Back in the Saddle Again….Hurricane Issac Journey

Well, I’m back!!!

Whew, that Issac was something else!

He moved so slowwwwww, it seemed like it took him forever to pass.

The storm began Tuesday night around 6ish and the wind was furious!

Issac was the first hurricane that I stayed in the house for since Katrina (we evacuated for Gustav) so, I had no idea how our rebuild would handle the storm with us in it.

As the heavy feeder bands came in, my lights began to flicker and then…

I lost power in half of the house.

We had no idea what was going on. NS checked the breakers and they were fine so we were prepared to ride out the storm with half of the house up and running. Dish network surprisingly did not cut off. We were thankful for that.

Around 9 p.m. the wind really started going crazy and that’s when we lost all power.  All of my neighbors still had power though so  we knew that whatever it was, it was affecting only our house.  We turned the radio to WWL AM 870 and hit hurricane mode.

Around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning we began getting the worst of it. My family was knocked the hell out.

The worrywart in me got up to see how much water the street had.

NO WATER!!!

But the wind  was blowing stuff everywhere….knocking down trees and stuff.

My neighbors lost power around 6 a.m.  I spent the rest of Wednesday listening to the radio and letting the storm pass.  This was thee slowest category 1 hurricane ever! It passed through at a whopping 6 miles per hour…dumping rain and heavy winds. We took a beating from him.

Thursday morning everyone was on a hunt for ice.  I woke the kids up early so they could come with us…just in case we were only allowed 1 or 2 bags per person.  I knew Rouses would open so we headed to there to begin our fight for ice. We were among the first to arrive and the guard told me that they were only letting a few people at a time in. I told NS to let us out because I saw some folks walking towards the door. We beat them in and headed for the ice. There wasn’t any limit so I grabbed 8 bags  and then headed down the aisles for other necessities.

THANK YOU ROUSES!

Rouses was the first store to open after Katrina and they were the first to open up after Issac. I will always be a loyal customer to them for that.

Driving around the city was a bit tricky because a lot of trees and electrical poles were down. They also had water in some parts of the city.

Trees down in Pontchartrain Park

Press and L.C.Simon near SUNO

I don’t know how this person thought he/she could drive through that.

Driving through City Park we had this tree on the road.

When we made it to the other side of the tree, this is what we saw.

This is the reason we cut down all the trees around our house.

After we managed to get a few things we needed, we headed back home and tried to find the coolest part of the house. The wind was still going pretty good and while Issac was pretty much finished with us, we were thankful for the wind. We opened windows and doors so the breeze could flow through.

YellowJacket’s dad called around 2 p.m. to tell us he had power. I packed her up and brought her over there.  The rest of us would have to tough it out.

My dogs were panting like crazy. We kept feeding them ice chips and putting ice in their bowls to melt so they could have cold water to drink but, they were catching hell just like we were.

Later that night we all took a cool shower and prepared for what would be our third night without power. Except NS, naturally he had to take a HOT shower!

Early Friday morning, I heard on the radio that water,ice and MRE’s would be handed out at various locations beginning at 6 a.m. I woke up NS and we headed to the Read Blvd and Lake Forest Blvd. location. We arrived at 5:50 a.m. and were the 8th car in line.  By the time 6 a.m. hit ,the line was through the parking lot and down Lake Forest Blvd.

Waiting on supplies

Getting ready to receive supplies.

While driving around the city, NS and I noticed camps of bucket trucks everywhere! There were about 30 trucks located at Lowes on Read Blvd. and entire camp located at Bundy Road and I-10 Service Road at the old Walmart/Sam’s location.

You would think that these trucks would all be on the road giving folks power but, the parking lot was wall-to-wall trucks. People across the greater New Orleans area are also noticing the same thing and began to call the radio station to complain. Their complaints were valid because there’s no reason to have an entire camps of bucket trucks sitting in New Orleans East, St. Bernard Parish and Jefferson Parish.

By Friday, they should have been on the streets.

Later that afternoon my dad got a phone call from my cousin and he tells my dad “congratulations! You have power!” My dad tells him that we are still without power. My cousin states that he’s staring at Entergy’s map and they have us green on the map for power. My dad gives the phone to me so I can talk to my cousin and find out exactly what’s happening.

