am gone, they can have it. They can’t have my husband or me. While I argue that I want to leave New Orleans on my own terms and I ain’t going out like that – “that” being having my home and belongings violated by those waiting for a single lapse in law and order because we don’t have enough law enforcement – they’re still just things. Or have I not learned that from past experience?
Some say that death comes as the end, but think of all of those who have died before cardiac arrest. Our region, no, our country cannot take any more of this – America is not equipped to handle natural disasters and only succeeds at making them worse. So, I plead to all that is good and merciful in worldly philosophy for a hurricane to ignore Katrina/Rita/Flood-hit areas, but not because I’m some self-centered naif wishing away uncontrollable weather. Never again should the people of this land have to suffer the pain, sorrow and humiliation visited upon them in the guise of “levee protection,” “government aid” and further well-disguised insults. No one should have to go out like that.
My mama promises that no hurricane will harm New Orleans this season. From her lips to the pantheon’s ears.