D and I still don’t know if we’re leaving or not. At this time, despite the fact that Hurricane Gustav is still in the Caribbean, the models trend west. What does that mean in terms of rain and surge? Will the power go out? Sure. For how long? Uncertainty, not anxiety, prevails. This post will be updated through the day, so keep it here and on Twitter if you want to follow along at home (since you obviously have nothing better to do on the Saturday before Labor Day).
* 7:30AM – Awakened from strange dream about a couple of friends by my brother who wants to know if we’re leaving. “Huh? I dunno. *snore* Yeah, I’ll come up there if anything happens.”
* 8:00AM – Turn on TV to flip between local channels. “What? I slept all night and that storm has moved inches? Damn you, Gustav, I want my money back.” Bleary-eyed reach for coffee.
* 8:30AM – Ok, we’re getting our plywood ready, just in case.
* 9:20AM – Neighbor guy is staying – he’s got supplies and a generator. Asked us to come over in case the power goes out. Like I told him, the storm doesn’t worry me, the human factor does. If power goes out, I don’t trust Entergy to get it back up in a reasonable amount of time. Neighbor guy doesn’t trust NOPD to take care of him in case the fit hits the shan again. I need more coffee.
* 9:45AM – Our mayor is still a douchebag. Now reading little known facts (tweets) about Sarah Palin, Jezebel’s take on the unfolding dead parrot sketch and how some PUMA women are not fooled by this choice.
* 10:30AM – Plywood ready. Off to friend’s to watch Wisconsin-Akron game. If we evacuate, we’re headed up to Wisconsin or Ohio, so y’all play nice and don’t threaten Midwest peace before I get there, ok?
* 11:11AM – Hey, it’s magic time. Dear family and friends, all precautions have been taken in case we decide to leave. Since the storm isn’t in the Gulf yet, it may still head farther west, which makes evacuation to anywhere along the I-10 corridor west of here (including Houston) a losing proposition as well as a bit premature. If we leave, we will drive in a northeasterly direction and then up to the Midwest.
* 12:30PM – We’re running errands in St. Charles Parish. I-10W traffic comes to a standstill at the Clearview exit, so take that exit and stay on Vet’s and then get on Airline Highway if you’re heading west. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s officials are controlling the flow of traffic by the airport, so it shouldn’t be a complete fubar.
12:45PM – Gustav is now officially a Cat4 storm – poor Cuba. City Hall will announce at 7PM tonight if evacuation becomes mandatory.
* 3:45PM – Hanging out at home and watching various weather channels, especially Bob Breck who assures us that “there WILL be no looting this year.” A few of our neighbors have already left. Remembering that we evacuated on a Sunday for Katrina. *sigh*
5:30PM – Windows boarded by D, while I stood around and looked spiffy. Bob Breck says the high pressure ridge that was supposed to push Gustav to the west may not come here any more. It won’t be a direct hit to the city, but close enough. We’re leaving tomorrow. The question is when tomorrow.
* 8:15PM – Just got back from visiting with Loki and Lex [picture]. It’s hard to say goodbye to your friends before we scatter to the winds. For how long? During the drive Uptown and back, I experienced serious deja vu – the city hasn’t looked this deserted since a month or two after Katrina. Please don’t listen to our mayor. He’s off his rocker. The hurricane is NOT 900 miles in diameter. Just because they’re full of melodrama and hype doesn’t mean we’re not leaving. The models have shifted to the east, which hastens our departure. We are leaving. D and I have almost finished packing the last of our bags. Stay tuned.
* 8:45PM – Important information! Contraflow now beings at 4AM Sunday. Mandatory evacuation for Orleans Parish begins at 12 noon tomorrow, Sunday. Craig of New Orleans Metblogs is staying and will get J’anita’s (1906 Magazine St. in the Lower Garden District) up and running for meals as soon as possible. Bec is also staying and Buffa’s (1001 Esplanade Ave. in the Marigny ) will remain open as a community center – boarded but ring bell.
* 9:00PM – Our landlady just called and said that she has been on the road for 4.5 hours and just got to Slidell. That’s 30 miles in 4.5 hours. Great. We’re not leaving until tomorrow.