Andrew called me at lunchtime and alleviated most of my fears. He is in Jacksonville staying at the Hyatt. He and his wife will be travelling up north over the next few days to Detroit (her family) and Chicago (to visit me!). After that, presuming it’s safe to go back, they’ll try to head back to NOLA via Texas.
Sam and Tyrrie are in Houston. They’re safe.
Ryan’s family cannot be reached. I know they had family on the other side of Lake Ponchartrain, so I’m assuming they at least got that far out of harm’s way.
All the news reports I’ve seen to date have shown flooding in the east and (most recently) in the quarter and parts of Metairie. I’ve seen nothing about uptown or the garden district or Jefferson (where most of my peeps live). Those areas are all west or south of the flooding reports so far. That’s not to say they weren’t hurt by the wind…but it might not be underwater.
As for our new friends from the wedding…I’m not sure about Kaia or Liz. But hearing from Andrew made me less worried. I’m generally under the assumption that everyone had the sense and ability to leave. It’s just sad and terrifying seeing on the news all the people who did not have the ability to leave…and yes, that’s it. These aren’t people who stayed out of stupidity…they stayed because they don’t have cars or money to leave, and because they didn’t have anywhere to go. The city did buses, but there’s only so many buses and there’s a ton of people without means in the city. I saw rooftop rescues last night.
And as always…I’m a cold-hearted capitalist, but that doesn’t stop me from having sympathy and it definitely doesn’t stop me from thanking providence for that I’m not that bad off, and that most of those I care about are not that bad off. It’s selfish, but that’s how my brain works. I’m just so happy that I can think to myself that people I know left…that I know they had ways to leave. And I’m very scared for the people who didn’t. I’ve been a doomsayer about New Orleans for awhile…that doesn’t mean I’m happy that my predictions finally came to fruition…and it’s not even that bad, really. A weather reporter here caught all sorts of flak for saying it, but it’s true. It is not as bad as was predicted if the storm had hit NOLA head on. They got the “lighter” side of it. But it’s still worse than it would have been for most other places being hit by a similar storm, because of the geological properties of the city. Anyways. I’m actively becoming behind on work as I write this, but I needed to write it.