Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricane Gustav and other happenings

So unless you are under a rock, I am sure you know that Hurricane Gustav just arrived in Louisiana. We were not here in LA for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, so this was our first Louisiana Hurricane. First, may I say that I found the people and officials in LA to be on top of things with this storm. Everyone erred on the side of caution and were more than prepared. People were not going to be caught not looking after all that they endured in 2005. They did a lot of things well in advance to make sure that (with as NOAA's website puts it) "life and property were protected."

I have not posted in many days, I am sorry about this, but I am preparing to move. The truck was scheduled to pick up my wordly possessions on Friday to take to Ft. Stewart to storage until we finally arrive (this is in question now that we had a hurricane). My family began arriving on Thursday August 28 to help me prepare. Roy and Peggy (my extra grandparents and friends who are family) came in Thursday afternoon. My Daddy's flight came into Alexandria on Friday afternoon. And my mom, Mimi, and Poppy were in the driveway when we got back from the airport. So we had a full house with lots of helpers. I was unable to even get the the computer to check e-mail very much during the packing frenzy. We got a lot done, though: Swing set taken down, all the pictures off the walls, walls patched and painted, curio cabinet packed up, gutters cleaned out, mailbox fixed, garage door opener programmed and countless other small projects.
Our focus turned late Saturday from moving prep to hurricane prep. BOY am I glad that I was not alone! Daddy and Poppy and the kids went to Wal-Mart to buy extra flashlights, batteries, candles, ice, a propane stove, and an "emergency" Hannah Montana blanket. (Jessa HAD to have it, and since I said "no toys" Bay added the emergency part to the description to make it ok to buy it. And as he pointed out, it was not a toy.) Daddy taped all the windows for me. And early Monday morning, we headed to the Maintenance Barn in Leesville to pick up sandbags packed by the prisoners of Vernon Parish. (we had to take advantage of this service because Lowe's and Wal-Mart were CLOSED. Yes, Wal-Mart was CLOSED. This must be serious, right?) This is one case of my being glad I was with Daddy. We pull up to the gate and the dude says "Sandbags?" Daddy said "yep." The dude says, "How many?" At this point I start to panic - how many? I have no idea. 4? 6? Daddy without hesitation confidently says, "18." I think oh no, they will think we are greedy. That is too many! And the dude says "ok." Whew! They did not think 18 was too many. And so I asked Daddy on the way home, "How did you come up with 18?" Apparently, he had looked at the house and he had already calculated how many we would need. Wow! I never would have thought to do that!! He came in very handy! He even gave me propane stove lessons in case we needed to cook in the garage. Thanks to him being here, I was covered. And Poppy was the "man" who was elected to stay behind and take care of the women and children. Mom made sure the tubs were full of water in case we needed to flush with the possibility of an extended power outage. We were so fortunate to have people here to help.

David was worried about us. I know he was glad the babies and I were not alone. He called us lots to check on us, even at midnight. He could not believe we were asleep with a hurricane going on. But we were. The worst did hit us during the night, so we were going to sleep anyway. He laughed at me for sounding half-asleep and not worried at all.

I did form the Leesville/Fort Polk chapter of the weather channel. Mom was my camera-person and we filmed updates for David. I have a lovely DVD all ready to send to him so he can see what all happened.

We survived Gustav with minimal inconvenience. No damage to "life or property," so far, although it is still raining a lot. The sandbags are still in place preventing possible flooding. Tornadoes are still possible, but so far so good. We never lost power, satellite Internet, or satellite TV. This is remarkable. Thunderstorms usually cause all of these things! AND our Parish is still 85% without power. We were darn lucky!

We survived Gustav, bring on the movers!

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