Monday, June 6, 2011

That Crazy Louisiana Weather

Having lived in the south Louisiana all of my (40) young years I have come to expect the unexpected from Mother Nature.  One day it will look like God has taken his paint brush and sculpted the sky in such beauty that it is near unbelievable.  The next day when you have everything ready to go fishing it looks like the farmers prayers have been answered and you won't be using any fish fry anytime soon. 
     We have been experiencing some very unique weather conditions here in Louisiana the past few months.  The Mississippi River basically drains all of the waterways in the United States. 

 After a hard winter, spring thaw, and serious flooding up north the mighty Mississippi can only handle so much.  Flooding along the Mississippi has been business as usual for most of the states north of here.  We have two control structures to prevent the mass flooding and loss of human life that would occur if they weren't in place today. The Morganza Spillway has only been opened twice since it was built in 1954 (1973 & 2011).  The trigger for opening the Morganza Spillway is when 1.5 million cubic feet per second of water is flowing by the Red River Landing.  If the levee were to break it would make a hell of a slip and slide, but I digress.  Then in Norco which is south of Baton Rouge and west of New Orleans there's the Bonnet Carre Spillway.  It has been opened only 10 times since it was built in 1931.  When all bays (350) are open it flows at 4 times the rate of Niagara Falls in New York.  Just yesterday while driving on I-10 to New Orleans the sheer amount of water flowing through the Bonnet Carre Spillway was unimaginable.  Here is a cool video I found with some good footage  The irony happening in Baton Rouge (where I live) is we are under a flood warning and in a drought at the same time.   http://www.wunderground.com/US/LA/048.html#FLO  
 I'm in New Orleans and meanwhile in Baton Rouge a thunderstorm pops up out of nowhere while I wasn't home.  I looked online for some news.  Tornado or not is what I found  I have to say I wasn't too surprised to see all of the damage.  Once I got back to my home tonight the reality was clear, my lawn chairs were all thrown around, the floaties from the pool were all over the yard, the barbecue pit was on its back, and the tomato plants looked like someone came through with a bush hog to take them down.  Tomorrow will be a new day to clean it all up, replant, and repair the things that got broken.  Its good knowing that nobody got hurt and all of those material items can be replaced.  Having been born here I have come to expect the unexpected as far as the weather is concerned.  Rain, hail, sleet, snow, thunderstorms, drought, flood, tornadoes, and hurricanes, we have seen everything there is to see.  The reason I have stayed here my entire life is the people.   I've had many opportunities to live in other places around North America, (with much better weather).  Every time there is a weather related emergency its the people that make sure their friends and loved ones are taken care of.  In the worst of it all I have seen compassion beyond measure, love without bounds, fear transformed into courage, and humanity go beyond what anyone could ever expect from another human being.  It has been said when the going gets tough the tough get going.  With our crazy weather there are so many "favorable circumstances" we find ourselves in to set the bar above our last storm heroics.  What a great feeling to show others how much they are truly prized in our hearts and lives.  There are so many things to be thankful for in this life.  Let me stop and say thank you to anyone that reads this, Thank You!!!  OK, The seasons change all around the world in many beautiful ways.  God actually knew what He was doing when he created it all, I'm certain of that.  Mother Nature has definitely shown us her ugly side in the past and probably even more so in the future.  The most beautiful part of calamity is the graciousness shown to each other by people.  If you are fortunate enough to have 4 seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall just remember this... Where I'm from no matter what the calendar might say there are only two seasons in South Louisiana, CRAWFISH SEASON and FOOTBALL!!!

So, how's the weather in your neck of the woods?



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