Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Rainman (finally) checks in after Katrina

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Rainman (finally) checks in after Katrina

Old 11-11-05, 08:15 AM
  #1  
RainmanP
Mr. Cellophane
Thread Starter
 
RainmanP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorry I haven't posted since the storm, but I just haven't had much opportunity to get online.

My wife and I decided to get out of Dodge the Saturday before the storm. We couldn't see any reason to wait. It was a weekend so there was not the usual decision about leaving work or my wife shutting down her school. My parents live in Houston so we figured we would spend a couple of days with them then be back home by Tuesday or so. It was a couple of weeks before we could get back into our house. We had a little water in the house, ruining 2 rooms of carpet and 2 rooms of wood floor. We also had enough roof damage to create a few leaks and require re-shingling. Right now we have a pretty blue tarp roof care of the Corps of Engineers and FEMA. My garage had almost a foot of water in it, but the water in my area went down quickly. To answer the question on most of your minds - my bikes are ok.

I live in Metairie, an adjacent suburb of New Orleans. I am just a couple of miles from the largest levee breach that flooded the city. You cannot imagine what it looks like on the other side. Block after block, mile after mile, dead. For about 100 square miles of dense urban/suburban residential area the houses are stained brown with water lines anywhere from 4 feet to 12 or 15 feet off the ground. Many houses were flooded to the eaves and sat in the water for 19 days. Approximately 200,000 people lost literally everything but a few odds and ends they have been able to pull from the muck that filled the houses, several of my fellow employees among them. In an adjacent parish (county) east of the city EVERY house and business was flooded. How does a government survive something like that? Zero revenue for months and months. Recovery will be long and hard. Property owners and businesses aren't sure if they should start rebuilding. The levees and seawalls probably can't be secured in time for next hurricane season. Even if they can, there is now evidence that in many places the designs are compromised by weak soil conditions and insufficient safety margins. The levee system is supposed to be able to withstand storms stronger than Katrina was when it hit New Orleans. We weren't even on the "bad" side of the storm (the eastern side of a hurricane is generally more dangerous) and look what happened. People are REALLY concerned. The really sad thing is that for about $10 billion over the years, the levees could have been designed for Cat 5 instead of Cat 3. Now it will cost over $100 billion in damage. What happened with Katrina was not a long shot that "might never happen". New Orleans will definitely be hit by even stronger storms - maybe next year, maybe in 20 years, but it will happen. It is not a gamble; it is a certainty.

Sorry to get on a rant. It is difficult not to when Ted Stevens is trying to build a $100 million bridge to an island that has 50 residents, but a metropolitan area of 1.5 million can't get what it needs to survive. I will stop now.

Thanks for thinking of us. Hopefully I will get to spend some time online from time to time. I am not able to ride to work right now. We are in temporary offices in a location that is not comfortable to ride to. I COULD do it. It's actually shorter than my usual ride, and probably no worse traffic-wise than many others face, but I will wait until we get back downtown in a few weeks.
Regards,
Raymond
__________________
If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!
RainmanP is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 09:54 AM
  #2  
jamesdenver
jim anchower
 
jamesdenver's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
good to hear an update - all the best to you and family and friends

the week of the disaster my mom brought me some coffee she ordered online from cafe du mond from a friend that used to live there. i heard they're back up, and am definetely going to place some orders online from them. just a tiny way to help a biz down there, and it's great coffee.

something that really disgusted me regarding new coverage, was the FOXs and CNNs reporting "claims" of horrific things like rapes of children at the superdome, cannabalism on the streets, and other un-human like things, as if the residents turned into the Morlocks from HG Wells the time machine within one week.

NPR had a story a few weeks back about how most of these stories were unsubstantiated, never verified and forgotten about, but i wish "reports" like that were not reported, even if it was noted it was rumor. i.e. there was never a three year old raped and killed at the superdome.

anyway sorry for my rant, but i'm sure you know most people are good and did great in a difficult situation
jamesdenver is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 10:16 AM
  #3  
Longhorn
Burnt Orange Blood
 
Longhorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dripping Springs, Texas
Posts: 825

Bikes: Trek 7200, Lashout Electric Bike, Raleigh Talon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Glad you're okay and I appreciate the update. I hope this story doesn't disappear from national attention. This is a tragedy that didn't have to happen, from beginning to end. I was in tears watching the reports of people stranded at the Superdome, in their homes, and on the highways with no help in sight. I recently read that as many as 7,000 people are still unaccounted for.

