I watched the clouds slowly surround Crescent Park and the lightning go off across the river. I should have left, but it was tempting to see the dark clouds cover the sky above me, as the wind picked up and the river pushed against concrete and metal. My hat almost flew away. I thought I could, sit there, and watch the clouds accumulate, and then suddenly it began raining, not in droves, but I biked home in the full rain, and it was beautiful.
Two weeks ago Sunday, New Orleans received 6 inches of rain during a period of 4 hours, which was too much for the pipes to handle. As a consequence many neighborhoods flooded, ranging from not so severe sidewalk coverings, to knee-deep water in Mid-city where people were paddling their kayaks. Some people biked through the flood like this one guy whose bike was covered half way as he tried to pedal his way out.
I had not been paying attention to the rain or thunder until I received an emergency warning text.It was hard to ignore it. There was a flash flood warning and it urged people to stay out of flooded areas I watched the rain fall outside my window, hoping it wouldn’t about too much. The rain had covered the sidewalks and most of the streets. As it’s common to find in New Orleans, the street are not always leveled so there tends to higher and low area that easily get flooded. Around my neighborhood the water did not get beyond covering our sidewalks. No one was outside at the time since it was raining hard and the streets were completely covered, but once it stopped, cars began passing by. There was still a large concentration of water, so that when cars passed, they pushed the water to the side. I don’t think it went into anyone’s house but it looked like a shallow river out there, as the water moved in waves.
I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve seen a lunar eclipse before, but never a solar eclipse. I found about it several weeks ago, and quickly began searching for the solar glasses, but to no one’s surprise they were sold out on various sites. If you didn’t already have it, you were screwed since experts advise not to stare directly at the sun, because it will ruin your eyes, possibly causing blindness. Also I needed binoculars and camera filters, and those were also sold out. I watched some YouTube videos on how to make a DIY filter, but where would I get the Black polymer sheet? It seemed like a lost cause. Luckily, I knew someone who had the solar eclipse glasses, and so I wouldn’t be watching from home or only when the moon was fully covering the sun. Most people are driving to the line of totality ranging from Oregon to South carolina.
I ended up watching it in Mobile, Alabama, where we were expecting 85% totality. I tried out the solar glasses days before when the sun was out. At first I didn’t see anything because some clouds were in the way. I could only see my eyes, but then the clouds dispersed, and there it was. The SUN. It appeared small, slightly orange, and so benevolent that I didn’t recognize it. I could feel the heat, but my eyes were safe under the solar eclipse glasses.
I wondered how it would be the day of…
How does rain form after a couple of hours of being incredibly hot? I went outside to buy cereal and I was met with an oven at the lovely hour of 9 in the morning, quickly as the air was denser and lustier, and it crept up to my head. Hours later the sky couldn’t take it anymore and slowly it began drizzling until it rained inconsolably, as if it had exceeded its capacity. As a friend once told me the earth needs to cool itself.