Isaac's on the way . . .

. . . and he’s not receiving a warm welcome.  As my friend and fellow blogger, Shoreacres mentioned to me in an email, we are hoping this is not the “Ghost of Isaac”, the storm that flattened everything on Galveston Island, TX so many years ago.  So let’s think more positively about this storm.

This storm is more like the “Baby of Isaac”, and while the Gulf of Mexico gives strength to these hurricanes, with this blog post, my words and thoughts, I’m not going to give a whole lot of energy to its cause.  I’m going to be very, very optimistic as I move forward with this post and then with preparations.

For those of you in other states who are really not getting the inundation of too much information about all the different landfall scenarios and “cones of uncertainty”, let me fill you in.  There are about four models to which the weather forecasters continue to refer.  Every fifteen minutes, it seems, they are showing each one of those scenarios.  And that cone of uncertainty encompasses something like 250 miles from east to west where the storm could actually make landfall.  You can see that yellow cone in the photo below.

As of 7:00 this morning, Isaac has not yet formed into a hurricane, because the winds are still only at 65 mile per hour.  A hurricane is defined as winds over 70 miles per hour.  Overnight the pressures dropped, meaning the storm is trying to pick up strength, but the winds just aren’t jiving with that.

I was up until after midnight last night, mentally noting all the preparations we’ve yet to make.  My youngest son, Termite (16), and I started yesterday when I finally realized I wasn’t going to be allowed to stay in the town of Denial any longer.  (And if you’re a new reader here, I escape to Denial because we’ve been through some bad hurricanes in the past 7 years, and the uncertainty is rather nerve jerking).  And yesterday afternoon, we experienced a first:  Parish President Michel Claudet closed the schools.  Yep, he surely did.  So now Termite will get to help me haul boats out of here to town.  That’s another good thing, see?

During the night, the storm only moved 5 degrees N and 5 degrees W overnight.  The meteorologist said that means the storm is moving in a N/NW path rather than a W/NW path.  What difference does it make?  A lot.  A move to the north is better for us than a move to the west.

What is the same this morning is the projected path of landfall, which is directly at the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Granted, it’s predicted to make landfall only as a Category 1, but my guess is that the roads out of New Orleans will be bumper to bumper with evacuees today.  Katrina wasn’t THAT long ago.  And of course, all the doomsday folks are noting that the 29th is the 7th anniversary of Katrina; but I would remind those folks that 7 is a very lucky number.

The best-case scenario for my parish and bayou community would be for the storm to stay to the east of us, making landfall where predicted now or farther to the east.  (Sorry, all you folks on the Mississippi/Alabama/Florida Gulf coast, but it does have to make landfall somewhere.)  And why is that better?  Because that puts us on the “wind-damage” side of the storm rather than the “water-damage” side.

However, if the storm makes landfall to the west of us, then that puts us on the “high-water” side of the storm–the storm-surge side.  And with a nine-foot surge, some folks might see 4-5 feet of water in their yards/houses.

The silver lining for my family is that our new Bayou Tree House is 12 feet off the ground and will not flood.  This will be the first time EVER that we leave knowing the things in our house will not be flooded.  But everything downstairs, on the ground, and in the yard must be hauled upstairs and/or secured with ropes in case of high water.  (And the same at Camp Dularge.)

And the last good news is that the storm shutters were completed just two weeks ago.  When we leave, we will roll them all down and leave the house secure from wind-driven storm debris AND looters.  Thank the good Lord for that.

This time, if and when we evacuate, we won’t be going very far at all.  All three of our adult children live in “town” within a few miles of each other, which is nice.  Termite and  I will be hauling three of our five boats there today for safekeeping from the winds.  The old pontoon boat will get strapped to her trailer and ride out the storm down here just as she has done many times before.

When it’s time to go, we will pack our suitcases, unload everything from the freezer into the ice chests, grab all the pets (even the chickens?), my hard drives, important documents and head to town.

Hopefully it will only be for overnight, and then we’ll return home and spend a couple days undoing all the preparations and trust this is not another double whammy like Katrina/Rita in 2005 and Gustav/Ike in 2008.

Making preparations and staying optimistic,

BW

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Comments

Isaac's on the way . . . — 32 Comments

  1. I am watching the weather reports faithfully and keepy ya’ll in my prayers to ride this out safely!!! You can always come north aned stay with us if you’d like!!!!

  2. There’s not much else I can do for you right now, so I’ll just leave my all-time favorite evacuation song and this quotation from Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist extraordinaire:

    “A car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”

    I’ve always found I can run a few extra miles with the right music playing very loud, too. You’re the one who’s going to have to put in the “extra miles” today, but you’ve got the drill down. With luck, Isaac will pull east a bit and spare you that surge.

    [yutube=”http://youtu.be/ioMQent_Ca0″]

  3. Glad you have things like a raised house and storm shutters now! That helps. I’m kind of out of the loop in here near Canada but I’ll find out what I can and keep everyone there in my prayers!

