We finally have power at our house, and, because we are down the street from a school, the main internet line has been reinstalled in our area, although we are still on a waiting list to get the damaged cable connection reattached to our house. There is still no internet access at home and once again I am enjoying the hospitality of Ashley.
Thanks so much, Ashley.
About half the city is still without power, but if you camp well and don't have anyone in your household with serious medical needs requiring electricity, and you are fit and healthy, this is only a big, sweaty inconvenience for many people.
On the other hand, there are thousands of people whose jobs have been interrupted due to either structural damage and/or lack of power to their workplace, which means reduced income in already tight financial times. For those people it is not just an inconvenience, it's a very serious matter. Likewise for the people with homes destroyed or badly damaged by trees.
What we have in Baton Rouge is a disaster, but not a catastrophe: it's big, it's ugly, and it ain't no fun for nobody, but 95% of us will come out of this will body and soul still together and with an intact or repairable home. We fared much, much better than people in the central coastal parishes (counties), many of whom lost their homes. The human need in the coastal areas is great.
Gustav was stronger than expected when it arrived in Baton Rouge, but not exactly a surprise. Baton Rouge has suffered hurricanes before, but they are usually much diminished by the time they get this far inland. What made this storm such a mess was the force of the sustained winds after the storm had cut a long path across the lower part of the state to get to us. Previously, Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992 had hit Baton Rouge pretty hard, but once again, those were unusual events. We are not on the coast, so we don't get storm surge, and by the time a hurricane gets to us it's usually a relatively minor wind event.
Not this time. And we have a huge mess to clean up, and services to get working again, and schools to reopen.
And now we turn our thoughts to those people who will face the wrath of Ike. This will be a much more powerful storm when it makes landfall, likely in Texas. Let's hope that it somehow can dissipate; if not, let's hope that all in its path can safely evacuate inland to higher ground, away from both the storm surge and tall trees.
Once again, thanks to all for your concern, good wishes and support. It means a great deal to have so much goodwill coming in from friends and correspondents all over the place. Thanks.
I should be able to blog normally, with photos and everything, by nearly next week - perhaps sooner if I am lucky. I have a lot of topics to cover: thoughts on how people respond to disaster, hurricane photos, and the use of Corriedale fleece in hurricane preparedness.
Labels: Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike.