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So, to continue. New Orleans had been hit by a hurricane and most of the city was flooded. We couldn't believe it. Had we come so far with our Act of Congress for no reason? My mother had taken a day off work to watch our kids, we'd driven over five hours, and now it looked as if it were all in vain. The offer the senator's office made to do it for us was looking mighty good.
I started praying. God, did I read this all wrong? If this is your will, knock the walls down.
Or maybe move the water just a bit?
The building we needed to get to was on the main drag, only about two miles from our exit. It took us almost two hours to get there. Our journey became a maze of flooded streets that had to be carefully chosen lest we became one of the many stranded cars. We could only judge if a street was passible by the amount of cars stuck under the water and how deep the water came above the wheel wells. Thankfully I had recently changed from a sedan to a SUV. That truck saved us, literally!
We finally got to the street and found the government building. Mike managed to find a place I could get out without getting too wet and dropped me off. I dashed through rain and puddles, finally making it into the building. As I came into the doors, I had to pass the usual security baracades and police security. One officer was telling another they were about to shut the building down. I started to panic again.
I went to the man and asked for clarification. He said I had about ten minutes. My gaze shot to the elevator that was just opening. I dashed in and punched number eleven. Up I went, wondering if I would leave with passports and worried if Mike had found a safe place to leave the car.
And what if the people at the passport office were already leaving? I prayed more. The elevator doors opened. I ran out and flew through the passport office door. There, behind the counter sat a man reading a newpaper, looking bored as can be. Whew! I trotted to the counter and handed him my paperwork, along with my Act of Congress. Then I waited for the shocked reaction I anticipated this paper would surely get. The document was basically an order to give us passports without argument.
Nope, he stayed bored. They get them frequently. He said to give him a few minutes to run them through the machine. No big deal.
No big deal? Did you take a look at the streets in the last hour or so?
Mike finally made it up to the office, thank goodness. They hadn't shut the building down quite yet. We sat and caught our breath as we looked out the window over the city to a very dark and threatening sky. A shuffle of papers and a few stamps later, our passports were ready and we were on our way.
We did it. Or should I say, God did it. The wall fell down. We had only one other challenge left to face. Not only were they about to close the building but the entire city. We ran to the car and drove to the freeway as fast as we could, considering all the flooding. We just managed to get on the interestate before they closed it. Now the question was, could we outrun the second hurricane that was about to hit the city harder than the first?