Gustav, the Aftermath

It was quite the strange trip yesterday, Labor Day 2008. Gustav beat the odds and made landfall at the exact spot the models had it going to 18 hours before, and within 50 miles or so of the models from 48 hours before. It was not nearly as strong as predicted, which was the reason we ultimately decided to stay after vacillating all day Sunday and keeping an eye on things. Once it became clear it was not a Cat 4 and it was not headed straight for us, we decided to stay put.

We had lots of wind, not so much rain. It gusted up to, I’d say, 50 mph, enough to start peeling the copper roof off of my cousin’s outdoor kitchen area. I did the manly thing, (I’m camped out with my Aunt, a cousin, and her 3 teacher friends) and got a ladder, hammer and nails and secured the roof before it tore off and went into a window.

Today, I drove around to check on our office and my home in Mandeville (both with no damage, but no power). Traffic on Hwy. 190, the main drag into Covington, was sparse. Most of the red lights were without power; some blinking yellow. Amazingly, the drivers that were out and about did an extremely civilized job of both driving under the speed limit and treating the intersections as four-way stops.

Getting back to the house (equipped with generator large enough to handle air conditioning, thank gawd) I was treated to more doom and gloom on TV. Lots thunderstorms were in the area with the dreaded suspicious “hook” echoes that mean there could be a tornado. The Bogue Falaya river behind the house was righteously rising up, swollen by the rain and blocked by a storm-surged lake at its mouth.

All this gave way to a great evening after the thunder cells of doom passed. As I mentioned in the last post, one of the great hurricane traditions is the feast-of-the-food-that-will-go-bad-unless-we-eat-it-now. The neighbors came over with food gathered up from fridges unprotected by generators. Baked salmon and tilapia, chicken alfredo, smoked salmon, various cheeses and veggies were on the menu. I met 10 new people, and made 10 new friends, because I managed not to talk politics or otherwise piss anyone off.

I feel a little guilty. Many people I keep up with on the internet, fellow NOLA bloggers, were forced to leave their homes. Not many had good experiences, between being caught in contra-flow gridlock or seeking safety in places that ultimately were not safe at all, everyone’s going to have some interesting posts in upcoming weeks.

So shout-outs go to NolaNotes, Stacey, Charlotte, HumidCity, Greta, WetBankGuy, LipRap, Wendy, Katie, RDPeyton and everyone else who had to flee; hope you will see home again in days, rather than weeks this time. And hats-off to YatPundit, Ryan, and GentillyGirl and others who intrepidly stayed behind to share on-the-scene updates.

It would be nice if power is restored tomorrow. I’ve had a surreal vacation, and deadlines that were breathing down my neck are extended, but not extinguished. A little normalcy would be nice here. At least we won’t have to spend 4 months getting used to the “new” normal that defined life after Katrina.

4 Responses to Gustav, the Aftermath

  1. stacey on September 3, 2008 at 9:45 am

    So glad you seem to be doing good. Hoping we don’t have to go through this in a few weeks.

  2. liprap on September 3, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Glad all is well. We are making our way back from Oklahoma beginning this afternoon. And we WILL be let into our city.

  3. SoMo on September 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Look at you giving me a shout out. I feel so blessed. Just a teaser, we were kicked out of our hotel, we made a midnight trek only to find our streets blocked, a power pole dangles in the middle of our street and, yeah, we got a generator with the great help of NOLA and her hubs. Hubs got a call saying that we should see some action soon from Entergy. Hmmm…we shall see.

  4. Jon on September 10, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Glad y’all were not wiped out by Gustav too badly. Here in central Mississippi we lucked out with just lots of rain. Hope Ike misses Louisiana as well. Take care.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

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