We made it home as soon as St Tammany Parish said we could come back, and to my delight - I had POWER! I am soo lucky to live across from a school (hospitals and schoold come online first). It was a long drive from Jackson as we were joined on the road with millions of others from this region making the anxious drive home wondering what we would find when we got there. After Katrina, the drive home was downright nauseating as we drove across the gulf coast from Florida and thru Mississippi where the eye passed over. in 2005, there was debris everywhere, boats in trees, cars flodded on the side of the interstate, road washed away, and trees snapped in half for over 60 miles....and that was along I-10 outside of New Orleans!
This time, we drove the back roads for a while to avoid I-55 that was backed up all the way from the Louisiana state line to I-20. I knew this thanks to the am news station WWL which is by far the best news station in the world. If you are from this area, that is where you get your information. It's the real info - not the crap you see on CNN. WWL streams and if the weather is just right (cloudy and overcast) you can pick it up as far as Jackson in the daytime - and at night I've listened to it as far as Missourri. Two years ago, Ryan and I went out to the car in an Ice Storm to listen to a Saints Playoff Game! It was zero degrees outside, and we were in the parking lot of Wal-mart (best reception there) tuning in! it was priceless - OH, they won too, which made it even better!
So anyway, the trip home this time was much less stressfull. The traffic was moving well and the damage was so minimal that there was very little anxiety about what we would find at home. Along the way we found a few trees uprooted and some signs down, but all in all by the time we made into St Tammany, the debris in the roads was cleared and it was smooth sailing. Granny and I drove down to the lakefront to see how high the water came up and it looked ok - I don't think it came up as high as Katrina, but it was up at least 3-4 blocks (I'm 6 blocks from the lake!). There was still some water in the street (the rest of it drained back into the lake already) and we stopped when we saw an egret looking for some lunch. It wasn't long before he scooped up a fish out of the puddle in the street! It was awesome!
Thursday was back to business. I got a text message from Franco's to let us know that the club would be open since the power came on there too. I was so happy to hear that b/c my training has been a little off since i have not been able to ride since saturday. riding in Jackson was out of the question - high winds and rain - and i didnt bring the trainer :-(
I tought a spin class on Thursday morning that lasted 2 1/2 hours. There were a few troopers who stayed the entire time (JP and Sue), but most just came and went during that time. There were no official classes on the schedule - but being the die hard that I am in addition to the fact that the roads ate full of debris - riding outside was again out of the question. Oh, and did I mention the a/c in the spin room was not working? yeah, it was hot, too. after that, it was home for a nap then back to swim, run and do some weights. I didn't think I would be able to swim so soon since after Katrina the pools were out for so long. But Robbie and Sue stayed in town for the storm and got to work as soon as they could to get the pools up and running. What a great job they did - us swimmers and truly grateful!
Now, it's recovery time - in more ways that the one I'm used to. Today is my day off of training, but for the community it is a mass scramble to get back to normal. I will be heading into Metarie and New Orleans today where power is still out and there is much more damage since they were closer to the eye of the storm. I have to run a few errands, and Granny wants to come along and take a look. Her apartment building in the city will not be re-opening until Monday, so she is still camping out with me in Mandeville....and she is bored to death!