Evacuation Blues

Sep 3, 2008 by

I do not have the energy to write a new post here on this subject so please go over to Katrina: An UnNatural Disaster and read what I wrote for them. Comments are hugely appreciated, leave them on the actual post not here.

Here is an exceprt to get you started:

A few days ago my wife and I evacuated from New Orleans, piled into a friend’s car with our four cats. Thus began a series of events that simultaneously evoke the horrors of three years ago and put a vicious post-Katrina spin on them. I am going to tell you what this kind of evac is like. Be ready, because it is not pleasant.

First comes the mad packing. What can fit in your car? What can be left behind to make room for neighbors? There is always something to be secured around the house no matter how complete your prep may have been.

The soundtrack to this is the panicky, fearful misinformation coming from our political class. Despite claims by the mayor, Gustav was not the “Mother of All Storms,” a phrase whose use was hardly conducive to anything other than panic. Neither was the storm 900 miles wide; its hurricane-force winds only reached 50 miles from its center (note Katrina stretched 105 miles from its center).

Katrina was more than 50 percent stronger than Gustav. Panic and threats that anyone found on the street would go directly to the state prison at Angola, something I believe is usually against the law, constituted the majority of the official voices on the airwaves. At the time, we had none of the facts handy about this “Mother of All Storms,” just a litany of fear voiced before a backbeat of polemic. I am honestly surprised I did not hear the phrase “run for your lives.”

Read the rest here.

Loki, HumdCity Founder


  1. Noted and linked back at blogofneworleans.com.

    I had to use one of those astounding photos and didn’t have a way to get your permission…I posted it with complete attribution. I hope that’s OK – if not, let me know.

    Good luck coming home.

  2. You’re always welcome to share my work Kevin!

  3. Superdeformed

    It’s been a mixed bag of nuts from where I sit. I evacuated from the Marigny Saturday evening via Highway 90. It took me 3 hours to get to Slidell (which I am sure was better time then those taking I-10) and another 3 hour drive down hwy 90 along the Gulf Coast to Pascagoula to I-10 to Pensacola to my Aunt’s and I was good to go.

    So I avoided the horrors of contra-flow, fed myself (and family) with my emptied fridge full of chicken breasts and pork chops, and came back home Wednesday night (with no roadblocks in my way) to my lil apartment with electricity. I consider myself blessed all things considering.

    All in all I can understand the reasoning for the over-hype since I really do think it was a bit of a surprise to the weather experts that Gustav didn’t become a monster in that hot-ass gulf. I also think everyone was scared shitless myself included. I literally held my breath a few times while I watched the “splashing” over the levees on the news.

    I think it was a step in the right direction and a lot of the political leaders I don’t much care for did somehow communicate across the board. But major revamping is still needed on all levels and all directions. Less paranoia, less closed exits, and quicker return times are a must.

    It’s our job to stay on their asses to make them improve this whole process and maybe vote a few of them out as well.

    The levees need to be finished ASAP and be built even stronger. Nearly over-topping from a weak Catagory 2 Hurricane is not reassuring but I am grateful they did hold. Oh and those transmission towers could use some reinforcement as well, haha.

    Ah well I’m done rambling, time to go find food in this “closed” city. GOOD LUCK

  4. Hoochiemama

    Sorry ya’ll had such a rough time, hope you’re doing better now, me thinks if you continue to evacuate that a GPS might be in order. Back roads from the get go, back roads.
    The weather experts knew that Gustav was not as big of a storm as they were reporting, my sources said that when the weather service was reporting 115 mph winds they were actually 100, where I stayed in Carrollton we sat on the porch through a lot of the storm, our dogs hung with us in the yard. Several of our neighbors stayed. This was a political storm and yes our mayor is an idiot, but didn’t you know what you were getting yourself into when you evacuated???
    We need to keep on our government, on all levels to do what needs to be done, for all of the people all of the time. New Orleans is fine physically from this storm, not so much emotionally. Other areas got the shaft the way this city got it last time. New Orleans was well taken care of, to the detriment of others, that I think was all part of the plan to show the rest of the country that they learned their lesson with Katrina and were sorry and vote for us, please, vote for us.
    We all need to realize that the government is trying to control us and is giving us lots of misinformation and then when we consider whether to evacuate or not take that into consideration. We all did what we thought we should do considering the information that we had and the emotions that this stirred up.
    I understand everyone’s situation is different, that’s is certainly something we all learned during Katrina. It’s time to take the lessons learned from Katrina and Gustav and realize that evacuation is not always the answer and to make and take responsibility for our own decisions.
    Sincerely and with love to all reading this and especially to Loki and yours both human and otherwise.


  1. HumidCity » Blog Archive » The First Four Hours Are the Hardest - [...] Loki’s post expresses much of what I’ve been thinking about the latest evacuation and Lord David and Bigezbear posted…

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