Musings from some former inhabitants of the sprawling metropolis that is Prudhomme City

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav D-Day

by CajunKate

*I'll be adding to this post as long as we have electricity.

So today is the day.

7:30 AM: I had a dream last night that the hurricane had already passed over, and I had slept through it. Then I woke up for real and was all confused and ran to the internet, and there that f**ker Gustav is, still headed right for Lafayette. *Sigh* Here's what it's like in our neighborhood right now in Lafayette:

7:51 AM: Alex's mom calls. (Thank God I was awake!) This is how our conversation began:

Me: Hello?
Her (in a completely panicked voice): Alex?!? (Huh? I sound like man now? Greeeeaaat.)
Me: No, it's Katie.
Her (still panicked): Oh, Katie! Are you guys leaving?
Me: Uh,, we're staying, Mom.
Her: But that thing is headed right for Lafayette!
Me: Yeah, it's okay, We're okay. We're fine. Don't worry.
Her: Don't worry?!? Oh, sure, we won't worry!
Me: No, Mom, listen. It's supposed to be a 2 by the time it gets here. We went through a 2 with Lili and everything was fine. We didn't get any damage that time. I'm sure we will be okay,
Her (calmer): Oh, are you sure?
Me: Yes, I am very sure. We're fine. We're going to be fine.
Her (much, much calmer): Oh...okay. You sound okay. You're so calm.
Me: Well, the Merlot and Xanax cocktail really helps to keep the edge off.

Okay, so I didn't say that last part. Although, it would have been balls-out hilarious to have heard her reaction. And, of course, I don't really have any Xanax for such a cocktail...unfortunately. The rest of the convo was much better once I had soothed her tattered nerves and I focused the conversation on them, their trip up to Northern Alabama, and what they'd heard so far about Slidell.

8:15 AM: They are predicting 90 MPH winds for Lafayette. Whew! Better than expected. I can handle that.

8:30 AM: News says Morgan City is getting "slammed." They've lost power down there. MC is about 2 hours southeast of Lafayette. BOOOOO! That means not much longer with power for us. F**K! I hate being hot!

8:41 AM: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here we go!

8: 53 AM: Awwww, man! The f**king cat puked! Really, Gizmo? Like I need THAT right now!

9:06 AM: What it's like right now in my 'hood:

9:31 AM: Just got a text from Queen Emily in Baton Rouge. They're fine; their power has gone out though and the wind is getting worse.

10:15 AM: Took a shower to wash my vile hair but did not shave my legs. No sense in going overboard. The drop in barometric pressure has given me a wicked headache. Here's what's goin' down in the 'hood right now:

11:17 AM: Gusty right now (maybe 30 MPH gusts?) and no rain at all. Greg just called from the other side of Lafayette; they still have power as well, but he began spouting Rob Perillo's dire warnings. I do not listen to Rob; he is a meteorological alarmist. In fact, I got so bored of watching hurricane coverage that I switched over to House Hunters International on HGTV. If that's wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

11:52 AM: Started watching hurricane coverage again. Eye is expected between 2PM and 4 PM. Slightly better time frame than waiting for the cable guy. Made Alex a bacon and cheese sandwich. Not sure what I will do with him when he's on the floor with his massive coronary. Reported gust in Lafayette at 48 MPH. Obviously, we still have power. 8 minutes until noon. Contemplating the fact that noon is usually considered an acceptable time to begin drinking.

12:19 PM: Uploading some video. If you are thinking it doesn't look so bad, that's because it's not...yet. This will not last. Looking at the radar, we are going to be getting really hard core stuff within the next hour, but I will continue to update until we lose power. Supposedly there are sporadic outages around Lafayette already, so when that happens, cheers and let the drinking commence! Won't be nuttin' else to do.

12:40 PM: Here comes round 2.

1:30 PM: Conditions deteriorating rapidly. Power outage seems imminent at this point. Some video (probably the last?):

2:00 PM: Getting pounded now, but somehow we still have power. It's a miracle which I hope has no end!

2:13 PM Gizmo is hiding under the bed. She no likey! 44 MPH winds at airport with gusts of 59MPH.

2:59 PM: More video. This makes me want a drink. Sorry, this makes me want a drink even more than usual. Only 10% of LUS customers are without power. This is good news!

3:02 PM: The eye seems to be directly over us right now. Hopefully, this is the worst of it.

4:00 PM: Taking a while for the eye to completely pass over. Kind of just sitting and twisting on top of us and inching away ever so slowly, conditions are improving steadily. Rain has ended and winds have slowed dramatically. Texts from Baton Rouge show the situation there is not so rosy. Charlie and Aimee's parish is under curfew for the first time ever, and the entire parish is without power. I have sent an invitation to them to come to Lafayette and spend the night in comfort, but I doubt they can get out as travel is still not safe and, technically, we still have half of a hurricane to go.

4:41 PM: I can hardly believe it but the rain has stopped. The wind is still fairly gusty but not too bad. We never lost power. I raise a glass to LUS! Byron just texted that he is without power in Church Point and may come to Lafayette tonight once things calm down there. Panic way down in Plaquemine Parish. Mississippi levee is being topped and may burst. Parish president says get out NOW to anyone who decided to stay. God speed to those people!

5:01 PM: Pics of survivors and debris:

Gizmo- Survivor out of hiding

Debris- Backyard

Debris- My street

5:39 PM: Wind has died significantly. No rain. We can hear someone running a generator nearby. Not sure why. We have power, but that sound makes us nervous! We were watching CNN earlier when the Plaquemines Parish president was in the middle of an urgent message telling anyone left in the parish to get out due to a possible levee breach when Wolf Blitzer cuts him off to go to...wait for it... Laura Bush giving an address at the Republican National Convention. Seriously, Wolf?

6:40 PM: This will be my last post for today. The wind is down to a breeze. There's no rain now. Our friends Greg and Clelie and their dog Peanut will be coming to spend the night because they have no electricity at their place in Broussard. We survived the storm in fine shape, and life is great! The end.

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