Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dry Spells

Contradictory to some rather substantial outside opinions, New Orleans isn't exactly waterlogged. In fact, for the second year running, we are more than 12" below our average yearly rainfall to date. That's good, right?

Erm. No.

Really.

Take a city. Fill with water (and various other discharges) for several weeks. Drain slowly.

Allow a good portion of those once-flooded buildings (plus all the ones that've been gutted but hang in insurance-limbo-hell) to remain empty, mouldering and drying to a nice tinder-like status for, oh say...21 months. Resume baking in a long hot summer, omitting customary rain patterns.

Spontaneous combustion, anyone?

Oh, and when the rains do come, none of the usual forces of adhesion and cohesion (come on, folks, remember your high school Earth Science and Chemistry classes) get to play their traditional roles. The water that usually helps the soil stay in place just isn't and doesn't. So long, topsoil. Hello, runoff.

New Orleans isn't experiencing a drought, not technically anyway. When you are surrounded by the Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, swamps, bayous, canals, intercoastal waterways and wig-frying humidity, you're never quite close to a drought.

Still, we could use a little more rain.

So, despite threatening to impede all kinds of wonderful Memorial Day Weekend activities and plans, not too many people were really all that upset when the skies over New Orleans began to look like this yesterday.

And sometimes...

Sometimes it gets really really dark before a dry spell ends.

5 comment(s):

Jodi

Amazing picture

Jenn in Holland

Uh, yeah. Fantastic photograph. Wow.
I wish I did remember my high school classes. I just may have skipped class that day of the water cycle lesson. But what I really wish is that I had any notion of a solution for such a monumental problem. The idea that this is what plagues you and your citymates daily as you watch and wait through the arduously long rebuilding process, really plagues me. Knowledge isn't power in this case. For me, knowing what is really going on down there is just painful.
Blessings on wing.

soccer mom in denial

You gotta write more often. More than a week between posts caused some serious withdrawl...

Photo - amazing.

Reminder that we need to pay attention to the City that Care Forgot - important.

Gunfighter

Here's to appropriately wet weather, Ken!

Ambassador

We've now had two days of off and on drizzles and some magnificently dark clouds are zooming past my window, promising more rain. God, how we needed this.

Thanks, everyone! K

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