9:30 AM Wednesday…

Since last weekend, I’ve been clearing out the trees in our back yard, and moving everything that was movable outside into our car port. Unfortunately, the only two hurricanes we’ve encountered since we’ve lived here in Baton Rouge, Katrina and Gustav, came right at us. The prospective path of Hurricane Isaac was supposed to be west of here. It now is expected to hit between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, about 60 miles to the west. This causes a number of problems that I didn’t anticipate.

First, and most importantly, it’s sort of essential to understand that hurricanes move counter-clockwise. As they circulate southward, they pick up water in the Gulf (and in this case, in the Atchafalaya Basin). So, right now, the 100 mph winds are coming from the northeast, causing trees to fall in an unanticipated fashion. This also causes places to the east of the eye to get a lot more rain than expected. Last night, the weather channel predicted we would have 5-10 inches of rain; now, we are supposed to get between 20-40 inches of rain today, tonight, and tomorrow.

A second problem, which affects people like me, who live near a bayou, is that the winds cause the Mississippi River to actually flow northward. This is sort of an interesting phenomenon, but will cause massive flooding, since the creeks and bayous want to send their water one way, but the River send it the opposite. This causes flooding, since a creek always loses a fight to the Mississippi.

Isaac is moving slowly, as it has done since hitting land. This means that the winds will last longer than in a typical hurricane; we can expect this to be an all day event. I’m thinking that I’ll update this hourly until the electricity in the house goes down, the internet goes down, or a tree lands in my house.

10:15 AM Wednesday…

Isaac is now hitting Laplace hard, a town about halfway between here and NOLA. I-10 is closed there because of flooding on the highway, although I’m unclear why someone would choose this time to drive back and forth between the cities. Since the storm is traveling so slowly, the weather hotshots are predicting that the hurricane will continue at least until tomorrow morning.

Right now, we’re having a lull in the wind; I went outside (my dogs were relatively insistent upon this); a few trees are down, but thus far, mainly branches are strewn around the neighborhood.

11:00 AM…

Now they’re saying that NOLA will end up with 28-30 inches of rain. Isaac is southwest of New Orleans now, and is slowly meandering up to here. When the winds pick up, some of the smaller trees in my yard are horizontal. Already, 30,000 homes in our parish are without electricity. I heard that over 300,000 homes in the coastal parts of the state don’t have electric service. They also don’t have running water in some of those parishes.

They’ve just placed us on a tornado watch until 4:00 this afternoon. Since tornadoes target mobile homes, they’ve urged people who reside in them to seek shelter that won’t blow away.