Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina Making Landfall.. local thoughts and global thoughts

In the famous words of the 60s.. Think Global.. act local. So.. going to slide around a bit.. back and forth .. out of context like I usually do between Katrina's effects in Miami and on her current effect upon New Orleans.

So...start off with why am I here? Because I have no work.. then read on to what is happening on TV.. what is happening in Cajun Country..

Let's first deal with local while I am thinking global.

I am home today without work... without being paid for the day as I am one of America's many "almost full time" employees. You know we work like 38 hours or so.. but we don't get benefits. So.. the library still has no power. Go figure that one. Almost everyone else I know in North Miami Beach got their power yesterday and everything around the library has power but not the City library. What could have happened there that they could not get the Library hooked up? And, I feel bad because there are a lot of transient type people who hang out there and it was closed for 4 days now (from a landfalling Cat 1 storm) and they rely on the library. Nice people. Some of the nicest people who are technically homeless but most have a place they call home and the library is their link to the world. Somehow I always feel a bit responsible for those sweet souls. Am sure they are upset it's closed today but they will probably go over to another library that has power.. they find out, they are flexible.. they don't HAVE to be anywhere. Also.. school is out today in Miami Dade while they put the schools and school yards back together and mothers would have killed to have the library open to get books, get the kids out of the house somewhere safe and rent videos and DVDS as most now have power back.

So.. I'm here and I'll blog off and on my thoughts for those who wish to read; for me to look back on and read like a 2005 style diary. The real diary is by my bed. The real story in there..or as much as I would tell.

So.. Miami after Katrina.. still being put back together. Just saw bits and pieces of that high tech, splashy display of the MTVAwards.. hahaha... don't believe it.

Now...watching CNN. Great video from video phones. Walmart commercial. Going to have a Walmart next month across the street from the library. Bet they have power. Went over their after the storm with my brother. Check out the big trees down and the City out cleaning up. And.. Walmart only lost a few palm trees they planted the day before Katrina. The day before.. crazy. Braced those palm trees really well.. I must say. Place looked good though I think the roof on the garden department looked funny. Oh wow.. just realized the new Ross is probably open in the Mall. Whole Mall being rebuilt and the Walmart opens Sept. 18th.. middle of the peak week of the Hurricane Season.

So... the storm has weakened just a bit...

So, I am sitting here watching a CNN. There is a Cialis commercial. Wonderful... just what I needed. "Send now for your free ED CD!" staring. Ends with "ARE YOU READY?" I should switch the channel. Afraid it's on other channels. Don't you HATE when they do that? Set up all the commercials to be on at the same time. So about to change the Channel and a bunch of bulls come on the screen. Wachovia. A bunch of bulls in a field.. wide open.... oh help.. then the really good pictures of Katrina on enhanced IR came on so I left on CNN.I'm thinking about Katrina and watching her make landfall. Doomsday seems to have been delayed and it looks like New Orleans might just make it through okay.. flooded in parts but okay. Without power.. but okay. I hope. Looks like. With hurricanes its all a matter of degrees.

Brian Williams is on now... he is in the Superdome. They can't be on TV as they had to take the antennas off the truck. Wind gusts of 100mph and City Officials are happy .... there is some sense of relief. Love the way he says everyone is trying to fall asleep. Right.. try to sleep in those chairs sitting up right with air coming in from air portal fans.

See? Usually.. somehow... it is never as bad as you think or fear it will be.

The storm shifts just a few degrees and its someone else's storm. Yes, the eye may go over but the worse of the winds will move over towards Biloxi though again.. the media HAS to go with a BIG named city. I think Bay St. Louis will have the worst of it.

So... looks like the people in the Superdome will be okay. If they get Cat 3 winds and not Cat 5. Then again... depends on Twisters and vortexes and everything like that.

Looking at the storm on sat imagery the storm has become oriented towards the NE and E. Take a good look at it. Suddenly it has this big bulg on the EAST SIDE and that whole red area will slam into the Pass Christian, Biloxi and Gulfport area. Storms usually bulge into the direction that they will go and think this storm will go more NE than N like most of the reports I have read by weather people who get paid to predict the weather.

Brian Williams... standing near the roll down doors of the Superdome and he says they are bowing inwards and its not reassuring. They were told the building was built to withstand 200mph winds. The structure of the building can withstand high winds.. but he isn't so sure. Not much he can do about it but pointing out what most of us have thought today.. those of us who really understand what a Hurricane can do... TWIN TOWERS. He talked about the fact that they always said the Twin Towers could withstand the blow of a commercial airplane hitting it.. but it didn't.

We take chances every day of our lives, especially in a hurricane where there aren't many places we can go and it's a crap shoot who gets the brunt of it and where the eye actually falls but... it's all we can do. Go to work and take a chance and hope nothing terrible happens.
We don't get hit by a car. We don't suffer a terror attack.We don't get stuck in an elevator.We don't get hit by a falling branch in a tropical storm and die.We don't have our double doors burst open during a hurricane.

