I just listened to a bit of a news conference on the steps of New Orleans city hall and it’s better news that was feared a couple of days ago. The power is off but the levees have held. It’s not safe to return to the city yet. The streets are full of debris. AT&T cell phones are down in SE Louisiana. Verizon and T-Mobile are spotty. 911 infrastructure in southern parishes is damaged and 911 is down. They’re recommending that people go to fire stations in the city if they have an issue. 800K Entergy customers don’t have power, and there’s no estimate for time of restoration from Entergy until they’ve completed their damage assessment. There is standing water in the city but they believe that the water is mainly due to blocked storm drains. A good number of sewage pumping stations are down and don’t have backup power. Tap water is still drinkable. I’m sure people are suffering, but so far the Coast Guard isn’t picking people off of roofs.
by $8 blue check mistermix| 69 Comments
This post is in: Open Threads
Are the levees out of danger? I believe it took a little while after the storm had passed before the levees failed during Katrina.
People being without power in August in NOLA is bad.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
@Baud: The city official who spoke said the levees were in good shape, FWIW.
Major electrical tower fell in NOLA. Will be a while before it is replaced.
That’s all very good news (relatively speaking). That was a MAJOR hit — slow-moving Cat-4 with a BIG wind field. But this time there’s a competent administration with someone other than a retired horse-trainer in charge of FEMA.
@Baud: gonna be a lotta water coming down the river. But iirc, a major problem with Katrina was the storm surge, cuz it lingered offshore for so long, and that didn’t happen here.
I will wait a few days before the threat of floods is over and the power is fully restored. The outlying regions were hit the hardest and it is hard to reach the people who live in the outlying parishes when there is no way to communicate with them.
The residents of NOLA were told that it could be “weeks” until the power is fully restored. There is no cell service in NOLA right now and my sister’s adult child had to find a neighbor with a working landline to call my sister. It looks grim for the locals. They (my sister’s child) will likely leave the city to go stay with relatives when the roads are safe because the city will take some time to recover.
My mom stayed and seems OK. I told/reminded her that a relative invited her to stay but she doesn’t seem interested in making a choice to stay/go today. She might be waiting to find out how long it will be before the power goes back on. Her facility has generators but still it will be miserable.
well for one thing, I am hopeful that the 46 Admins’ choice for FEMA is up to the task of helping those in Lousiana (and likely those “downstream” of the storm in Tennessee who were experiencing flooding just last week).
Having experienced it up close & personal, living in New Orleans at the end of August and beginning of September without air conditioning is like drowning in a sauna with eleventy-billion mosquitoes sharing the experience.
And that’s sugarcoating it.
I will stay worried but now I have a little room to direct worries at other things.
The Moar You Know
The press won’t get “Biden’s Katrina” so they’ll just have to make it up. I’m sure they are equal to the task.
She’s no horse trainer.
also 15 years of reinforcing the storm protection network after katrina.
I was disappointed in how well generator power worked to the pumps.
That was recognized as terrible in 2017 or 2018
@Baud: Competence? In FEMA? What kind of socialist communism is this?
@Baud: I think Congress actually changed the appointment law to require the Director to have relevant experience.
Bad as it is with the electric and cell service situation, this seems to be about as good as you can possibly wish for after being hit with a Category 4 storm. I was holding my breath for NO all weekend.
Meanwhile, I had my own small disaster declaration this weekend. First, our air conditioning decided to crap out on Saturday on a weekend featuring 90+ temps and 80-90% humidity. We decided to ride that out and avoid jacked up repair bills by waiting for today to call the repairman. So we opened all our skylights and windows and hauled all our fans out the basement. We no sooner finished that than a deluge hit and we had to shut everything up again. And then opened it all again in an hour. Yesterday, I was doing laundry when the heating element in our dryer decided to give it up. So I hung the wet laundry on a bunch of drying racks on the deck and within an hour we had a huge storm that dropped another ton of rain that went on for about an hour. I gave up at that point.
