Archive for August, 2012

Isaac Aftermath

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Darn! Darn! Darn!¬† My hubby is home from work again!¬† Yesterday he “made” me cook him a big lunch.¬† What am I going to do?¬† He’s home until Tuesday now.¬† lol

Well, Isaac is gone out of the area.¬† It’s a nice sunny day this morning, and the humidity is climbing.¬† We’re going to return to those hot, humid days!

My house and yard received no damage.¬† All that’s left to do is to pick up shredded branches and leaves.¬† I’m not sure if we’ll be able to start on that today.¬† Our back yard is still mushy.

My backyard after Hurricane Isaac

We were lucky, but nearby neighborhoods and communities were not so lucky.¬† There is still plenty of flooding in Plaquemine Parish and LaPlace.¬† Both sides of I-10 is closed at LaPlace because of water topping the Interstate since late Tuesday.¬† They are planning to breach a levee in Plaquemines Parish to allow the flood waters to leave.¬† These flood waters had over-topped the levee, and now has no where to go.¬† In one of the communities, an alligator was seen swimming down the flooded road — so residents not only have to deal with high water, but also encroaching wildlife that may be dangerous, like alligators and snakes.¬† Trees and power lines are down in Baton Rouge, with still about 550,000 without power in the state.¬† In fact, our neighbors across the street have lost power because a transformer down the street blew yesterday.¬† Fortunately for us, we are not on the same line.¬† Some communities are on a Boil Water order, because their water systems may be contaminated.

We heard some more bad news.  Our favorite camping grounds (Percy Quinn, MS) is in danger of flooding because the dam there is threatening to breach.  They have opened the gates to release some water, but they may have to do a controlled breach to keep the dam from failing.  We had been planning to return to Gulf Shores at Thanksgiving, but now that plan has been changed, too, due to all the flooding on the coast.

My son did ok in his first hurricane away from home.  Yay, Ty!  My daughter who was out of the area, and originally unaffected, experienced some rain and wind yesterday when Tropical Storm Isaac reached northern Louisiana.  They got no damage.

We are out of the rain, and back into sunshine again.¬† It’s nice to see the sunshine, but for those without power, it’s a mixed blessing.¬† Temps are rising into the 90′s, and it’s very humid.

Oh! and in spite of all this, I now receive a Jury summons!  Yay, me.  :(

 

Lost Power

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Good morning, it’s about 4 am here, Thursday morning.¬† Yesterday we lost power about 1 pm.¬† Of course we were ready for this.¬† Gustav taught us to be ready.¬† We were ready thing, but Gustav took our power for 13 days.¬† So this time, we made sure to be ready for the long haul, making sure we would be able to cook, be safe in the dark with lights and such, and have amenities such as Internet, air conditioning, to keep us occupied.¬† But we were fortunate that Entergy got its act together.¬† We got our power back within about 8 hours.¬† And Isaac is no longer a hurricane.¬† It is still packing rain, and moving very slowly about 5 mph.¬† It arrived near Baton Rouge yesterday afternoon, but it (the eye) is still in our area.¬† It is too dark right now for me to see outside.¬† Yesterday my back yard had started growing a river, and by supper time, it looked like it might be forming a lake.¬† It didn’t even form a lake during Gustav 4 years ago, so this would be a concern.¬† We’ll have to check better for damage, but I don’t believe we lost even one shingle from the roof this time.¬† This speaks for the great handiwork of our roofing crew that replaced our roof during Gustav.

Now to be fair, I don’t want you to think that I’m some unreasonable, stressed out maniac who is impatient with Entergy.¬† In the time of Gustav, there were LOTS of trees down, including 5 in my backyard.¬† These took out power all over town, and southeastern Louisiana.¬† Everywhere you looked, trees and branches/limbs on everything.¬† We knew power restoration would take a long time.¬† Our neighbors across the street from us got their power back within 2 days.¬† Our side of the street took 13– because we were forgotten!¬† That was THE word from the foreman that showed up on the 12th day with his crew.¬† Up until then¬† we had not seen one Entergy truck in our neighborhood.¬† AT&T came twice to try to fix their phone lines, and we saw COX cable a few times, but they couldn’t do anything until the power was restored.¬† AT&T and COX, and a passing fire truck, made reports to Entergy for us, but we were forgotten!¬† Finally they showed up on the 12th day, a Friday, about 3 pm.¬† And here’s a picture of them:

In the first picture you see part of the crew standing around our back fences.¬† The second picture is some of the crew around our side fence where one of their poles had fallen in the next yard.¬† You don’t see them doing much of anything, because they didn’t!¬† Basically for an hour they just stood around.¬† In the second picture, the guy in the yellow vest is the foreman that told us we had been forgotten and apologized.¬† We could accept the being forgotten.¬† There were alot of trees down, and much work for them to do.¬† But then he told us:¬† We’re sorry but it’s going to be one more day.¬† It’s too late in the day to be climbing poles.

Too late!¬† It was only about 4 pm.¬† Maybe they couldn’t climb poles, but they could start clearing the debris.¬† We had started the clearing for them.¬† We had already hired tree cutters to cut our 5 trees and move the parts to the front.¬† They just were not allowed to touch the parts of the branches that had wires tangled in them, which was outside my fence anyway, in Entergy’s right-of-way.¬† So Entergy could have started cutting out their wires and removing that debris to prepare for “tomorrow”, but they didn’t.¬† They just left.

