Friday, September 02, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

Nothing much to say right now. I'm trying to make a dent in some of the work that piled up this week when I wasn't able to focus on things too much. That's one of the busys. The other is the phone lines to Louisiana. Since Wednesday, I've been able to be in touch with my folks at least once or thrice a day; so far today all I've gotten is busy signals or "Due to the hurricane in the area you are calling, your call cannot be completed at this time; please try your call later" or "All circuits are busy; please try your call later" messages.

I did hear from my brother when he got to Meridian, Mississippi. He said gasoline is in short supply throughout the travel areas to/from Hammond and there are definite problems with panic buying in places. The big concern is that he would be able to find gas to make it all the way home to Atlanta, but, based on reports to sites like there are stations along I-20/I-59 that are selling fuel still.

A--- said that while things were bad in Hammond, the parishes to the east, Washington, St. Tammany, were still an unknown. Little communication is trickling out and with all eyes on the mess that New Orleans has become, even the few voices that are popping up aren't being heard. With all the infrastructure damage, it'll be weeks to months before some places will have electricity back — and probably twice that long before we really find out what recovery and rebuilding will entail.

My father, looking on the bright side of things, was telling me how bright the stars were on Tuesday night — and how, when the lights came back on in part of the west side of town, the light pollution really dimmed things.

My mom said that the portion of the tree that clipped the house was 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) in circumference. It was one of those oaks whose trunk twins and it was the larger of the trunks that fell. The base of the tree was something like 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) in circumference. The fallen bit stretched from the base of the oak in the backyard all the way to the lamppost in the front yard. They were able to get someone out to drop the tree off the house and to cut things up. I don't know if all the big bits have been carted away yet or not, and I think something still needs to be done with the part of the tree that's standing. And then there are all the trees that are down but not on the house ...

Right now, I wish there was more I could do. Part of it is survivor's guilt; part of it is rage at the looting and lawlessness; part of it is distress at the slow and ineffective response from the national government. And though it all, I feel hapless and helpless.

Celeste's birthday is Sunday. My folks were supposed to be up here last night. Evelin's parents are flying in today. When my mom called on Monday to say they weren't going to make it (Katrina had yet to really hit, but the tree had already damaged the house), I got a webcam to see if I could set up some sort of birthday party stream so they could still participate in the party — in light of what all's happened, that just feels a bit stupid now. Plus, I couldn't get the network to recognize the damn thing yesterday. Such a small problem, really.

1 comment:

patrick said...

I'm glad to hear your family is safe and sound, and I think it's cool they can see the 'bright' side of limited light pollution ;) Hang in there...