I've heard from all my family members in south Louisiana. My niece and nephew evacuated New Orleans safely. My nephew, who'd just started med school, is celebrating his 22nd birthday today. Happy birthday, and I hope your house is still there, CB, whenever you return.
In Baton Rouge, my aunt is still without electricity, but all's well otherwise. My mom's nurse reported she didn't even know there was a hurricane going on. Dementia has its up-side.
It's been strange watching our worst fears take place from 5000 miles away. I grew up just a few dozen feet from a levee, all that stood between an often swollen river and my clapboard house. The name "Watergate" will always remind me of the year that river flooded.
There's been a lot of criticism of the media and their hurricane coverage, but for me, a few snippets on CNN International are all I have to judge how bad things are back home. Thanks to Miles O'Brien and Anderson Cooper, I know what my family was experiencing in Baton Rouge.
It's been interesting, too, hearing the British talk about "New Or-leens" or "New Or-lee-ans." But then locals don't even agree on how to pronounce it.
But one thing they do agree on: Suggestions like this to scrap the city and rebuild elsewhere are ludicrous. The long history of the Crescent City, the culture of the French Quarter, the economic advantages of its position, the tourist industry that's centered on its rich creole heritage—none of this can be transplanted to some geographically advantageous site.
Sooner we should relocate earthquake-prone Los Angeles or San Francisco.