Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Gustav - Aftermath

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Traffic is still an issue, stores are slowly restocking but are open only during limited hours (even Wal Mart). Schools are starting to reopen in some areas. Power is being restored slowly and the clean up continues.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Forecast is looking better for us. Ike is now being projected to hit the southern part of Texas. It's still quite a distance from but we are hopeful that we are not going to be in Ike's path.

Many schools and businesses are operating today and with many traffic lights still not operating, the drive to work or school has been a challenge. My mom said the Donaldsonville area is slowly starting to get some of the power restored. My parents are still without power but are hoping and praying they will get it in the next couple of days.

Monday, September 8, 2008
Power has been restored for many people in my area and the Baton Rouge area but once you cross the Sunshine Bridge to Donaldsonville and further South, power outage is almost at 100%. My mom and dad live in Donaldsonville and choose to stay at their house without power. I don't like having them uncomfortable but they assure me they are OK. We get food and ice to them regularly and check on them several times a day.

Although grocery stores are open, they are only partially stocked. To think that another Hurricane could be on its way is very disheartening but we trust that God is in control and He will get us through all kinds of storms.

Saturday, September 6, 2008
Great news. When I got home from work yesterday, the power was on. It was a great nights sleep last night.

Today I volunteered in Donaldsonville with other faith based organizations stationed at the Donaldsonville Dream Center (a Healing Place Church campus). Samaritan's Purse and Billy Graham's Disaster Relief Group were two of the organizations helping with disaster relief along with other volunteers from churches in other states. I met some people from Virginia, North Carolina and Texas. Here is a link to our pastor's blog that shows some of the help being provided.

This is a pictures of some of the Samaritan Purse workers cooking a large pot of spaghetti sauce to feed some of the community.

This is the makeshift bedrooms for the volunteers located in an old middle school that is now being used by Healing Place Church for services.

These large organizations are self contained and carry all they need to help. They have alot of experience in situations like this and are very organized.

This is a line of people in Donaldsonville waiting to get ice and MREs. The National Guard was on hand to help with the distribution.
This is a common and welcome site.

Friday, September 5, 2008
Some aftermath thoughts:
You realize just how dependent we are on technology. Basic necessities like food, water and gasoline that we take for granted are hard to get.

You realize how quiet everything is when widespread power is out.

You realize how kind people can be and how willing to help strangers in need.

You realize how important the church family is. The outpouring of help from churches all over the United States has been great. Healing Place Church, my home church, is one that has partnered with many other churches in the country. These churches have sent supplies and people to help. Food, water, tarps and other necessities are being distributed free of charge and crews of volunteers are helping daily with the distribution, cleaning up of yards, removing trees and any other needs.

You realize how material things don’t matter but people do.

You realize no matter how bad it might be, someone else has is worse. (My co-worker found out she has water coming up around her house, my neighbor has two small children and a sick husband)

Other Random Notes:

I saw a firefly outside my window last night, something I haven't seen in a long time. Probably because there are always lights outside.

I miss being able to sew.

I've been doing sodoku puzzles at night and discovered that I'm not very good at it.

Bad News:

Hurricane Ike is another possible threat for us:

UPDATE: Praise God!!!! My daughter has power at her house. I will be sleeping with air conditioning tonight. She lives in the middle of the city, close to a hospital. Hopefully, I will have power soon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008
It took me about 30 minutes to get to work yesterday but 1 1/2 hours to get home. The traffic was bumper to bumper and I had to detour several times for gas lines, a wreck, trees etc. Getting gasoline is still a problem, many waiting in line for hours. There is no shortage of fuel but without power, the pumps don't work. I should have enough fuel to last till the weekend and I'm hoping power will be available for more gas stations.

My biggest concern at this point are my parents who live in Donaldsonville, which was hit harder than we were by the storm. My dad told me last night he was on the roof all day repairing the shed. He gets nervous and can't stand to let it sit until help can get there. I will try to get them groceries and ice this weekend and some help with clean up.

I try to stay on main roads but during one of my detours, this is what it looked like. I managed to get through but it was slow going.
Although I had to go around these trucks, I was happy to see them working on clean up. I know the employees for the electric companies and debris clean up are working not stop and we all appreciate it.

