Saturday, August 27, 2005


We have to stay in town for Hurrican Katrina because Mark has to work. That's what happens when you work for "THE News, Talk, and Sports Leader!" of radio.

They're putting us up at the Hyatt, which is next to the building where he works....but we have to rotate the room. They get half as many rooms as there will be people. So for like 12 hours, it'll be ours, while the other people are working. Ugh. We can bring blankets and pillows for if he's working overnight or something.

This looks like it will be the big one. The one that could wash us away. We have to leave the kitties here. We're closing them up in the computer room, because there's stuff they can climb on to escape any flood waters. It's breaking my heart, but that would be the safest room for them, should anything fly through our windows. We can't bring them with us. And my parents have two cats, so they can't take them. They're waiting until morning to decide whether or not they are evacuating. To me, that's too late. But Mayor Nagin is making the final call for mandatory evacuations at daybreak tomorrow.

The thing about this storm is that it snuck up on us. With my work and school schedule, I haven't had time for the newspaper or for TV. So I was vaguely aware of Katrina, just by listening to the radio to and from work and school. But they were expecting her to hit Florida and travel the coast of Florida. Until today, apparently. I mean, Mark works for, as I said, "THE News, Talk, and Sports Leader" of N.O., and when he got off work at 5 yesterday, there was no reason to worry. The principal of my school came around again after work to tell us all to have a nice weekend, asked if we had anything planned. Didn't say anything about paying attention to the local news media to see if we would have school. But today, they announced that the Archdiocesan schools are closed Monday. UNO's website says that they are closed through Tuesday. We went out to dinner with friends last night, then hung out with more people afterwards. No one said anything like, "Hey, are you evacuating?"

We slept in today, and went to the mall around 1:30 to get lunch and kill time. I noticed some buildings were boarding up, and that's nothing unusual. A bar we passed had this sign, "Due to Hurricane Katrina, we will be OPEN on Tuesday!" (Down here, people have hurricane evacuate from a lower-lying area of town to your friends' or relatives' house in a higher area, and you get food and candles and batteries and booze, and you party because there's nothing else to do. But when the threat is so bad, like it is now, that kinda dies down.) Anyway, we pull up, and there's a bunch of cars, but not many. We pull in the parking garage at Penney's, because that's the only garage and it's so flippin' hot, and walk to the store. An employee was sitting outside on a smoke break, we thought. She stopped us and said, "Store and mall are closed. Sorry." So I guess the cars there were all employees, and I'm guessing the mall had been open.

So now, we're feeling really dumb and very twilight-zoney. We stopped at Burger King and got lunch (yuck), then came home. Mark noticed two voice mails come through, both from his boss. Boss tells him that if he isn't evacuating, they need him to work. He doesn't have to, but that the main bosslady said something to him about, "This is where we separate the men from the boys, especially where pending promotions are concerned." So in other words, if Mark wants this promotion/raise he's been trying to get, he has to work.

So we're stuck here to ride it out. I'm bringing my textbooks with me, along with some stuff for school. But this monster is headed straight for us. She's a Category 3 right now, but they expect her to go to 4 before landfall. That's because she's moving too slowly, and she's building speed and strength.

I'm not religious by any means, but there's a theory that Our Lady of Prompt Succor (quick help in Latin) once saved the city of N.O. when the Ursuline nuns prayed to stop a raging fire that destroyed much of the city. The fire stopped before it reached their convent. OLPH is considered our protector. So when hurricanes come through, the city starts praying to her. The first words out of my mom's mouth were that she was already praying. The craziest part about it is that I'm almost inclined to believe it. The last few big ones headed towards us turned at the last minute. One, I think Lilli, slowed down speeds when it hit the friction of the coast, and we were spared. I'm not a praying person, but I'm hoping that if this is a real thing, that it pulls through. And, I figure my mom is praying enough for me, and maybe about 1,000 other people.

I'll let you know how we fare.

1 comment:

anne said...

I really wish you had internet access right now. NPR is broadcasting out of the Hilton and it sounds like the building is fallling apart. Mark better get a damn good raise for this.