Last week I stalked The Weather Channel to see if Hurricane Isaac would ruin my trip to NOLA to see Joe over Labor Day weekend. With the airport closed, and the weather reporters always reporting from the middle of a road flooded with three feet of water, it was not looking good.
We were able to change my flight to land in Houston, Texas where Joe was staying on his “hurrication. “ I knew that this trip was going to be much more of an adventure than a vacation, yet I wasn’t sure what kind of damage or devastation to expect when I arrived.
The only part of Houston that I saw was this shot of the skyline as we drove by on our way back to NOLA.
The drive between Houston and New Orleans is regularly 4-4.5 hours. It took us 9 hours with all of the traffic and road closures! I guess that 9 hours in a car with bumper to bumper traffic qualifies as quality time with that boyfriend of mine (we didn’t kill each other, so we will call it quality time).
The drive did show us the marshy swamp areas of Louisiana (see below) and of areas where the storm and flooding had hit hard leaving houses half submerged in water.
As we drove into NOLA that night we were mainly concerned about power. Parts of the city had power restored already (the French Quarter only lost power for a short period during the storm as the Quarter has its power lines underground). When we hit the residential areas of the Garden District and Uptown, all we found was darkness. We felt extremely lucky to turn down Joe’s street to find lights. Power!! And more importantly air conditioning!!
When we ventured out into the city the following morning, I was expecting to find New Orleans to look like this. As something I would see on the news.
However, I discovered that the city had very little standing water, and that most of the damage that I could see included down branches, wind torn signs or awnings, and lack of power.
I could immediately tell that this city knew what it was doing when it came to hurricanes. Since I am a Midwest girl that doesn’t inherently have any knowledge regarding preparing for such a storm, it was incredible to see that all of the beautiful shutters that adorn the homes had been closed and locked over the windows, that porch lanterns were secured, and that taking a “hurrication” out of town was a normal occurrence. As we drove around, some homeowners had yet to return, others were already hauling debris to the street, and the Power Company was busy at work.
More to come!