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Trial by Water

I wasn’t feeling quite right. When Xy offered to take our daughter with her on a shopping expedition I assented. It was just starting to rain so I urged her to drive carefully. Off she went.

We’d heard the weather reports the night before talking about a possibly severe “rain event” but I thought that was over. Wrong. I puttered around the house (feeling much better after relieving some gastrointestinal pressure) and after about an hour I sent the following text to Xy:

Jeez it’s raining heavily. I wish y’all had stayed home now. Be careful! Love!!!

Little did I know her phone was sitting on our bed upstairs.

About 45 minutes later I opened the front door and stepped out on the front porch. Loud and profane language began issuing spontaneously from my mouth. Our front yard was under water.

Banks Street Flooding

I texted Xy:

Our street is flooded badly!

I also tried calling her. In fact I called her repeatedly over the next couple hours. She never answered. Little did I know her phone was sitting on our bed upstairs.

And so I puttered and worried. Twitter indicated street flooding was occurring all over New Orleans. Michael Homan and his kids waded by for a visit. After they left I puttered and worried some more and continued to call Xy’s phone, wondering why on earth she didn’t answer and fearing for the worst. Little did I know her phone was sitting on our bed upstairs. Why didn’t I at least tell her to leave our girl at home with me?

And then the kitchen ceiling sprung a new leak. It’s becoming obvious that we need a new roof for the addition.

Finally, about three and a half hours after she left, the doorbell rang, and there she was on our front porch, soaked to the skin and holding our daughter on her hip. She’d driven the car into water and pushed it to start three times, but on the forth time it wouldn’t start. She had to abandon it on Airline Highway and walk home through flooded streets and pouring rain — carrying a toddler the whole way. Luckily she only had to go about a mile and a quarter.

It’s amazing to me no one offered help. She tried flagging down a cab but they didn’t stop. Plenty of police passed by but they didn’t stop. C’mon, a diminutive woman walking through a commercial/industrial zone in knee-deep flood-waters during a “rain event” at night in New Orleans with a baby — are you kidding me?

I of course had no idea they were in trouble until they showed up on the porch. The whole thing shook me up quite a bit. Sometimes I don’t dig living in New Orleans so much. I think I need a drink.

Published inLife with XyNew OrleansPixWeather & Seasons


  1. Holy crap! I almost got stuck in that mess last night and the entire time I was thinking that I was so happy the kids were home with Cade. But who knew it would get that bad? Xy is some bad-ass woman.

  2. Robyn Robyn

    What a day to leave the phone on the bed!

    I also cannot BELIEVE nobody offered to help her. Especially not the police!!!!

    How did little P take the whole ordeal?

  3. lemming lemming

    Huge applause to Xy and best wishes to her and P for minimal post-traumatic stress. That’s the stuff of parental nightmares.

  4. Moishe Moishe

    Someone wrote that they can’t believe the police did not stop to help. Are you kidding me? The cops in this town are at best rude and cynical assholes and at worst outright criminals.

  5. E E

    So grateful that Xy is a strong woman and that you only have ONE child. I would be scared, but would likely have made the same decision! Way to go strongwoman, walking through rain, water carrying a baby with no tech support.

  6. amy amy

    Man, I remember back in the day when we had sudden flooding and no cellphones. the general rule was, don’t F*&^ with it. Stay where you are and wait it out. it’s dangerous!

    And also, ‘don’t expect law enforcement to help you when you are obviously in need’ has always been the case.

  7. Jack Schick Jack Schick

    The Leak,
    The Termites,
    The Badly Flooded Street, (in a common rainstorm-erk!),
    The Utterly unfriendly so-called “community” you continue to speak up for.
    I haven’t read onward, today’s the 19th….
    …So, Did they TOW the Car? Gotta pay Impound and Towing fees?
    …how about a Citation for unsafe parking?
    Folks have sometimes gently tried to point out to you guys…
    You are Not Safe to assume this is a Decent society.
    You guys are much more Good-hearted than the real icky World.
    With a Nordic Language Skill, and a White girl-child,
    I would be shopping for a Job in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Bart.
    We are under intentional attack, Bart, and you are only cushioned from
    this fact because you work for a Catholic (Let’s not rock the Boat) College.
    Get a Grip.
    “New Orleans Funky” is not going to get any healthier for you and
    your child.

  8. Chris Chris

    i was in NOLA this last week and I had never seen rain like that!!! Of course the day after we leave the weather gets better. I don’t know how you do it!!!! I’m glad your wife and daughter made it home okay. I’m not surprised about the police….so many corrupt people in your beautiful city.

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