For my dwindling set of readers and dear friends outside the New Orleans area who aren't on the NOLA bloggers listserv, an update:
St. Charles Parish and St. Bernard Parish are likely calling for mandatory evacuations by noon tomorrow. I imagine Nagin will call for one as well to cover his ass.
My plan is to stay for a near hit from a category 1 or weak category 2, and leave for anything worse, but won't make any decisions until Saturday's 11am EDT forecasts from the National Hurricane Center. I'm fully prepared to stay, and fully prepared to go.
My apartment is set up with a week's food and water and generator. A good portion of my neighbors are staying regardless, includind the ex-ATF guy and the ex-military guy with all the guns, and we have a pretty tight community including some of my bestest friends, we're on high ground between St. Charles and the river, yada yada yada.
If a mandatory evacuation is called for, I'll go to Baton Rouge to my brother's house. If things get weird in any other way, I'll do the same. Got a full tank of gas and a "Roads of Louisiana" atlas (you twisty back road biker types know the "Roads of..." series). Probably I'll leave in the middle of the night on Saturday night, just to avoid driving in traffic in the heat.
I am going over to the family house to help Gina prep it for the storm and then they will get on the road for Austin this afternoon, so the family will be out of harm's way.
If I lose net access, Karl's gonna enable the Twitter feed at the top of my blog and I'll send updates via text message as much as possible.
If you want to track what we in New Orleans are tracking, here's where you go:
National Hurricane Center: the official forecast. The 3-day forecast map and the "Discussion" page at each update contain the real data you want.
Weather Underground: great weather blog with lots of extra maps and useful unofficial information that the NHC thinks is over the heads of the unwashed masses. Plus a great blog from Dr. Jeff Masters, who knows his shit.
NOLA.com: Our award-winning local newspaper. Most of the time they suck, but during storms they totally rock that shit.
WWL 870: Our AM news radio outlet. Click the link for the web cast; since it's got a powerful signal, at night you can pick it up on 870 AM from far far away. It comes in crystal clear in Austin. This is what we will all be listening to on our crank radios when the power goes out.
My feeling on this one is that it's gonna be a miss, but we'll see.