Isaac Makes Landfall, Perilous Time for New Orleans

Hurricane Isaac touched down at 6:45 p.m. about 90 miles southeast of New Orleans. New Orleans is under both a hurricane warning and a tornado watch. 100,000 are already without power. There are flash flood watches. Storm surge flooding should begin tonight and continue through Thursday morning. Here's the latest alert.

Time for Zachary Richard and his cajun/Zydeco/blues/rock/music to send good thoughts to those in Isaac's path. "Come On Sheila" from Snake Bite Love, is one my favorites:

I’ve been waiting here since this morning,
I’ll wait as long as it will take.
Down in the old town of the city of New Orleans,
With my heart so heavy it might break.

Last night they put up a hurricane warning,
Last night you came into my room.
Around midnight the rain started falling,
I was holding on to you.

Who's Sheila? [More...]

Sheila was a dancing girl working in the evenings,
On the altar of old men’s fantasies,
She hitched down from north Mississippi
With a lot of hope and one pair of jeans.

Here he is live singing "The Levee Broke" about Katrina.

I saw him at the Hard Rock in New Orleans in the 90's....he puts on a great show. Everyone danced from start to finish. He is an activist (dedicated to preserving the Louisiana environment and his Acadian heritage), a poet, a documentary filmmaker (He made "Against the Tide," about the history of the Cajun people and some environmental films) a songwriter who plays the accordion and guitar, and equal parts French and American. More here.

Here is the fourth segment in his series about Katrina, written in 2006.

The problem of the coast of Louisiana is an American problem. But, as we have seen in the wake of Katrina, it is very difficult to get Congress to address the issue. (Two examples: 1. One U.S. Congressman suggested that New Orleans be abandoned, and 2. The Jindal bill which would devote a portion of the off-shore tax revenue from oil exploration to the restoration of the coast was not presented during the current session of House of Representatives. On the other hand the U.S. Congress rushed to pass the so-called “Anti-terrorism” bill, allowing the President unprecedented power to detain and prosecute alleged terrorists and their supporters, what will surely be seen as one of the lowest points in the history of American democracy. Meanwhile New Orleans is wasting away.)

It is profoundly unjust that the citizens of New Orleans have to bear the brunt of the damages due a failure of the federal government. The levees that were breached and were responsible for the death of approximately 2000 Americans and the tremendous loss of property, were the responsibility of the U.S. government. As long as the fate of Louisiana is in the hands of the government in far off Washington D.C., we can expect more of the same indifference. The fact that Louisiana supplies more that a third of U.S oil production and more than half of its commercial fishing production does not seems to make much of a difference in the halls of national power.

He ends with:

Can we save South Louisiana and the city of New Orleans? We have two choices: attempt to do so, or to continue business as usual allowing oil companies, developers and their political henchmen to determine the future of the coast and of all of the people living on it. We can continue to treat Mother Nature as the enemy, and attempt to control her, or we can recognize her power, allowing her a place in our plans. To do so would mean accepting her terms. This means hard choices. However, if we choose to continue to battle Nature, we are committing ourselves to a struggle to the death against her. I am not a betting man, but if I were, my bet would be on Mother Nature.

Update: Video: An eerie drive down Bourbon street tonight, by a NOLA reporter at the end of his long day.

< Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread | Wednesday Morning Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I did not know anything about (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:53:14 PM EST
    Zachary Richard except a song I loved from a KBCO Studio C record long ago. 'One Kiss' - here it is

     Thank you for the information. Will have to support his work.

    Goes without saying I am sending best wishes to NO and other areas affected.

    NO native... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:23:39 PM EST
    Louis Armstrong, who saved us from Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg.

    My wish failed (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:26:59 PM EST
    Isaac is back over water and headed towards Grand Isle according to the NOAA which puts the right side of the storm over New Orleans as it moves inland. Moving at only 8 miles an hour it's going to dump lots of rain over the next day or two

    The New Orleans Times-Picayune is throwing up stories at a pretty rapid pace

    12 hours later (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:25:58 AM EST
    and Isaac is pretty much in the same spot. A levee in Plaquemines Parish has been topped (not breached) flooding area homes.

    Low tide was early this morning with high tide around 5pm. If the storm doesn't get off the water where it keeps getting fed and move inland it's going to get steadily worse thruout the day.

    I heard this morning (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:15:09 AM EST
    that although it's "only" a category 1, that still means the winds are at about 85 MPH.  And  the hurricane is only moving at about 6MPH which is practically stalled.  Which, if you think about it, is about the same speed as a fast walk or a jog.  The places getting pummeled are going to continue to get pummeled for a while.

    You're right (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:45:32 AM EST
    in that the strength of the wind won't be the major factor but rather the continued onslaught as it moves so slowly north. Currently, the eye isn't expected to leave Louisiana until early Friday.

    Another 36 hours over Louisiana and this satellite photo means nothing but non-stop rain


    They say they're expecting the (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:46:07 AM EST
    levees to hold and not be breached.  But even with the levees that were improved and built higher by the Army Corps of Engineers after Katrina, how much rain will the area be able to take before the improved levees are also topped?  Granted, less water would get through than if the levees broke, but still......
    My thoughts and concern go out to all those who live in that area.

    So far (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:44:12 PM EST
    Plaquemines Parish (would include Venice) south of New Orleans is in the worst shape with mandatory evacuations taking place due to flooding. Again it's over the top rather than a breach which might sound like semantics but it's the difference between a fast rising tide and a broken dam.

    One low lying subdivision (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:48:02 PM EST
    in Plaquemines going underwater. National Guard on the scene and getting those out that ignored the original evacuation order.

    See, now (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:58:54 PM EST
    this is what I cannot understand- the people who ignore evacuation orders.  I realize that many of them are concerned about their property (with some justification), but "things" are just "things."  Things are replaceable- people are not.  
    Plus, when things get really bad, they put at risk not just themselves, but those sent to rescue them.  It's very short-sighted, and even, really, selfish.

    I'm with you on this (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:19:07 PM EST
    I'm one of those that has never left Miami during a storm and I'm called stubborn and an idiot....but in looking at a map of Plaquemines Parish I'd be the first one out and dragging every acquaintance, dog, and streetwalker with me.

    Yes, I realize (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:55:09 PM EST
    that over-topping is less serious than an actual breach.  But it ain't good.  I also realize that Plaquemines Parish was responsible for its own dams and levees, not the Army Corps.  
    But flooding is still not good.  Although, an over-topping would seem to allow for more time to evacuate than an actual, catastrophic breach, because the water would not be coming in at the much fiercer rate of a breach.
    I grew up in the St. Louis area.  Fortunately we, and all our relatives, did not live anywhere near the bottom-lands along the Mississippi, but I'm familiar with at least some of the damage a flood can do.

    Issac (none / 0) (#13)
    by DebFrmHell on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 03:47:12 PM EST
    reminds me of TS Allison.  That one caused so much flooding because it was so slow leaving Houston. IIRC, it rained for 4-5 days.

    Issac is in no great rush to go away and it is a rain-maker.