The Carencro area (eight miles North of
Lafayette) was out of power starting around noon on Monday, Sept.
1 until around noon today, Thursday, Sept. 4th. We were fortunate that
no one in the family was injured. There is property damage, but those
are things which can be replaced. Many trees which I lost at home will
have to be removed with special equipment.
We chose to hunker-down and brave the storm
at home...so I connected my generator after the storm and it maintained
a small window air-conditioner (for this purpose), the refrigerator and
a small T.V. With some rotation, we will able to make coffee, read with
a lamp, etc. Sprinkled in with a lot of praying, the conditions were
good - under the circumstances. Computer access was not available.
With no land lines available, most
communications were by cell phone. However, before too long, these were
over-loaded and reaching someone by cell phone was not possible. I was
to meet with the Evergreen Civic League in Evergreen Wednesday
afternoon, but beginning Tuesday could not reach anyone by phone.
The eye of Gustav did pass over our home,
thus I have some damage from north/west winds and some from south/east
winds, both in the 80-100 mph range. What made Gustav different in some
ways is that it continued to rain after the eye passed. Tuesday it
continued to rain off and on, as it did on Wednesday. However, on
Wednesday the rains were very hard at times and tornadoes were all
around us (over 40 in the area). Several touched down within five miles
of our home.
Please note the picture of the
basketball goal which now faces away from the cement court and is
leaning slightly away from the court. The ground around it has not
been visibly disturbed, yet the goal was turned almost 180 degrees.
Installed in 1974, it has survived several powerful storms, but
never anything like what Gustav offered.
I am hopeful that Pelicans from other areas
affected by Gustav will send some news so we might post it on the
website. Evangeline and Rapides parishes were both hit exceptionally
hard with heavy rains and wind. Eight parishes in Acadiana had over 90%
of their power lost, some close to 100%. News from some of the areas
around Baton Rouge is not good. Power there may not be restores for
weeks instead of days. Please keep them in your prayers.
The state experienced mandatory evacuations
along the coast...Cameron, Vermilion, St. Mary, etc., and over 2 million
people left the state. New Orleans residents were offered train and
buses to go out of town...some went as far away as Memphis. Last
Sunday, Marilyn and I drove to I-49 (only one mile from my house) and
watched the "contraflow" - where both North and South bound lanes were
flowing North...sort of ere to watch. You could get on, but not off
until you were near Meeker in Rapides Parish. News reports of many of
those people returning yesterday afternoon showed bumper to bumper
traffic (sometimes stopped)...people running out of gas and not being
able to find any.
Many parishes and towns established
curfews...i.e.,Lafayette Parish for Monday and Tuesday...lifted on
Wednesday. The major justification given was to allow the power
companies to work, but the real reason was to prevent the looting which
occurred during Katrina. It worked exceptionally well. A few thieves
were arrested and now have their hands full of problems.
Public officials worked extremely hard in
advance of Gustav and are still working hard...President Bush (visited),
Gov. Jindal (hands-on, 24/7, all over the state), local officials and
community organizations. Power companies have been giving reports once
or twice a day on television and radio. Needless to say, the state was
prepared more for this hurricane than any other. Power restoration is a
tremendous challenge at this time.
Your prayers for those still experiencing
problems as a result of Gustav are appreciated.
By Ed Dugas