Dryer repairman will be there this afternoon and I sure hope we don’t need a new one. We are putting off the A/C repairman until we know about the dryer. Temperatures are in the low 80s today and expected to be in the mid-70s the rest of the week. We can survive without that if we have to.
FEMA put out a picture the other day of a row of 18-wheeler trucks full of food, water, and generators parked just outside the hurricane’s expected path ready to go. None of that Shrub 43’s administration bullshit about having to wait until the city and state fill out the proper forms asking for help. I hope they can put up cooling centers where people can go for relief in high schools and libraries like LA, CA does during heat waves. Also send engineers to Entergy to get the grid back up ASAP.
@The Moar You Know:
With climate change, the press will have a few more opportunities to play up minor imperfections in hurricane response.
Finally heard from my cousin in Baton Rouge and she managed to make it through without losing power. Other family members are without, but everyone is safe and not flooded out. No cell service.
There are some other places in southern Louisiana where levees were overtopped and they are flooded out. I heard about Jean Lafitte and Lafitte, which are south of New Orleans.
@Mary G: Which bullshit forms were not required in 2004 when two separate hurricanes threatened the state of Florida.
My understanding was that part of the failure during Katrina was that there were no levees – levees are great mounds of earth generally put in to protect (ie) a flood plain near a city – like Sacramento has. Instead New Orleans was relying on a much more fallible seawall, and when the water topped it, it was all over. Not sure what they did afterwards to protect NO – it may have a levee now.
@TEL: With Katrina the system included floodwalls that structurally failed, even though they hadn’t been overtopped.
A friend’s husband works for Duquesne Light here in the ‘Burgh and he was leading a caravan of crews from our area down to NO as of Wednesday, staging out of Alabama.
@Yutsano: Big Fuckin’ Biden Socialist Communism.
That’s what kind.
It sounds like the wind was far worse than Katrina–but the direct effect of wind isn’t the big killer in hurricanes; it’s the water.
Not to be too harsh, but what does she expect at this early stage?
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
That surprised me, too. Every little pump station around here has a generator backup.
@catclub: I recall reading articles after Sandy about how some of the pumps for the tunnels had originally been purchased as surplus. From the building of the Panama Canal. Yes that’s right, the pumps were 100 years old. Nobody thinks about infrastructure until it’s too late.
Wasn’t the problem with Katrina that Lake Ponchartrain got flooded and the water came in from the inland side?
@geg6: Maybe she wants people to know. Water isn’t suppose to be restored for five days, and that can cause a health problem
Twitter told me that the reporters ignored the hurricane, and spent all their time on Afghanistan, at the White House press briefing. Fema has trucks filled with water and food ready to distribute.
Guy was trying to do his job and report on the storm. Suddenly a pickup truck pulls up, the driver gets out and tries to start a fight.
@germy: I was streaming MSNBC when that happened. It was several minutes later before Craig could report that Shaq was okay.
I’m expecting them to panic again around Thursday evening, when the tropical depression formerly known as Ida passes near New York City.
Bet Shrub would have fucked this one up too.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@geg6: Are you in Pittsburgh? I didn’t realize that.
I was trading bizarre Duolingo sentences with someone on twitter this morning, and he said his favorite was, “Pittsburgh is the Venice of the US.”
@Ken: maybe if they called it Hurricane Iran it would get their attention.
for Democrats – the metric is different for Republicans.
Has the man been identified?
Dorothy A. Winsor
@germy: I saw the video. What was the guy upset about anyway?
This news is about as good as we could expect at this point. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Nowadays it’s anyone’s guess.
@Peale: ISIL or ISIS would be more appropriate – imagine the headlines.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: Real slogan from 1984: “New Haven [CT] is the Paris of the 1980s.”
Tip: It wasn’t.
Unbelievable! Jen needs to start literally slapping these mouth breathers.
@mvr: Yes, the center of Hurricane Katrina went east of New Orleans so the counterclockwise flow was pushing Lake Pontchartrain over the city. And the storm surge was at a level that the levee/floodwall system was supposed to be able to handle (which was why people were initially so relieved), but some of the floodwalls were defective and they broke.
