Dean and Zoe Carey with their children, aged 19 and 2 months. The family is curled up in their AirBnB in New Orleans, preparing for Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida crosses the United States, and Dean and Zoe Carey and their two children are entrenched in New Orleans.
The young family had escaped from their New York apartment for some sunshine and space while Zoe was on maternity leave.
Dean is from New Zealand and Zoe from Australia; it was something neither of them was used to, having lived in New York for the past seven years.
The Category 4 hurricane was “a whole different kind of beast,” Dean said.
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“Several days later, it was barely news,” but as the storm got closer, people started changing their plans and filling their closets and, from their AirBnB, Dean started researching how to get on. to prepare.
They figured out how much water they would need per person, stocked up on non-perishables, and set their fridge and freezer to the coldest setting in case the power went out.
“We put a mattress against our back door, because there is glass in it.”
On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Ida is expected to bring high winds, send debris flying, cause surface flooding and flood waters up to 12 feet (3.6 m).
Fortunately, the family’s housing is inside the “pick system”, rebuilt and reinforced following the devastation of Katrina. There were 99 separate water pumps, capable of pumping 400,000 gallons per second.
Coastal areas had been evacuated, but the levy system was capable of handling surges of 30 feet (9 m) – double Ida’s predicted impact. Most houses were raised at least 4 feet (1.2 m) off the ground to start with, and 99% had shutters.
“The mayor has said many times that everyone in the swab system should be fine,” Dean said. “All advice is to duck and stay put.”
For the residents, it was business as usual. “The more you talk to locals, the more nonchalant they are about it,” Dean said. “You expect to be hit by a few tropical storms every year in begging.”
The first bad weather would be overhead around 4 a.m. – in about six hours – and then to “get really nasty” around lunchtime. At midnight the next day, they would have been through the worst.
“But once the eye has moved, there is still wind and rain for another two days. By Tuesday, the wind may have died down.