our friends and family in New Orleans (digression)
One of our close friends evacuated before the storm hit. She is safely in Arkansas. She does not have access to a computer, but was able to reach a friend in New York who sent email messages to all her friends.
Our married couple friends who live across the river from New Orleans are OK. Their house had just some minor damage and no flooding. They have no electricity and no water. We were able to reach them by phone! When they run out of water they have stored (such as in the bathtub), they are not sure what they will do. There is widespread looting and the male half of the couple is helping to keep the peace. The female half of the couple has a mother who has not been in good health and was in the hospital in New Orleans. Her mother is being evacuated to a hospital in Texas. She has not been able to find out any information specifically about her mother’s condition or even know exactly which hospital in Texas she is in.
Another friend of ours is a nurse. He has an apartment in one of the neighborhoods close to, but not in the French Quarter. He has been at the hospital where he works for days now. It is the one hospital that is semi-operational. They are on emergency power, but are running out of fuel. Staff have been living at the hospital. No air conditioning; can’t afford to spend energy on that. He did get a treat: a shower after three days. We heard from him via email. He suspects that his apartment building is wrecked and that there will be nothing to come home to.
We talked to Alan’s parents on the eve of the storm. They have a home across the unspellable lake (Ponchartrain?) from New Orleans. (Last I saw in the newspaper, that town is under five feet of water. But their home is raised up quite a bit, so we’re hoping it escaped flooding.) They decided to take refuge at their “retirement” home in Mississippi – it’s not on the coast. The house is on the highest spot for miles and is in a natural clearing. They felt they would be safer there. We have been trying repeatedly to reach them all day and night at any phone number we have with no success. We believe they are fine, but we do not know if the house has any damage, or if they have electricity or water. We will keep trying to reach them – and we imagine they will contact us when they can.
It is just surreal. We can’t imagine what we would have done if we had still lived there. Let’s all be thankful for shelter, clean running water, electricity, fresh food …