Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cue Tom Petty...

... the waiting IS the hardest part!

Tropical Storm Isaac has just been upgraded to a hurricane. Landfall along the coast of Louisiana is expected sometime tonight.  Coincidentally, tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Isaac is following the same path.

Hurricane Katrina (Wikipedia)
There's not much to do now but sit and wait.  I was a little ahead of the curve, buying water, staples, and batteries on Sunday.  I hit the gas station yesterday morning before the rush - by afternoon people were having to drive all over town to find a station with gas to sell.  At around 4:00 pm, LSU announced that classes would be canceled Tuesday and Wednesday.

I made the decision to stay put, rather than evacuate. The dangers on the coast or in New Orleans are greater than in Baton Rouge.  Here there is little danger of flooding, the wind will have lost some velocity after traveling 100 miles inland, although wind damage and rain could cause the roof to leak. Besides, I weathered Hurricane Katrina in Baton Rouge in 2005 and a 12-hour power outage was the worst thing that happened.

The power outages are what worry me most.  Friends who were in BR for Gustav were without power for between 10 days and 3 weeks (!).  That means no refrigeration, no air conditioning, no hot water, no hot food, no coffee... and no internet! No contact with the outside world, no way of knowing what is happening in New Orleans, or down the block.

So until the power actually goes out, there's not much to do but sit in front of the still glowing computer screen, and click refresh on the various storm radars.  These are the most dramatic:

The Weather Channel loop (click the map to zoom in to the Gulf Coast)
The NOAA Rainbow loop

It is a helpless feeling to see this huge amorphous blob heading towards that little group of pixels that represents your neighborhood.  But it is also impossible to get any work done, as the wind picks up in the courtyard and you wonder just when this adventure will go from an unexpected school vacation to Survivor: Baton Rouge!

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