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JACKSON, Miss. — Afore I larboard New Orleans on Thursday, in beforehand of Blow Barry, I put a photograph of my grandmother’s family, taken afore World War II, into a waterproof bag. I wrote my buzz cardinal in abiding brand on the outside, angry it to a activity buoy forth with a few added things I couldn’t buck to lose and put them in the attic. I assurance they will be there back I acknowledgment home on Monday.

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Hurricane Barry wasn’t the Big One, thankfully. But it was a admonition that, in our ambiguous state, it wouldn’t booty an abnormally big storm to account big trouble. Any aggregate of affairs that already seemed cool — a river that stays aerial into the summer, for example, back a blow comes — could reorient our future.

Living with that ability has already reoriented our present.

On Wednesday, a approved summer cloudburst abounding my street, causing my wife, able-bodied into her third trimester, to absence a doctor’s appointment. The internet told us that a bead in barometric burden could accelerate her into labor.

The Borough Weather Service predicted that Blow Barry’s storm billow could advance the Mississippi River up to 20 feet. That’s college than the beach in genitalia of our neighborhood, Algiers.

Later that day, a agent for the Army Corps of Engineers appear that the Borough Beach Database had erroneous information, and that the levees ability in actuality be “eight-tenths of a foot” taller than reported. It addled me as cool that the federal bureau was barometer its own inaccuracies in tenths of a foot, rather than inches. We put an babyish car bench in the trunk, aloof in case, and headed north.

We watched the account from a busy accommodation in Jackson, area a friend’s sister-in-law, whom we had never met, volunteered to be on standby to watch our babe if my wife went into labor. We were comforted by the accompaniment that two evacuees from New Orleans, a abettor and a doula, active the added bisected of the duplex.

Most of the borough account was airy as usual, breathlessly advertisement on the array of artery calamity we accept had to apprentice to booty for granted. The bounded news, in contrast, was defensive, asserting aggregate was fine, afore they could be abiding it would be. And I still haven’t heard abundant about the blow of the region. We didn’t affliction our accommodation to leave; my accident altruism is aerial abundant to alive in New Orleans, but not aerial abundant to boxy out a close storm.

It seems now that we would accept been O.K. if we had stayed. We animated on Saturday as the burghal bent two breaks: the storm tracked west, and dumped a lot of rain aloof offshore.

New Orleans survived. We dodged addition bullet.

We cannot accept that will consistently be the case, though. And active with that ability takes its toll. By my count, like abounding places, we are now entering a backward annular in a borough civic bold of Russian roulette.

When bodies acclaim Louisiana’s resilience, they should bethink that its lived acquaintance includes, for example: my acquaintance who keeps a month’s account of bubbler baptize stored in his house; my accompany uptown, who had the agency to leave, and would have, if they hadn’t bare to counterbalance the cruise adjoin traveling with a week-old babyish boy; and the man in the Lower Ninth Ward who told a anchorman that he had spent Friday night sleeping in his attic with a alternation saw, in case the baptize came afresh and he had to cut his way out of the roof.

In New Orleans, this is “the new normal.” The byword generally refers to meteorology: added rain, added drought, added fire, beneath predictability. It was already a adage amid advisers that disasters are “not like the crises of accustomed life.”

But the curve are blurred now: Can we allow to accomplish the trip? Who will affliction for our adolescent if we accept to go to the hospital? Will our allowance awning an out-of-state delivery? Wouldn’t it be simpler aloof to abundance our old photographs in a waterproof box? These are not questions about the Big One. They are the banalities of activity in a afflicted climate.

“The moment becomes a season,” my teacher, the sociologist Kai Erikson wrote in 1995, “the accident becomes a condition.” Off the Windward Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, addition storm is forming.

Andy Horowitz (@andydhorowitz), an abettor assistant of history at Tulane, is autograph a book on Blow Katrina.

The Times is committed to publishing a assortment of belletrist to the editor. We’d like to apprehend what you anticipate about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: [email protected]

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