Like an unwelcome guest who smells of dead fish, Katrina is gone.
Or at least going. She's Tennessee's problem now, which means she's gone. The part that really galls me, however, is that she left us nothing. And I do mean nothing.
Times like this I think someone took a map of the state and a straight-edge and drew a smallish box around the parish, and intoned some mystical language and wrote "It will not rain here ever again" and put it all in their freezer. We've gotten a record low rainfall here, .4" or thereabouts for the month, a hurricaine comes through, and somehow we get mild winds, lots of black promising clouds, and a heavy mist for about ten minutes. It didn't even fall down, it sort of blew around and made the dust a little sticky.
I even provoked every evil nature spirit around by running the Rain Train for a good 6 hours or so this Sunday. My yard is dying in huge brown patches, my 35 year old azaleas were wilting for cripe's sake, and I knew that if I did something like wait for natural rain then I'd have a lovely dirt yard to clean and shape next year. So, out came the sprinkler. "But wait, Irrephant, there's a huge storm in the Gulf headed almost directly towards you! A category five hurricane for heaven's sake!" says they.
"Pfui," says I. "No rain shall fall here."
Unfortunately I was right. The evil spirits that usually hang out around my skull were conspicuously absent, no curse nor hex landed on me, and I was right--no rain fell here.
I spent most of the day yesterday listening to the radio reports from New Orleans, laughing at professional news reporters stumbling over words like Lake Pontchartrain (pronounced 'PANCH-uh-trane') which I guess no one told them is also called Big Lake, and hearing the words 'New Orleans' pronounced just like they look. You see, in the South the proper name for The Big Easy is pronounced as one word - "Nawlins." Hearing these prim and proper NPR and Weather Channel reporters pronounce every single consonant was hilarious, and a bit disturbing. I also got a huge kick out of the reporter who was threatened with a gun by a shopkeeper protecting his place from looters. You see son, this is the South--we don't play around down here. And I guarantee that when the cleanup is underway and the power restored, that is one shopkeeper who will have 0 loss due to theft.
I didn't listen close nor long enough to see if anyone called them 'counties' either.
I did hear that one of the levees failed down around Lower Ward 9, and one of the Industrial Park levees failed, and that the pumps went down for a while, so I'm certain there is water standing in at least some of the streets, but it sounded to me like they got off pretty light, especially considering New Orleans is 4' below seal level in most places. That's what you get for putting a city in a river delta. And now the long slog back starts, the gas prices go even further through the roof since LA is producing 1/4th of the countries refined fuels, steel and grain shipments through Port of New Orleans stop, and everything goes to hell. And we still don't have any rain.
The good news is, thankfully, Meyer The Hatter's shop down on Canal Street didn't flood.