Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Thanks to everyone who has emailed to check on us! I have been trying to catch up on emails and appreciate the concern and good thoughts even though we are always safer in the north part of the state.

At least it wasn't another Katrina. I've tried to figure out how to post about the hurricane, and I find it difficult to assess all of my feelings.

Initially, we were all relieved that Gustav was downgraded before hitting the coast, that the levees held in New Orleans, and that the evacuation was so much more rapid and efficient. However, the damage is immense, overwhelming all attempts at aid. So many more people (approximately 2 million) evacuated this time. Shelters were quickly overwhelmed and supplies and services are still unable to keep up. FEMA's problems have still not been overcome, causing even more hardship.

Erin and the kids came up here, relieving my most immediate fears. A good thing, too, because Baton Rouge received a real pounding; a city of huge old trees, the 90+ mph winds wreaked terrible damage to homes, power lines, etc. No power, no water/sewage, no traffic lights, little if any gasoline available, supplies dwindling... Supplies that were supposed to be available were in the wrong place and not available where needed. People must stand in line for hours for food, bottled water, etc. I'm so thankful that Erin brought Mila and Max up here because most people in B.R. were not expecting the damage and did not evacuate in the numbers that occurred in other places.

There are many things to be grateful for - it wasn't Katrina, the evacuation process was much more successful (a result of many factors, including the willingness of people to heed the warnings), levees held for the most part, the torrential rains and high winds that were predicted for our area dissipated before they got this far north. That doesn't mean that human suffering is not immense as people realize they have lost their homes and possessions and can not yet go home from hotels and shelters.

My husband is on his way to south Louisiana now to check on his mother's house in Alexandria which received damage, his company's business interests, and Erin's house if he can. When I called to check on him a while ago, he said the traffic on I-49 going south is unbelievable. People who can (many have no transportation) are going home to begin repairs and re-building despite the lack of basic services.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered here and with those on the east coast who await Hannah.
Later today, I'm going to have a more cheerful post because I won a wonderful prize!


  1. I'm very happy that you and your family are safe, but what you describe is beyond comprehension. I live in Central Florida, and about an hour from us people are still flooded from Fay and very worried about what else could be ahead. I am very grateful to have been spared, and pray for those who are suffering. It says a lot for the human spirit that they are willing to jump back into the fray. Part I know is need, but it would be easy to just give in. It seems to be all over the country in one form or another, between fires and earthquakes and all the other natural disasters. Mother nature dwarfs us.

  2. It's hard to grasp the continual hurricane threat to parts of the country. Focused on New Orleans and my sister in Lake Charles, I hadn't realized things were so bad in Baton Rouge, which of course escaped last time. And now my niece in Florida will suffer again, this time with a newborn baby in the house. I hope you find good news about Erin's house.

  3. so glad your family is okay. we evaucated first to around zachary then had to leave for monroe. going home tomorrow maybe to generator power for maybe at least 2 to 4 weeks. thank God for our safety and praying for all.

  4. you and your family have been in my thoughts for days and I'm relieved to learn that overall 'all's well'.... hopefully the damage done to your husband's mother's house isn't too severe and the company fared alright....

    since katrina there is a bigger dread I think than ever before in most people's heads when we hear about hurricanes and the hurricane season....

  5. Jenclair, I'm very glad to hear you're okay. Thanks for checking in. We're all family here, yaknow. Can't wait to hear of your wonderful prize!!!

  6. Candace- Florida has had plenty of experience with this sort of thing. You are so right about the human spirit, and the way so many people throw themselves into repair and recovery. The U.S. has certainly had its share of natural disasters this year, and my thoughts are with all those threatened by Hannah and recovering from Fay.

    Kay - Hope your sister in Lake Charles is OK! New Orleans was pretty lucky this time, but I haven't heard much about Lake Charles. Hope your niece and her family have been spared this time.

    suesueb - So glad you are safe! My prayers are with you.

    kimy - Thanks for the good thoughts. All of our family and friends who were in harm's way seem to been blessed. They will have many hardships in the months to come, but right now, all are safe.

    rian - Thanks, rian! Our main worries have concerned friends and family, and we have been blessed in that regard.

  7. I'm up here in Alaska right now (as of Aug.28) but I was supposed to bring my parents down to their little house in St. Martinville. I felt that my mother's health was just too precarious and basically refused to bring them down...thank goodness! If she had collapsed on the plane or down there in all of that hurricane aftermath, it would have been horribly challenging for us!

  8. Quilting Journey - Unbelievably challenging! Dealing with a loved one's precarious health is difficult anywhere, away from home worse, and in St. Martinville this year would have been awful! Hope their home didn't receive much damage...


Good to hear from you!