Zeta, Man

Zeta’s Eye Over the 13th Ward photo by Dr. A.

Hurricane Zeta was the fifth named storm to make landfall in the Gret Stet of Louisiana this year. That set a record that we could do without. 2020, man.

Zeta was a weird system. Conditions were NOT favorable for development, but it blew up anyway. My favorite local teevee meteorologist was alternately vexed, puzzled, and apologetic about his forecast. No worries, Chris. 2020, man.

Winds in New Orleans peaked somewhere between 65 and 75 MPH. It was scary at points but since Claire Trevor lived through the big blow in Key Largo, she slept through Zeta. She *was* the hero of that movie: she slipped Bogie the rod that he used to vanquish Johnny Rocco. 1948, man.

We were lucky. We lost cable but not power. It’s a minor miracle. In 2012, we lost power for 7 days after Hurricane Isaac blew through town. As a result, I missed seeing Clint Eastwood talk to the chair at the Republican convention. 2012, man.

Adding to the oddity of Zetapalooza, the first cold front of the season is rolling through town. That makes it easier on those who lost power. We sweated like Bogie in the greenhouse scene in The Big Sleep after Isaac. 1946, man.

Zeta was a fast-moving storm system. The worst lasted only for a few hours. Since it was a direct hit, I experienced the eerie beauty of the eye for the first time. It was genuinely surreal. It was like a Magritte painting only without the bowler hats or are they derbies? That’s a question for another time.

The friend and Spank krewe mate who I call Nurse Candace wrote something lovely on my FB feed about *her* experience with the eye of Zeta: “The most poignant contrast of Nature’s fury and tranquility that I’ve ever experienced.”

The Zeta eye sky also reminded me of one of my favorite John Hiatt ballads. That’s why he gets the last word:

 

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