Tuesday, August 30, 2005



In Lakeview, the scene was surreal. A woman yelled to reporters from a rooftop,
asking them to call her father and tell him she was OK, although fleeing to the
roof of a two-story home hardly seemed to qualify.

About 5 p.m., almost
as if on cue, the battery power of all the house alarms in the neighborhood
seemed to reach a critical level, and they all went off, making it sound as if
the area was under an air-raid warning. Two men surviving on generator power in
the Lake Terrace neighborhood near the Lake Pontchartrain levee still had a dry
house, but they were watching the rising water in the yard nervously. They were
planning to head out to retrieve a vast stash of beer, champagne and hard liquor
they found washed onto the levee. As night fell, the sirens of house alarms
finally fell silent, and the air filled with a different, deafening and
unfamiliar sound: the extraordinary din of thousands of croaking frogs.

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