I wish you and your neighbors continued strength as you rebuild your lives and your unique and charming city!
Longhorn is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 10:21 AM
  #4  
Mr_Super_Socks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 881

Bikes: Gilmour lugged steel, Bianchi Volpe, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for reminding those of us who are far away that the tragedy is far from over.
Mr_Super_Socks is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 10:37 AM
  #5  
dalmore
Neat - w/ ice on the side
 
dalmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Big Ring. Little Cog.
Posts: 1,200

Bikes: 2005 Dahon Speed TR, 2006 Dahon Mu SL, 2000 GT XiZang, 1999ish Rock Lobster, 2007 Dean Animas CTI

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
Thanks for reminding those of us who are far away that the tragedy is far from over.
Yep.
dalmore is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 11:32 AM
  #6  
jnbacon
Proshpero
 
jnbacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 712

Bikes: Fixed Surly CrossCheck, Redline Conquest Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You didn't answer one question: How are you going to satisfy your King Cake cravings?

Last week, I heard from several professors from Tulane about the politics and political structure of New Orleans and Louisiana, and some of the forces at play. Beyond the Federal response and the incredibly hard task of personal rebuilding, it sounds like the citizens of New Orleans and the region will have to do some really hard thinking about how to make their leaders accountable.

All the best.
jnbacon is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 11:55 AM
  #7  
cerewa
put our Heads Together
 
cerewa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: southeast pennsylvania
Posts: 3,155

Bikes: a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorry to hear of all the damage, and glad to hear it wasn't any worse for you.
cerewa is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 12:53 PM
  #8  
ItsJustMe
Seńior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,776

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great to hear from you man, we missed you! Glad to hear you'll be able to recover relatively easily (besides living in a newly-economically-depressed area).
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 02:01 PM
  #9  
RonH
Life is good
 
RonH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not far from the Withlacoochee Trail. 🚴🏻
Posts: 18,213

Bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany, 2018 Lynskey Helix Pro

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 519 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Rainman.
Glad you're back with us and doing better than many folks in New Orleans.

My aunt lived there and her house was completely destroyed by the water. She lived in Chalmette. She's been here in the Atlanta area living with her granddaughter since the storm. She said she'd like to go back home but there's nothing to go back to. Very sad!
__________________
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalm 103:8

I am a cyclist. I am not the fastest or the fittest. But I will get to where I'm going with a smile on my face.
RonH is offline  
Old 11-11-05, 08:00 PM
  #10  
RainmanP
Mr. Cellophane
Thread Starter
 
RainmanP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the warm welcome back, gang. Ron, several of my co-workers live(d) in Chalmette. The adjacent parish to which I referred is St. Bernard, where Chalmette is located. Unlike most of the flooding in New Orleans, which resulted from levee breaches the day after the hurricane, St. Bernard actually flooded from storm surge overtopping the levees. The surge came right up the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet canal, a waterway dug as a shortcut alternative to the several hours it takes ships to actually come up the river. The MRGO has bee cursed by the residents of St. Bernard since before it was built because of concern that exactly what happened WOULD happen. "I told you so" rings a bit hollow at this point.
__________________
If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!
RainmanP is offline  
Old 11-13-05, 09:57 AM
  #11  
Map tester
I am not a car
 
Map tester's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 747

Bikes: Giant Revel 1, Surly Ogre

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Glad you are back--I've missed your postings and was very concerned about your wellbeing. It's a crime about the levees--they have the knowledge to build good ones, just makes you wonder what our tax dollars go for. Hope you can get back to commuting by bike soon!
__________________
"Bad facts make bad laws." FZ
Map tester is offline  
Old 11-13-05, 11:48 AM
  #12  
Guest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Sorry to hear about all that, but we're glad you're ok. I thought they had federal contractors down there that were supposed to be cleaning up the muck and the oil and human waste and stuff? It sounds like there's still a real problem there.

