That’s how my dad described Hurricane Ida to me.
Unless you have been living under a rock, Hurricane Ida hit over last weekend and completely wrecked brick shithouse across South Louisiana.
I’m having trouble processing it all….its been a tough week….here are some thoughts.
My extended family got the hell out, but my immediate family decided to ride it out. They are all ok, but what they went through…
The eye went over my parents house and pivoted right around there to head north. They had 120mph sustained winds for 6-7 hours.
What got left behind after that wasn’t much.
Usually with a hurricane, the #1 thing your average person thinks of is flooding. Well, areas outside of the levees, they had that. You’ve seen it on the national news. But, I want to bring home this point. The levees held…what this was, was a wind and rain event.
And the infrastructure failed miserably at that. My grandmothers house had a foot of water in it. Not from flooding, from the roof….half of which was removed by the storm. They opened the door to the house and water just came pouring out.
The day to day of the past week has been filled with two things.
- Convincing people who left to stay away
- Logistics, survival, and cleanup
The first item is easy to understand. People want to get back and assess the damage. But….its the complete failure of civilization right now. No power, no internet, no running water, no cell phone service, limited food. If your house was destroyed you don’t really have a place to stay. If you go down there, you have no way to communicate with the outside world.
Half of my week was spent relaying information down there. Where can I find MREs? Where can I get tarps? What roads are open?
My dad had to drive 2 towns over cause he managed to find one cell phone tower that is working. My parents house is a hub for them and their friends cause they have power from a full house generator and running water (which is not drinkable).
Some of these issues are being solved. Temporary cell towers have gone up, so I can actually have like normal phone conversations instead of finding some sort of combination of facebook messenger and the really lucky phone call.
The stores have reopened so there is food. But there is no gasoline. No way to cool yourself in the high heat and humidity if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a full house generator.
Every day is a new struggle of randomness. My brother went to help someone out whose house came off its foundation, only to find an open natural gas leak. The pipe just cracked and was spewing straight natural gas into the air.
Alot of things like that….and this is going to go on. The power companies are saying weeks to MONTHS to get everything back online.
And I think that is my major take away from this. How much communities are on their own. How much this falls all on you.
The cajuns are resilient. Most of humanity is, but the cajuns are also stubborn. They are going to rebuild a million times, if they have to. They will make it through.
My whole family who stayed are in agreement that they will never evacuate again cause a) this was the strongest storm they could face [Editor’s note: For now…] and b) they were able to help a bunch of people who had it way worse. They are totally fine being without power for weeks. They are able to make it with what they got.
But should they have to.
I have explained this to people after Katrina. This is a failure in our countries ability to care for each other. I mean, you see it constantly now, but we, as Americans, flat out do not care. Where is the massive amount of trucks full of supplies rolling in? To be sure there are there, but there should be a fucking outpouring of support. How is this not the primary focus of the federal government?
The news has moved on to NYC’s Ida bullshit, which is a different failure in its own right.
We just spent fuckin trillions on some bullshit war, and we can’t even do nation building in our own nation.
This should frighten everyone. Like, people are going to skip the measly 200k people outside of New Orleans who are alone in the dark with no contact (hell, the republicans are ok with 650k dead in the US from dat rona, why should they care about rural poor).
That’s the terrifying lesson to me…
When the environment comes for you, we are each on our own. No one is coming. Be prepared to survive.
I don’t want to end this on such a down note.
Hey, you want to see the best thing to come out of the storm?
Now, isn’t that poetic.