Monday, September 3, 2012

Post-Isaac recovery process

Congregants at the All Souls Church meeting outside Sunday morning
After several frustrating days, I finally got power back - which means electricity, lights, air-conditioning, phone and Internet. I had out-of-town friends pleading for me to tweet, text, post, e-mail or phone, but could do none. I could hardly move, it was so hot and muggy, and I was having trouble figuring out what I could still eat. Isaac was "only" a Cat 1. I can't imagine Katrina.

I was suffering from a major bout of caffeine withdrawal until I realized the gas stove still worked. I had to go buy one of those Melita one-cup-at-a-time brewing cones from way back when. I threw open the windows and enjoyed the warm breezes off the levee and got a few things accomplished.
Cafe Dauphine

A couple of days after the storm, I hoped to get some errands done Uptown. I figured that neighborhood would be in better shape. But the bank was offline. Tellers came outside to get customers' deposits and give us handwritten deposit slips. I saw the security guard coming back from Walgreens with bags of supplies. Walgreens was sold out of insect repellent given everyone had been sitting outside on their porches to keep cool and getting bitten. Winn-Dixie had no ice. I looked for an Internet cafe, but there were no connections. Home Depot had just a few lights on. I'd hoped to take a shower at the health club, but it was shut down.

The cafe's owner despondent.
I wanted to get out of the house and the dark Saturday night, driving first to the Chalmette movie theater. Not only was it closed, but the entire shopping center was dark. I then went to the Old Mint to see a cabaret, but it wasn't happening. Though lights were on in the French Quarter, they stopped at Esplanade. Frenchmen Street would have been completely dark if it hadn't been for The Spotted Cat where Washboard Chaz and his band were playing and folks lindy-hopping thanks to a generator.

The house is still standing and we're alive. There are many power lines, telephone poles and trees down, blocking roadways, but signs of recovery are already in view. Last night, our local restaurant was giving away grilled food the owners had bought thinking the power might come on earlier. They were planning to drive around the neighborhood and give it away.

But, generally, everybody is okay. We all stop politely at traffic lights that don't work, drink warm beer and eat canned spaghetti while we wait for the electricity and garbage trucks.

I somehow volunteered to clean out a house in LaPlace today - grateful it's theirs and not mine.

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