Koffee
 
Old 11-13-05, 01:21 PM
  #13  
huhenio
Barbieri Telefonico
 
huhenio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 3,522

Bikes: Crappy but operational secondhand Motobecane Messenger

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do not foresee a bright future ..... I know: I am a historian, I can predict the future.
__________________
Giving Haircuts Over The Phone
huhenio is offline  
Old 11-13-05, 08:53 PM
  #14  
JohnBrooking
Commuter
 
JohnBrooking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 2,568

Bikes: 2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey, Rainman! Add me to the chorus of "Glad you're okay"!! (And your wife and bikes too, in the appropriate order! )

Aside from that, I'd like to ask your opinion about something, if you don't mind. You probably missed this, but a few weeks after the storm (9/11, ironically, now that I look), someone posted a thread about bike organizations helping by sending bikes to residents who needed them. About 8 weeks and an intervening election campaign later, another guy and I are actually trying to put together such an effort here in Maine. We're calling it Bikes for the Bayou, and we have a website here. Immediately afterwards, my thought was bikes for mainly transportational purposes. Now that some time has passed (and we won't be shipping the bikes until mid-December), I'm not sure if that's still such an immediate need, what with people probably acquiring other transportation in the meantime. Of course, there are also probably plenty of people who didn't have cars in the first place, and recreation is also a valid use, especially for children. So we're going ahead with the effort, but not knowing first-hand any affected people, I'm sort of going on faith that it will be a worthwhile effort.

Do you know Audrey Warren? She was a bike advocate there in the Big Easy, and is currently working out of Houston with the Texas Bike Coalition. They are coordinating a national bike collection effort, and will probably be the ones to provide us with local contacts for delivery and distribution, maybe even in Texas, where we hear many of the evacuees are.

So that's what we're up to. I would be very interested in hearing what you think of this idea, and what ideas you might have for how to how we can maximize the value of our effort. You can read more about the details on our website. Of course, I know you must be very busy and probably don't have a lot of time, but I would really value even a few sentences from a local point of view. That would be great!

And best of luck in your recovery.
JohnBrooking is offline  
Old 11-13-05, 09:13 PM
  #15  
vrkelley
Enjoy
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle metro
Posts: 6,165

Bikes: Trek 5200

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RainmanP

Thanks for thinking of us. Hopefully I will get to spend some time online from time to time. I am not able to ride to work right now. We are in temporary offices in a location that is not comfortable to ride to. I COULD do it. It's actually shorter than my usual ride, and probably no worse traffic-wise than many others face, but I will wait until we get back downtown in a few weeks.
Regards,
Raymond
Rainman, So nice to have you back. We missed your insight on this forum. Welcome back. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
vrkelley is offline  
Old 11-14-05, 10:55 PM
  #16  
daveIT
F*** Corporate Beer
 
daveIT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 328

Bikes: On-OneIROOlympiaYetiLeMondZanella

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RainmanP
Sorry to get on a rant. It is difficult not to when Ted Stevens is trying to build a $100 million bridge to an island that has 50 residents, but a metropolitan area of 1.5 million can't get what it needs to survive. I will stop now.
First glad to hear you made it through all right. Second, I moved to AK this summer (military) and find it funny that the majority of Alaskans don't want that bridge built. I don't really understand the whole reasoning behind it, but I've just heard/read a lot of griping about it on radio/tv/newspapers.
daveIT is offline  
Old 11-15-05, 07:53 AM
  #17  
MattC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Welcome back Rainman. Just got back in town to sta myself.
MattC is offline  
Old 11-15-05, 02:52 PM
  #18  
vrkelley
Enjoy
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle metro
Posts: 6,165

Bikes: Trek 5200

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MattC
Welcome back Rainman. Just got back in town to sta myself.
MattC glad you are OK. Hopefully, your home is OK. Gads both storms were unreal.
vrkelley is offline  
Old 11-15-05, 04:04 PM
  #19  
lotek 
Senior Member
 
lotek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: n.w. superdrome
Posts: 17,690

Bikes: 1 trek, serotta, rih, de Reus, Pogliaghi and finally a Zieleman! and got a DeRosa

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rainman,

I don't hang out much here, or ss/fixe so we
haven't spoken in a while.
I'm glad your and your family are safe.
Glad you thought to get out on Saturday.

Marty
__________________
Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
Odio la gente, tutti.


Want to upgrade your membership? Click Here.
lotek is offline  
Old 11-16-05, 11:10 AM
  #20  
Prosody
Are we having fun yet?
 
Prosody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
Posts: 930

Bikes: Fuji Roubaix, Trek 7200

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rainman,

Glad you're ok. I've been hoping you got out and weathered the storm. Sounds like you came through it ok, especially compared to many others. Good luck putting everything back together.
__________________
You're east of East St. Louis
And the wind is making speeches.
Prosody is offline  
Old 11-16-05, 11:28 AM
  #21  
LittleBigMan
Sumanitu taka owaci
 
LittleBigMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Raymond, I'm so sorry about what happened to your home and so many of your neighbors. I know if anyone can weather the aftermath of Katrina, it's someone with your heart.