Entergy did have us green on the map so, I walk down to my neighbor’s house to see if they have power because I already know, I have an issue with the power at my house.

My neighbors didn’t have it either. I explain what my cousin saw and my neighbors and I call Entergy for them to correct the map so, they wouldn’t think we’re good to go and we aren’t.

My neighbor’s son (who was the only other person back here with us  right after Katrina) says, “Ali, I’m going in Katrina mode again.”

Right after Katrina, if we needed a street light fixed,debris moved,etc. we’d find someone already working in the area and get them to come over to our block to help us out.

Well, he went around the corner and there was a man in a bucket truck working on a line and another man in a service truck. He explained the situation to the two workers and the one in the service truck came over to give the street a look.  He tells me that I need a bucket truck to get my feed connected but, he saw no reason the street couldn’t be on. He got on the walkie-talkie and in less than 5 minutes…THE ENTIRE STREET WAS LIT… EXCEPT FOR ME.

I WANTED TO CRY.

He told me that a bucket truck would there  tonight or tomorrow morning.

We had to endure another night without power and for some reason, it felt even hotter….that’s because my entire neighborhood was up and running and I was still sweating it out!

I woke up at 3:00 Saturday morning and began to wonder how much a whole house generator would hit me for.

Next hurricane season, I plan to have one.

About 7:3o a.m. NS and I were heading out the door when we heard  a truck coming down the block. We opened the door and saw an Entergy bucket truck heading our way. We asked the guy if he was coming for us and he said yes.

YAY!!!

He got out of his truck  and came over to talk to us.  He told us that he was trying to get over here last night but, he had to bring the out-of -state workers back to the camp and they were slow so, he couldn’t make it back.

NS and I noticed a suburban truck with him and asked him who they were.

He told us they were security.

0_O

Yeah, he said it’s THAT bad. Folks are hot and miserable and are beginning to take it out on the workers.

WOW!

Once he got in the bucket, it took him about 15 minutes and at exactly 8:19 a.m. Saturday morning…we returned to the grid.

You are so beautiful to me!!!

We thanked him for his help and gave him bottles of water to make it through the day.

Those two electricians  rock big time because we were NOT on their ticket but, they came over anyway.

I know the powers that be folks told us hot as hell folks not to bother the workers but, my neighbor and I have never played by those rules.

We’re the type of people who would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

Hurricane Issac through us all for a loop.

It’s been almost a week and a lot of people are still without power.

It’s more than just being “uncomfortable”…people are suffering in this heat.

In addition to that, some of our brothers and sisters in other parishes were flooded out and are suffering as well.

It’s time for Entergy to do their job and get everyone on the grid.

Because when you’re driving around hot and miserable and you stumble upon this,

Camp of trucks at Bundy and I-10- service road.

it’s kinda hard to convince the public that there’s a reason for ALL these trucks to be sitting around at 11:00 a.m.

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10 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle Again….Hurricane Issac Journey

    • Thanks Taz. We probably would have still been without power had he not hunted one of the workers down to come over to our block. The crazy part is that, all it took was a call on the walkie-talkie and the power was back.
      The electricians are rock stars. I don’t fault them for anything. I think it’s horrible management that has the progress so slow.
      Just this morning an elderly man was found dead in his home due to a heat stroke. He had no power to his home. This is what I mean about suffering. It’s more than being uncomfortable. We live in the deep south with a heat index in the triple digits and 100% humidity. Anyone who thinks that it doesn’t affect your health is delusional. The elderly and the young are the most vulnerable.

  1. Glad your power FINALLY came back! I know how frustrating it can be seeing all those trucks just parked there. I heard on the radio that the out of state electric companies needed local people to guide them through the city. I don’t know. But I’m glad I have cleco and not entergy!

    • Judy, you’re so lucky to have cleco! We have no qualms with the workers, management should have handled the situation better. The workers can only do what they’re assigned to do. Although one Entergy worker did tell me that the out of state folks were milking it. The electricians are still rock stars to me…the management level folks suck for not having things together.

  2. Of course, I’m glad you got your power on because I know how that it also. But most importantly, I’m glad that you and yours are just fine.

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