Hurricane Katrina Refugee Report #1
Greetings from The Most Expensive Refugee Camp on
The kids are having fun and I'm so glad we're here because I know how worried they have been about what's going on at home, even with this wonderful distraction. Rachel spent a good bit of the night before we left crying as we packed and secured everything we could. Alex wouldn't dare shed a tear because, as he puts it, it would destroy his carefully crafted persona. But he's admitted that he's worried. My kids are far more sensitive to things like this than they let on, and usually I find out just how much so later on. I can't imagine how this would have affected them had we simply evacuated to my sister's house in Lafayette, LA and stayed glued to the TV all this time. (I've had a hard time tearing myself away from the TV here to get out to the parks and I think I probably need this distraction as much as they do.)
I imagine everyone has seen the news showing the aftermath of the storm and the devastation of the city. We have no idea what condition our house is in at this time, but because we are so close to the river, we believe the slight elevation of the flood plane and the four foot piers (a very appropriate name for the foundation) upon which the house stands may have helped keep whatever is left out of water. Last I heard, uptown New Orleans was not experiencing the kind of flooding that's inundated other parts of the city. I hope that report is accurate, but I also hear that water is still rising –and rising fast in the city, despite the fact that the storm has passed. Water is pouring in from the lake through broken levees faster than it can be pumped out. And if that continues, nothing will keep our house above the flood waters. And I just heard a report on CNN that a part of downtown New Orleans that was not flooded a few hours ago now has over 15 feet of water and it's rising at an alarming rate. That's bad news. Very bad news.
There are so many people in desperate situations right now and my heart so aches for them. But it's truly amazing that (so far) no fatalities have been reported in New Orleans. Unfortunately, that's not true for our neighbors on the coast. And with the water rising so fast, that may change for us before all this is over. The truly scary thing is that this was not the Absolute Worst Case, as the eye passed a few miles to the east of the downtown part of the city. It's hard to imagine it being worse, but believe it or not, it would have been if that little shift hadn't occurred. The brunt of the storm hit Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where my sister has a summer house right on the Jordan River where it opens into the bay. There are reports of up to 25 feet of water in that area. Thank god it's not her home.
Thank you all for your well wishes, especially Brandy, who has been lurking anonymously in the shadows until now. Brandy was one of our beloved babysitters and she also interned at Renard's studio before she graduated from Tulane and split the scene. Bet you're glad about that decision right now, huh girl? We miss you though, and have been wondering about how things were going for you and if we'd ever hear from you again. Renard will be glad to know that you've communicated.
Please focus a great big beam of love to my beloved city. We're going to need it, and thanks for all the love you've already sent this way.
I'll check in again as soon as I can.