Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Latest and greatest....

Written August 29:

Mark's got an offer for a hotel room free through work in Hammond, and they accept animals up to 50 lbs. He has to work tomorrow, so we'll see then.

Also August 29:

The in-laws just told us there is a mandatory evacuation this weekend in MC. They're trying to convince their stubborn parental types. But if Nanny, Maw-Maw, and Pops don't want to go, I don't think they are, either. When we all get old, let's make pacts to not be so stubborn.

We are changing our plans....and going to follow the Saints, haha. We're going to Indianapolis to stay with Devon and her husband. Sal and his wife are also going up there with their dog. Sal has to cover the Saints.

The Hammond deal just keeps getting sketchier and sketchier, and we're afraid it may not be a great plan. I researched and discovered that it's a $45 a night motel. Yeahhhhh.... and we don't have the room until 11 a.m. Sunday. We don't want to wait around that long.

STM and Kath are going to go up more than likely. Where up is, they don't know.

Written Sept. 1:

We spent 34 hours, starting at 4 a.m. Sunday in Old Metairie. With two cats, one of whom pulled a Houdini from his carrier. Twice. But we fixed his butt. My parents are also in Atlanta, and took almost 24 hours, but they stopped to sleep at a rest stop like we did. We had maybe 2 hours total of sleep/break time. But we're here in Indy, awaiting Broussard's call on return days. I hope it's through the weekend...I don't wanna drive back Wednesday. I haven't recovered from the past day and a half...

Also written Sept. 1:

To quote our parish president, "I don't like Ike."

I am safely at our friend Devon's house in Indy. I'm a little more worried about my in-laws' homes and business in Morgan City. Apparently, one of my parents' neighbors stayed home and said their house looks fine. Metairie is pretty large. I'm actually on the other side of the 17th Street Canal...the very one that ruined my home in Lakeview. We're in the Old Metairie neighborhood in Jefferson Parish, which is next to Orleans Parish. My parents are closer to the airport, but not really near it. Aaron Broussard, our JP pres., is making a pronouncement for when we can return. Rumor has it he doesn't want anyone in until the weekend. Which is fine, as we drove 34 hours to get to Indy...more than twice the amount of time it would normally take. To get from Old Metairie to Hattiesburg, MS, usually takes 2 1/2 hours. Instead, it took us FOURTEEN HOURS to get there. No bathrooms, no food, no nothing until the Mississippi welcome center, which was overrun and disGUSTing.

They say over 1 million people are without power, and we're assuming we're in that number.

I'll update more later...I only had about 2 hours of sleep the entire time. My cats are hiding somewhere in Devon's house. We had to sleep in our car in three rest stops. It was awful. We're so exhausted and so stiff.

Written Sept. 2:

No school until Monday, and we find out around 5 p.m. when we'll be allowed back home. Lots of power outages, so I guess that is the biggest factor.

Mark will find out about his job after that announcement is made.

My in-laws haven't heard when they're allowed back. Apparently, there was a lot of damage to sewerage, water, and electricity in Morgan City. Thankfully, they convinced their older generation to evacuate with them.

Also Sept. 2:

We're allowed back in Jefferson Parish at 6 a.m. tomorrow...but it's a "we're allowing you here, but we don't recommend it" situation. There's no power and that has rendered sewerage null and void as well. It is just too hot and humid to go down there with no air.

My parents are in Atlanta, and are hoping they don't have to evacuate from their evacuation due to Hanna...they plan to stay until Friday. Schools are closed until Monday throughout the area. We still haven't heard about Mark and when he needs to return to work, but we're hoping for Monday, haha.

We'll probably leave Indy on Friday, and are turning our evacuation into an evacation. It's just the break I needed, actually, after my super busy summer, which overlapped with my super busy school year.

My hurribrain, as I have termed it, has settled down, and now I'm trying to just enjoy things up here.

I am concerned for Mark's family, though. I hope everything is okay. Their mayor has said do not attempt to come home due to the things in my previous post. Apparently, a tornado hit the sweerage plant, so there is no sewerage or water there. In addition, the generator at the hospital there is blown, so there's no medical assistance. His grandparents were not going to evacuate, but they convinced them to go to San Antonio with his parents. However, they are planning to go home tomorrow. They're big in the community, and they are convinced that they will be allowed back in the city. To quote Ron Burgundy, sort of, they are very important people. People know them. And so they are basing this on their ability to return. His parents are trying to convince them to stay, because what happens when they get there and are turned away? They aren't exactly spring chickens, and it would not be safe. They spoke to a neighbor who stayed, and the neighbor said their house looks ok. So there's really NO reaso at all to return, other than that they are ridiculously stubborn. The rest of his family is staying put for the time being, in Mitchell, LA, which is northern LA, and Little Rock, and San Antonio. They're all tryig desperately to convince his grandparents to not return. We'll see.

Also Sept. 2:

My friend from work's husband does something with JP. Chamber of Commerce maybe? They live in our neighborhood, and he said they are without power and that it looks like it could be a few days. Says there's no reason to go back. But in half an hour, we get the proclamation, so we'll see!

Also, Morgan City got raped. Their generator at the hospital is down, so no medical services are available. Their sewerage plant was hit by a tornado. It's not clear when they'll be allowed to return. His whole family did end up evacuating, though. So the people and pets are all safe. I just hope they didn't get tooooo much damage...

Later Sept. 2:

Listening to Broussard's press conference. JP is opening at 6 a.m., but nop electricity in 80% of the parish. We already know our neighborhood has no electricity. In that 80%, that includes sewerage pumps, so you can't flush your toilets.

There was a tornado touching down in Marrero and the storm system bringing it is hitting in City Park and Old Metairie right now.

Plan that party for Saturday. We will have a long ride ahead of us either Thursday or Friday, and we want to be there for it. Haha.

Written Sept. 3:

Our neighbor texted us a little while ago to let us know that he went home, and there's no water or electricity at our homes. We kind of knew that already, but it's nice to have confirmation.

He also said there are no trees laying on our house, so this is very positive!! We won't know how our roof fared until we get inside. Blech. Can't wait to tackle our fridge..... but this time, I wrapped everything in tin foil, then put it in Ziploc baggies, then in a trash bag, then another trash bag. All leakable items did that. Except my little container of Ben and Jerry's Americone Dream, which was half empty. I had planned to eat it before leaving, but ran out of time. Should be a savory mess in my freezer!

Mark spoke to his supervisor. His job has a generator, and they are looking for people to work, but the supervisor doesn't have lights or water, either, so it's fine.

So for the time being, it's the land of Tom Petty, John Cougar Mellencamp, and the Colts...although the Saints are here, too. We hung out with Gus in the swanky Conrad hotel. He's staying in the same hotel as the Saints. It was fun. What a nice hotel...he has a flat screen TV in his bathroom. And a separate shower and tub, and the nicest bed EVER. We also ate at a restaurant called Yats. It's run by a guy from Marrero. They were actually closed for 3 miuts when we got there, but Devon said, "I have Gustav refugees here and wanted to show them your restaurant!" They said come on in, we still have some food. We got chili cheese crawfish etoufée. Doesn't sound like something good, but it was AMAZING. And, they gave it to us for free. The owner was there and chatted us up for a long while. I totally recommend Yats if you're ever up here. Also, we left a tip that equalled the cost of our food, because there are people much worse off than us this time, and we didn't feel right accepting it free.

Tonight: an '80s night, maybe watching Devon at Roller Derby practice, hanging out with Sal, and also hanging out with some Indiana boys on an Indiana night.

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