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It has been a crazy two weeks.

I am mentally and physically drained after being an evacuee from Hurricane Ivan. New Orleans and the surrounding area were part of a voluntary evacuation except for the coastal areas which were under mandatory evacuation. I have never evacuated before.

I lived out of the New Orleans area for nine of the last fourteen years and during the years I was here, no major storms threatened. My family was a victim of Betsy in 1965 - I was only three weeks old when it hit - and we lost our home and car in the flooding. But during my childhood, we owned land and a house north of New Orleans so we went there for storms.

It took my sweet Juannie, our two well-behaved little pupsters and stressed me ten hours to make a trip that is normally two and a half hours. We went from Kenner, LA to Lafayette, LA where my brother and his family live. We joined my youngest brother, his wife and their four-month old twins as well as two other extended family members there. All of us struggled with the rest of the evacuees through horrendous traffic to get to Lafayette and were grateful for the hospitality and safety we found there.

Everyone in southern LA was extremely lucky that we were not the victims of a direct hit. The area where the eye passed is a place all Southern folks know and love - Gulf Shores and Pensacola Beach. In fact, my husband and I along with my youngest brother and his wife were going to Gulf Shores in two weeks for a weekend beach trip. Now that's not possible because the island is devastated and it will be months before it approaches anything resembling normalcy.

The article below has a group of pictures showing the extensive damage. It is wrenching to see these pictures. Over the years, I have spent lots of time in this part of Alabama and Florida.


So I am tired, relieved and very sad after this week. I can only imagine what the folks in AL and FL are facing as they wait to return to their homes and begin the difficult and lengthy journey back to the lives they knew before the hurricane. As I locked the door to my little house on Tuesday, I said a teary good-bye in case the storm veered in our direction. And I was so happy to unlock the door to my little house on our return knowing that we had minimal wind and no rain here. But I also know that next time the people in New Orleans may not be so lucky.

I hope others here in the path of Ivan are okay.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2004 01:06 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you're okay. It is amazing and distressing that there is just one storm after another.

I'm worried that these storms are the result of a general climate change and that such occurences (one biggie after another) might become the norm. I certainly hope not. I know that this bizarre dark/cold/wet "summer" we had in Winnipeg destroyed a lot of farmer's livelihoods.
Sep. 18th, 2004 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks girlie. Now we're watching Jeanne. Florida may get smacked again. And we are still on edge here, of course.

The weather folk are saying the upswing in hurricane activity is part of 30-50 year cycle. In the first half of the last century, major storms were common and more deadly because the predictions were not as accurate. Audrey, Camille and Betsy were all part of that active phase and then starting in the 70s, the storm cycle went into a quiet phase. Now the pendulum has swung back to a more active time. They are not linking any of this to global warming but who knows?

Living in the sub-tropics isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's not all glamour and sunshine. We sweat a lot and worry for six months of the year about storms. Canada sounds like the real paradise to me. Wanna trade?
Sep. 18th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC)
Hmmmmm, a few months ago I WOULD have wanted to trade but now I'm not too sure. Canada is all about location, location, location - there are parts that are quite lovely to live in. Then there's Winnipeg!

They're predicting a brutal winter here this year to go along with the lovely summer we had. I have no idea why but if we do get a couple of weeks of -40 celsius, then I'm definitely heading down south!!
Sep. 18th, 2004 02:00 pm (UTC)
I am celcius impaired. What is that in fahrenheit years?
Sep. 18th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, I am Fahrenheit impaired so I couldn't tell you ;-0

But in the vernacular it is damn, cold...damn, damn cold!
Sep. 18th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)
-40 Celsius = -40 Fahrenheit

I am too geeky to leave this alone so I found a converter. Damn cold? Damn right!
Sep. 18th, 2004 04:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're okay. It certainly is fortunate that New Orleans was spared, since most of the city lay below sea level. However, it seems being above sea level didn't benefit Gulf Shores and Escambia County, Florida too terribly much. Owing to my inland locale, I've never had to evacuate, so I can barely imagine how much stress that can be. I hope everything's getting back to normal down there.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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