All the best to you and Rainbabe, and hoping for a quick recovery--

Pete
__________________
No worries
LittleBigMan is offline  
Old 01-07-06, 01:47 PM
  #22  
meb
Senior Member
 
meb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: arlington, VA
Posts: 1,745
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RainmanP
Sorry I haven't posted since the storm, but I just haven't had much opportunity to get online.

My wife and I decided to get out of Dodge the Saturday before the storm. We couldn't see any reason to wait. It was a weekend so there was not the usual decision about leaving work or my wife shutting down her school. My parents live in Houston so we figured we would spend a couple of days with them then be back home by Tuesday or so. It was a couple of weeks before we could get back into our house. We had a little water in the house, ruining 2 rooms of carpet and 2 rooms of wood floor. We also had enough roof damage to create a few leaks and require re-shingling. Right now we have a pretty blue tarp roof care of the Corps of Engineers and FEMA. My garage had almost a foot of water in it, but the water in my area went down quickly. To answer the question on most of your minds - my bikes are ok.

I live in Metairie, an adjacent suburb of New Orleans. I am just a couple of miles from the largest levee breach that flooded the city. You cannot imagine what it looks like on the other side. Block after block, mile after mile, dead. For about 100 square miles of dense urban/suburban residential area the houses are stained brown with water lines anywhere from 4 feet to 12 or 15 feet off the ground. Many houses were flooded to the eaves and sat in the water for 19 days. Approximately 200,000 people lost literally everything but a few odds and ends they have been able to pull from the muck that filled the houses, several of my fellow employees among them. In an adjacent parish (county) east of the city EVERY house and business was flooded. How does a government survive something like that? Zero revenue for months and months. Recovery will be long and hard. Property owners and businesses aren't sure if they should start rebuilding. The levees and seawalls probably can't be secured in time for next hurricane season. Even if they can, there is now evidence that in many places the designs are compromised by weak soil conditions and insufficient safety margins. The levee system is supposed to be able to withstand storms stronger than Katrina was when it hit New Orleans. We weren't even on the "bad" side of the storm (the eastern side of a hurricane is generally more dangerous) and look what happened. People are REALLY concerned. The really sad thing is that for about $10 billion over the years, the levees could have been designed for Cat 5 instead of Cat 3. Now it will cost over $100 billion in damage. What happened with Katrina was not a long shot that "might never happen". New Orleans will definitely be hit by even stronger storms - maybe next year, maybe in 20 years, but it will happen. It is not a gamble; it is a certainty.

Sorry to get on a rant. It is difficult not to when Ted Stevens is trying to build a $100 million bridge to an island that has 50 residents, but a metropolitan area of 1.5 million can't get what it needs to survive. I will stop now.

Thanks for thinking of us. Hopefully I will get to spend some time online from time to time. I am not able to ride to work right now. We are in temporary offices in a location that is not comfortable to ride to. I COULD do it. It's actually shorter than my usual ride, and probably no worse traffic-wise than many others face, but I will wait until we get back downtown in a few weeks.
Regards,
Raymond
Glad to see you back and apparantly still riding. Had been concerned by your lengthy absence after Katrina.

You didn't mention, is your employ still intact?

Thanks for the report on St. Bernard. Unfortunately, we don't get much in news updates on St. Bernard and Plaquemines, and I fear they probably end up similar shorting to the recovery of '27.
meb is offline  
Old 01-09-06, 07:07 AM
  #23  
max-a-mill
aspiring dirtbag commuter
 
max-a-mill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: philly
Posts: 2,123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
good to see your well! thanks for the report.

in my little uptopian way of seeing things maybe the rebuilding of new orleans could happen in a way that will make your city nicer than it ever was before eventually? maybe they could take some of the land lost and turn it into nice greenspace for non-motor transprotation corridors?

one of the things i really wonder is what they will do with all that vacnt land that results from the people who don't want to come back. it wont be easy but they might be able to really creatively rebuild new orleans...

as someone with some background in city planning, as horrible as these events were, i will be fascinated to see how it all goes back together.

please keep us posted.
max-a-mill is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.