Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Generator City

Well, Pravda-Upon-Hudson took a look at the situation here one week after. And again, I can't emphasize enough that, in comparison, we are FAR better off than New Orleans after the flood...or Baghdad pretty much any day of the week since the US invasion and occupation (only costing $10 billion dollars a month or so...what a bargain.) Nonetheless, this was a major storm that caused major damage, and the effects will be significant...for a long while.

And not just here in Baton Rouge. Terrebone and Lafourche parishes bore the brunt of the storm--the damage there is awful.

For the record, the picture above is obviously a mix and match. There's the Red Stick riverfront--which is roughly where I live. It's the urban core, but BR is a suburban city. My understanding is that the areas suffering the most damage are to the north (which is mostly minority and poor) and east (a neighborhood more white and middle class, known as BR's Garden District.) Superimposed on top is what supplied all of my electrical power for three days (like I said, I was lucky--only three days off the grid, and I didn't lose water...plus, I had a place where I could recharge the thing)...the bigger item is what I broke down and ordered just in case...and I hope I never have to use it.

My sister, who was without power for I believe six days following Hurricane Rita, told me that when you're relying on generator power your life revolves around finding gasoline, not exactly an easily obtainable commodity following a major disaster. Additionally, the things are loud, dangerous, probably not very efficient...but damned necessary. The bigger portable units will will run a small a/c; the one above will power a fan, which is better than nothing, keep my food from spoiling, and give me a light, along with a choice of television or radio. And it might also offer us some insight into what must be a pretty damned miserable experience for Mesopotamians now entering year number five:

"I don't know how the Iraqis have done it," [Marilyn O'Brien] said [about living with little or no electricity]. "Your energy’s zapped, and you're wet. My clothes feel like another layer of skin. And I've not slept in a week."

You know, come to think of it, $10 billion dollars, i.e., one month's worth of Iraq, could go a long way in securing this region's, if not the entire nation's, power grid. Just sayin.'

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