These next few pictures were taken in my daughters subdivision. It's hard to tell, but the root system on this tree when it blew over picked up the shed with it.

Many have cleaned up and stacked the trees on the side of the road for pickup.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Well we made it through the storm and I'm at work today finally able to connect to the internet. Cell phones haven't been working well either. Text messaging works sometimes but getting through with calls has been very difficult. I had no damage on my house and family has had only minor damage. We are without power and may be for awhile so the biggest challenge has been the heat, especially at night. I am very fortunate to have a gas stove and gas barbeque pit so we have been eating well trying to cook the stuff defrosting in the freezer.

We are under curfew from 8PM to 6AM. We went to bring a tarp to my daughter who lives a few miles from me and were stopped at every red light by police wanting to know where we were going. It's really strange at night because everything is so dark and quiet. The only sound we here at night is the sound of a couple of generators in the neighborhood.

I took a video showing the wind through the trees in my backyard but can't seem to upload it.

A local grocery store just about 1/2 mile from my house was announced to be one of the few open. We were hot and bored so decided to go get a few things we would need to cook some of the items in the freezer. Below are some of the pictures. This was my first experience with this kind of chaos.

This is the bread isle. No bread of any kind was available however they were well stocked with other items.

This is the front by the check out. As you can see the store is packed. It took about 30 - 45 minutes to get to the front of the line.

Here is the back of the line which reached from the front of the store to the back at all registers. We waited in line about 30 or 40 minutes and when we were 3rd in line to the register, the generator quit working (they said it burnt up) and all of the customers were asked to leave. We weren't able to purchase the groceries but did get 10 bags of ice. What is really sad is there was a couple of customers in line in front of us that got cooked food from the deli and icees. They drank and ate as they were waiting in line, leaving the empties on the shelves. This kind of situation brings out the best in some and the worst in others. Generally people are very patient and helpful but there are the ones who look at it as an opportunity to take advantage of people, steal and make money.

The parking lot was full and when we were leaving we witnessed a wreck from someone backing out into another vehicle. It just so happened that a police car was behind the one that was hit.

A load of ice was delivered but it went very fast.

I'll post pictures of some of the damage when I'm able to get around to take some.

Sunday, August 31, 2008:
Hurricane Gustav is moving faster so it looks like landfall will be Monday instead of Tuesday. Here are a few pictures of preparations. No rain, no wind and no clouds yet but it will change in a few hours.

It is times like this that you realize how little control we have but we know that God is in control and no matter what happens, He is always there to comfort and help us through all kinds of trials. My daughter has her own house now a few miles from mine with my youngest son and friends. It's a little strange not to have her here with me but my two nieces and parents are here and my oldest daughter and her boyfriend will be arriving later. Earlier we called my daughter on speaker phone and prayed together for protection for all of us in the path of Hurricane Gustav. Say a prayer for us tonight.

This business had a little bit of a sense of humor. They marked the plywood with signs. Door, L, R, and window.

Saturday, August 30,2008:

Looks like Hurricane Gustav is heading our way. Preparations have begun. Stocking up on food, water, paper plates, cups & snacks.
Gas prices fluctuate. This station had gas for about $3.50 yesterday, now it is $3.70.

Contra flow begins tomorrow morning out of New Orleans.
Contraflow for Hurricane Gustav still is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Sunday for southeast and southwest Louisiana, even as the storm gains in intensity. The time depends on traffic flow as well as the storm's speed, path and size

People waiting in line in New Orleans to get on buses out of town.


Mom2fur said...

Sending up good thoughts and prayers for you and your family to stay safe!

Jennifer said...

Hey, I'm just checking in on you to see how you're doing. I hope your power comes back soon and you're able to check in. Assuming it's out of course.

Jennifer said...

What craziness!!! I was little the last time I had to ride out a hurricane. I honestly don't remember much about it other then six or seven trees came down on our house. I’m glad you guys fared well. I hope your power is back up soon.

Jennifer said...

It sounds like it's a good time to stock up on firewood.