Supposedly the system has been massively beefed up since then; we’ll see if it holds. But, remember, flooding takes time to develop–it’s not instantaneous.
My friend in New Orleans said power is out everywhere. If it is not restored in a day or two, he is going to head out.
@germy: Not that I know of. Craig Melvin didn’t mention the name on his twitter feed. I assume he will be at some point, and I also hope that charges are brought. This has to stop.
@geg6: 20 days to restore power is brutal.
The tub they built around the urban core held, but there was significant flooding around it. There were a number of back levee failures south of the city.
Hardening is only a stop gap.
One of the safest bets in existence.
There was significant flooding on Ponchartrain west of the bathtub.
@Matt McIrvin: Thanks!
Just now. All residents of South Lake Tahoe have been ordered to evacuate.
J R in WV
Never want to participate in a real Hurricane, ever.
It is brutal, but I’ve never seen a situation where no one had any power for a period of time and then everyone had power restored. It’s not clear what the 20 day estimate is referring to.
I lived in Florida in 2004. The reason our hurricanes went better is our STATE FEMA was better. Sure we got federal aid too, but it was possible because the state was on the ball. The reason our state was ready was the disaster of Hurricane Andrew where south Florida was without much of anything for weeks and afterwards, the state legislature and Governor decided never again. We had 4 major hurricanes in one year and handled it. Then the next year Katrina and the Texas one were total screw ups. I found out that the other southern states had not paid any attention to what happened to us and weren’t ready. That may still be the case.
There is a lot of work to plan for hurricanes. I used to see notices in the paper about various conferences to plan for them. It’s not just the state, it’s private companies in different industries and utility companies, county and city governments and emergency services…..it all has to be planned and agreed. the state doesn’t just say do this, the other parties make their own plans. Utility companies go help other states all year so they have a built up huge amount of help owed to them when they need it. I watched the interstate afterwards and saw utility trucks coming in from all 50 states the day after each time. the interstate brings in massive convoys of trucks loaded with supplies. Power poles and generators, insurance agents, national guard…it is like a huge army of organized supplies. Home Depot stages trucks just beyond the path and then they start coming. But it starts with a state government. If they aren’t working, the Feds are really handicapped.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
The Reporter was just standing there, doing his job, when this guy drives, up, gets out of his truck, and begins to harrass the reporter, who had move away from him.
@TEL: no, they always had levees. I think they weren’t well maintained, but they had them. I also recall the videos of them failing.
The main tower for their power system, survived Katrina, but, Ida washed it away.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
It’s true! We have more bridges than Venice.
I saw a video of a transmission tower that looked like the Iron Giant ate it. Everything in that heavy wind cone got crushed.
It’s always been a hodgepodge of levee districts in various states of disrepair. The only one any really gives a shit about is the mainline Mississippi levees, because big money.
Most of the deaths from Ida (probably a few hundred in the fullness of time) will be due to COVID-19 cases caused by poor adherence to public health measures (vaccines, wearing masks indoors, primarily. Also distancing and ventilation.)
These deaths (plus a larger number of long–COVID sufferers) will mostly be/have been caused by the Republican parties propaganda apparatuses (both media and social media), so the press will not talk about it, unless there are one or more flashy scientific papers about it and one or more slow news days.
On the upside the (Dem) governor issued a statewide mask mandate at the beginning of August, which will end up saving a large number of lives, even with the expected only-partial mask discipline.
To be clear, that is counting COVID-19 patients in full hospitals due to poor adherence prior to Hurricade Ida and also the problems that full hospitals cause re other urgent medical issues.
@mali muso: Good news!
@Matt McIrvin: my niece and her boyfriend have a house in Bayou Blue north of Houma a bit, all of Terrebonne an Lafourche parishes are without power possibly for a month, currently there is no running water parish-wide. The Terrebonne hospital s are being evacuated due to no water plus the roof tore off one of them. Huge numbers of buildings flattened in Grand Isle, Houma, Laplace, Lafourche, Golden meadow.
miles of snapped power poles and down trees and wires…checke out Houma Today’s website