As we sat in the eye wall during the second half of Katrina a few strong gusts hit the house from the south and the doors shook and everyone looked up quietly at the same time. Didn't shake enough that we jumped up to DO anything about it... but shook enough that we quietly all looked towards the door. Before Georges didn't hit and I closed up the house and went to Sharon's house down the block (she had shutters) I put a big heavy piece of furniture in front of those double doors (never have trusted them in a storm) and exited the side door of the house. But there we were in what was supposed to be a mild tropical storm trying to become a hurricane that was making landfall "way up the coast" to our north and .. I never bothered bracing the doors.

Typical. Somehow you prepare and prepare and forget half of the things you usually do... and usually.. it's okay.


Tell that to the poor kid whose mother insisted he come home and not stay at his girlfriend's house when Katrina was making landfall and he and his girlfriend got in their cars, seperate cars to drive over and she watched as a big tree fell down over his car and swallowed it up and .. he died. She watched him die... she was saved.. but what??? Luck? Providence? She watched him die. Why were they out there? At landfall...during the first eyewall? Why? Am sure there is much to that story I don't know but personally I would have let my son stay at his girlfriend's house ( I did..) they are grown up... big... they are safe and smart enough to hunker down and seems to me having their girlfriend at easy access (smile) will keep them safe. And... either way.. it's all a crap shoot.

So what did happen with my sons.. the big grown up ones? Well..Moshe was in Hollywood with Deborah (his fiance) in their apartment.. hunkered down.. he stayed in I am sure. Inside with their two dogs and doing I can only imagine what. He's a big tough kid.. not too worried. He once carried three kids out of a house on fire across the street from me.. got certificates from the local Fire Departments.. refused to do on air interviews.. just did what he had to do (even though he lied to me for days he didn't go in there.. though I knew he did.. I mean come on his hair was singed, his jacket had fire burns. Kids always lie to their mother don't they?) anyways... but now days I worry about him more and well.. either way knew he was safe. Turns out the older brother in Miami Shores went out to El Presidente Market during the eye which was he said PACKED full of people all shopping, talking, joking.. and when the weather began he thought "oh shit" and got in the car and ran back to the house. The house that had no electric because the big Avocado tree split in half and took out the electric pole with it..

Kids..worrying on grown kids is energy lost that is better spent worrying on the kids you can do something about. The best you can do is pray and do what you can do.
Glad he didn't drive into a tree. Glad a tree didn't fall on top of him. Glad his sweet, cute girlfriend Sarah didn't have to see him die in front of her eyes.

Glad we are not sitting shiva for him.

But, you know what he said on Friday Night? He said that IF he had died, he wouldn't have wanted to hear anything like "oh that poor child" cause he knew he was an idiot going out into that storm. And.. in less colorful language than he used around the table Friday Night... he said he should't have had his ass out there but he did and it was his choice and if anything did happen to him... he would have deserved it. But he did go out.. and he will do it next time too. That is one of those grown kids I had to throw out of the house during Georges who had snuck back into the house and were sitting in the back room with candles, beer and music.. waiting for Georges.

Yeah.. the ones I found when I came back before Georges never really hit for a battery TV that Sharon wanted (she didn't know where hers was) and found them sitting here after they promised to go to another person's house that had shutters.. I found them there .. thought someone broke in, called the police... the police told them to listen to their mother.. they made fun of me calling the police, I was freaked.. in those days I days I don't waste the energy.. they left, called me from friend's house and put the friend's parents on the phone to PROMISE me they would STAY there and I went back to Sharon's house where we watched Bryan Norcross tell us that Miami was saved from a direct hit and heavy impact from Georges and that Georges was moving over the Lower Keys. We let the kids play in the squalls ... play in the puddles in front of the house from fast moving squalls.. near the house but outside. We sat on her porch and watched the squalls go by.. then when the storm got closer.. we went inside, hunkered down and fell asleep listening to the radio.. the tv... the sound of the wind in the dark, shuttered house.

So... what do we know from this?

What do we learn?

Levi will always go out in a storm and he doesn't want anyone to cry for him if his stubborn ass gets slammed in a storm. Great.. I'll pass the message along to his father.
Moshe will stay put. And.. if he did go out (which I doubt because I know Deborah and Deborah wouldn't let) he would never tell me like Levi would.

Update from New Orleans.. a barge has broken loose, power is out in the Superdome.. just ceiling fans... they have been spared the brunt of the winds which have shifted east... but they should have flooding.

Don Moreau is online talking from Baton Rouge.. he is the coroner talking probably how stupid kids go out in the middle of the storm and have trees fall on their cars and die.. He's talking now about trees being down, blocking roads. Someone died at their home.. a hospice death.. an ill man who was dying who died during the storm but the coroner cannot get to him as the coroner that would go is trapped by a tree and can't get there.. his body will wait.. it isn't going anywhere.

