Monday, September 01, 2008

Tracking Hurricane Gustav - Day Two

Well, as you know, Hurricane Gustav made landfall in south Louisiana today. I'm still high and dry in north Louisiana. It's just starting to rain here and the wind is mildly gusty. There is an eerie darkness starting to fall. The kind that happens when the sun doesn't penetrate the clouds. There was no sunset today...just gloom.

We've been eating and watching CNN all day, and unfortunately, I've gotten several sad reports from my friends in Baton Rouge.

One dear friend had a tree fall through the back half of her house. She was able to salvage her clothes, shoes, and some electronics, but the house is a complete loss.

This is a pecan tree that stands behind my rental property. My tenant leaned out of the window to take a picture of how it fell apart. No damage, only a broken window pane!

A tree fell across another friend's driveway on top of two cars. A tree fell across another friend's house and caused roof damage and a flooded room. Yet another friend, who coincidentally just Saturday helped me to cut down a tree at one of my properties so that I wouldn't have damage, had roof damage that caused rain to pour into his house. Another dear friend's sister's house had the roof completely torn off. My neighbor who lives across the street from me had his back patio covering to blow completely off and land in the neighbor's yard. Many other reports of shingles missing, fences down, missing pets, tree limbs down, flooding, power lines down, and no one that I've talked to in Baton Rouge has power. Cell phone communication is hit and miss. Text messages seem to get through, but calls not so much. According to the Governor, 85% of gas stations have no gas. I guess we'll all stay put for a while.

I have a cousin who refused to leave Abbeville (south of Lafayette near the Vermillion Bay). We haven't heard from him.

Rain is expected to persist for the next four days. As a result, major flooding is expected across the city of Baton Rouge and many others in Louisiana. What's interesting is now that most of my friends are without power, they don't have access to the news and I have been the interim news reporter for most of the day. As night falls, they are firing up candles and are bored senseless...parents are sleeping lightly, keeping a watch on falling trees and flooding streets.

My good friend Doug is a fireman. As the city of Baton Rouge submits to a mandatory 8pm to 6am curfew, he will be one of the few who are allowed on the streets. He was headed to work a couple of hours ago. My cousin Marcus is a BR city police officer. He's doing an 18 hour shift tomorrow. They both have long days and nights ahead. I'm praying for them and for all first responders.

It's completely dark now, but we still have power. I stepped outside a little while ago to snap some pics. I wanted to get a good shot of the trees swaying in the wind, but it didn't come out so well. The ones I have are just shots of our rain soaked surroundings.

Continue to pray for the residents of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

Trees swaying in the wind

Rain dripping off the crepe myrtles

Every crack and crevice is filled with water
Rain soaked border grass

Tracking Hurricane Gustav