  4. I use the NRL it has a pretty good track record, they downsized this morning in their estimated windspeed at landfall. I am cutting the grass cause it will be too wet after it comes in LOL.

    Heres a link

    http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html

    But the ever-good Boy Scout in me demanded I have water, gas, batteries, cash, food, 2 generators (one automatic, one gasoline), the grass cut, and plenty of beer.

    I like my neighbor’s comment this morning, He said he’s gone fishing in weather worse than this should be.

  5. Keeping you and yours in our thoughts and prayers! Since school started today maybe I can get some long overdue email done!Take care.

  6. Just a quick note: All secure at home. All secure at camp. Two boats hauled to town. Mandatory evacuation issued. We will depart tomorrow and will hopefully be home the next day. Best case scenario is that we don’t lose power, have no flooding, and all these preparations will have been just “better safe than sorry”. I will post again as soon as I am able.

  7. Thank you for the update. We are praying for you, family and home. Protection, strength and all your needs being met for a safe ride through the storm and return to no damage.

  8. Projections from weather people says high winds starting around 4:30 a.m. (60mph)…don’t drive in that please Wendy…leave tonight to go wherever you’re going to get there and stay there safely. We are hunkered down here in Bourg…lots of trees that scare me, but other than that, I think we’ll be okay… Got the generators and lots of gas and food and water… Just my meds are due tomorrow! And no nurse… YIKES! Hope it goes over quickly so things can get back to normal…

  9. Just wanted you to know that I hadn’t forgotten about you. Every time I started over here, I got distracted by updates, news reports, folks in FL posting about rain, flooding, etc.

    How in the world did you find time to put up an ‘Isaac’ entry, with all you had to do getting things battened down and ready?

    I’ll be watching and hoping that ya’ll ride this out safely and that you don’t wind up with much, if any, damage.

    (((HUGS)))

  10. Well, in the various times I’ve lived here I’ve gotten the hurricane thing down pat–or almost.

    I’ll probably go next door and sit it out with my neighbors. Since the man has asked for some garage space, it will be good trade.

    (I’ll also get the man to move my stuff that should be in the garage into it.)

    My cats have their own doors for coming and going at will, so there’s no problem there.

    Oh yes–and fill up my gas tank at the last minute, in case there’s an extended power outage.

  11. Will be thinking of you and the family. Thankful your house and the camp are now elevated. Stay safe and I pray you are back home soon.

  12. Glad to see your post. So far, so good. I hope Isaac keeps a-movin’ and doesn’t stall over top of you like Allison did for us.

    You’ve got the drill down – hope all goes according to plan and you’re home soon!

  13. Good luck, BW! Take care. Stay safe. We’re all thinking about you and praying for you and all your friends and family.

  14. Wendy asked me to post this photo she called “safe harbor” – great to hear from you Wendy!

    Safe Harbor

    Also, for anyone who hasn’t found it, here’s a link to a live streaming webcam in Houma. It’s located at a building with a natural gas generator, so it probably will stay functional as the eye moves away and things get rough again. Houma Webcam

  15. I’m on a borrowed computer right now. BOTH of ours are toast! That’s why I’ve been absent.
    Issac left us with 9” of rain, small limbs and debris. No damage. We didn’t even lose electricity. Hope y’all faired well. Hope to be back online soon. I’ve been showing signs of withdrawals since Sunday night!

  16. Just got word from Shore that she’d spoken with you and that all’s well. I was glad to hear it. I had been keeping tabs on that webcam, so I could see what conditions were like in Houma and I knew you were in town with family.

    I know you’ll be glad to get home, get things cleaned up and back to normal.

  17. Hey! Welcome home – or at least to your blog home!
    As for my photo system – Well, I’ll try to keep it simple.

    Way back when, before I’d ever read a blog, I thought I might start a web page. I registered the URL for varnishgal.com. Then, I found the blogs and never did anything with it.

    But, after messing with various free photo hosting sites like Photobucket, I decided I wanted someplace to keep my photos where I had complete control and could post them anywhere I wanted. I chose Ipswitch and have used their FTP server for years. I process and name my photos, upload them to the server, and then add them to email, blogs, etc. just by linking the URL.

    One advantage is that I bypass the wordpress galleries completely. I had some early experiences with the WP servers going down, and all the images disappeared from my posts. Now, that’s not a problem.

    But that’s why you see that URL – my photo server is linked to the webpage I’ve never done anything with!

  18. Well nothing better to do than watch Kevin Ford and Wendy on the internet while Isaac is raining on me. It is funny how much better the web works at 3 am.

    Supposed to rain all weekend.

    • Yes, as they work on the lines here this morning, I think they are causing damage to my central AC, which is very badly needed as the temps are back up to HOT HOT HOT and humid. Post on its way . . . .

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