What don't you know about me? My friends at Hurrcity? I did an online search for jobs last month.. checked out Baton Rouge. I like it. I emailed the Synagogue there to learn more about it. I love Baton Rouge and Lake Charles from the few times we drove through it. It's on my list of places to look for work.. how I would move.. don't know but figure somehow I'd find a way..
Didn't know that about me.. did you?

New Orleans Live.. windows have been shattered in a building near the reporter. Metal frames and curtains flying in the breeze.. flashback to Andrew on South Beach and the famous video of the same picture but in a different storm.. different location.

He's in an alley way hunkered down protected a bit from the wind giving damage info. You can hear the wind... There is a storm drain that is still working behind him.

If the bulk of the weather is on the east than New Orleans will be protected from the rains that will deludge Biloxi. The way I had so little rain in North Miami Beach and the people in South Miami Heights got slammed.

Watch the shape of the storm.

She will pour herself into a shape that shows the direction of where she will go.. usually or where her weather wants to go.

As she was making landfall over Miami.. she was bottom heavy... the band on the south side of the eye was dark and scary whereas the top half .. the NE part usually the worst was practically not even there. Should have been the tip off that she was going in and taking a SW turn.

Somewhere, everywhere weathe people knew that but the Hurricane Center needs hard data and proof to put on the record what they are seeing with their eyes, what they are feeling in their gut.. but must be verified in scientific ways... well when that eye was over FIU.. they had their hard data.. didn't they?

Watching the storm on CNN... no MSNBC... does it matter..same storm, coverage looks the same..

Last comment... some weather man.. the Chip guy on CNN is going on and on how never go out into the eye of the storm. Who is this man kidding? Unless there is flooding... everyone slowly opens their front door.. goes out, stands inches.. or a few feet from their front door and looks up into the sky to see if this is REALLY THE EYE?? He is talking about blue skies and birds flying around and stars out in the nighttime sky in an eye and he thinks people are not going to open their door and witness for themself something they may only see once in their lifetime.. Come on Chip.. or whoever you are... get over the lecture... drop the lecture... if you don't want people going out into the eye stop telling them that if they go out they will see stars.. they will see birds... parrots ( I did) .. that they will see a sunset (I did) .. stop telling them what is outside their front door and stop telling them not to open the door.

We are all Pandora opening the infamous Box that we learn about as small children in schools everywhere. It is an age old story... from the time stories first were written or even just told over.. person to person by story tellers who are in fact the first authors..
Pandora and the Magic Box...

We are all like Pandora and we all can't resist opening that magic box.. or laptop... or TV...or front door... or back door to the past...

Katrina... coming onshore... causing damage that is hard to describe but will be described by reporters who stayed behind. Katrina aiming her fury on the beautiful bayou towns along I-90... aiming her fury on the same street facing the open Gulf of Mexico that Camille aimed her fury on.. and storms before Camille aimed their fury on ...

Hurricane Country... and yes they know they can have a storm.. anytime.. any summer.. every summer.. one summer... it's part of life down in the Bayou, down in the Glades..down here in Miami.

And, in California far away... I woke up this morning and somewhere between the Cialis commercials and the coverage of Katrina they said there were parts of California on fire.. a brush fire raging somewhere.. and I felt it in my gut.. because.. we lived there.. been there..
But now I am back in Hurricane Country.. where will I go next? Don't know .. but wherever you go there is something that can come and get you in the middle of the night.. and if you think you are safe in Missouri.. go google the New Madrid Fault.. and if you are in a Federal Building in Oklahoma City or anywhere.. think again.. and if you are in a big strong building like the Twin Towers.. think again.

Enjoy today... revel in it.. enjoy the good and the bad and the beauty of life because there is always something out there you don't know about that can come and get you... meteorologically or otherwise..

Be back nowhere to go.. I'm on an unpaid vacation today.. thanks to Katrina who made her first landfall at CountyLine.. North Miami Beach and is making her second landfall right now..

Take care, hold your loved ones.. tell them you love them... grab some joe and sit back and have a good cup of coffee... relax.. watch the coverage live.. something you see or learn may save your life because remember.. its only August...

Peak of the Season is just down the Road..

Remember September while you watch Katrina blow..
Bobbi.. not spell checking.. not changing anything .. as live as live can get and just typing away so someday someone will remember.

Katrina at 9am
winds 135mph
gusts 161 mph
pressure 923 mb
moving north 15mph..

I'll be back..

TURN ON NSNBC IS YOU ARE READING THIS....while I was cutting and pasting the roof began to leak at the Superdome... misty inside... field is flooding... everyone has moved back under the cement ceiling.. panels have come off and ... it's raining on the people...

no words... glad they have EMT people in there... I would have stayed in a 2nd or 3rd floor apartment with an interior bathroom...the bigger something is.. the harder it can fall.

Going off to pray with my forever friend.. online. Bobbi


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