And I have you know that about 7 pm the same night our across-the-street neighbors lost power again because a branch fell across their lines.  And SOMEONE climbed the pole at 7 pm to flip the transformer BACK ON!

So this is why we have a grudge against the LAZY workers of Entergy.¬† Maybe these people don’t work for them anymore.¬† But that’s what we experienced during Gustav.

On Saturday morning, they didn’t even return.¬† Instead they sent some visiting company from out-of-state to do all the work.¬† It was this company that restored our power –Sumter Utilities.¬† I believe this group said they were from Tennessee.¬† Here’s a pic of their crew working.¬† I don’t have a pic of them standing around, because they didn’t

So, we are very thankful to Sumter Utilities for coming into Louisiana to help during Gustav!

Now, this year during Isaac, Entergy got us our power back within 8 hours, which means that it wasn’t a big mess like Gustav that took down our power.¬† We’re thankful to Entergy for doing it, just wish they weren’t afraid of the hard stuff.

4 years ago, we didn’t have access to the Internet while our power was down.¬† But now we do.¬† We bought a mobile Internet device for camping, and it came in really handy while the power was out.¬† That was how I was able to post updates, and let my friends know I was ok.

Welcome to the Shadows

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

The inevitable has happened.  We lost power around 1 pm.  Not long after the mayor announced a warning that the bad part was arriving in BR, so hunker down.  The rain is harder in spurts, but it has not stopped raining since this morning.  The winds are stronger.  My back yard has even more shredded branches from the sycamore tree.  At least no big limbs have fallen, or trees.  During Gustav we lost 5 trees back there.  Hopefully, these make it, but we are expecting this rain and wind to stay through tomorrow.  Right now the eye is located about 30 miles SSE of us.

We are waiting to turn on the generator.¬† It is not safe to place a running generator in a garage or near doors and windows.¬† With this weather, though, it would not be safe out in the open either.¬† So we are waiting and using up batteries.¬† We have battery-powered lanterns, battery-powered radio, and battery-powered fans.¬† So we are not suffering too badly.¬† Later when we need to cook, we have propane burners and skillet, plus bbq grills.¬† So we’ll eat fine.

People are getting stir crazy, though.  Within the last couple hours,  I have seen about 5 vehicles on my neighborhood street.  When there was none all morning long.  Hubby is getting on my nerves a little bit.  He can sleep through anything, including a hurricane!  But the moment I pick up a book to read, he starts talking to me.  lol  Can a hurricane be used as a legitimate reason for going mad and strangling your husband?

Wet

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

It started somewhat as a sprinkle, but has gradually grown into a drizzle.  The rain has come, and has been raining since about 7 am, and has been steady ever since.  The winds are gusty, and have gusted to about 46 mph now.  Basically it looks like just another rainy day here.  We have had thunderstorms that were stronger than this.  But the weathermen tell us this is just a taste.  The worst is yet to come.  And when you see video from areas south of us and even some places here in BR, you can believe that the worst is yet to come.

Here’s what my backyard looks like right now:

 

A town about 1 hour south of us, LaPlace, had to shut off its water system.  They were afraid that the surge waters would contaminate their water.

Then there’s Plaquemines Parish, about where Isaac made its first landfall.¬† They have a local levee that has been overtopped by the surge, flooding the parish.¬† There were about 20 families stuck in their attics to stay safe from the flood.¬† And because of the gusting winds, rescue was slow to come, but it did come.¬† Shrimpers and other boaters are going roof to roof rescuing people.

Here in Baton Rouge there are trees down in the roads, traffic lights hanging from wires or out, and transformers and light poles down.

But, amazingly, we still have power!

The latest news has put Isaac back on land and heading towards us, but slowly — about 6 mph.¬† They say he should arrive near BR about 7 pm tonight.¬† That is, if it doesn’t stall again.¬† And the worst is yet to come with the winds and rain.

OH!  I just heard a transformer blow!  It was near our neighborhood, but apparently not on our line because we still have power.

More Postponements and More Waiting

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

It’s about 4:30 am, Wednesday morning.¬† Originally, we in BR were supposed to be seeing Hurricane Isaac this morning, but after landfall its eye bounced back out on the Gulf.¬† We’re waiting for another landfall.¬† Isaac just seems to be sitting there, and all predictions are now saying that BR won’t see the eye until about Thursday morning, 1 am.¬† So it will be another day of waiting out the storm.

We are getting effects of the winds.¬†¬† They are gusting to about 33 mph.¬† ¬†It’s too dark to see outside, but I can hear things scraping across the porch.¬† I’m hoping that table stays put.¬† It didn’t budge during Hurricane Gustav.¬† I awoke to the sounds of “someone” trying to open the front door.¬† It actually was the gusting winds messing with the door.

I don’t know yet if we even started to get rain.¬† All I hear is the wind.

At least we are still in power, and not one of the 5000 in BR that has already lost theirs.

Of all the hurricanes I have sat through.  This one is the most stressful.  Wait. Wait. Wait.

Power is back

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

We got power back after about 1 hour.¬† I guess it was a taste of what to come.¬† The neighbors were upset.¬† They were not planning on turning on their generator this early, burn up gas.¬† We didn’t turn on ours.¬† We waited to see if Entergy would fix it.

At 7 pm we have landfall near SW Pass of Mississippi River in Plaquemine’s Parish.¬† However, some of the eye is still over Barataria Bay and we could end up with another landfall.

Here in Baton Rouge, we are expecting the weather to begin about 6 am tomorrow morning, and getting really bad between noon and 6 pm.¬† That is, if Isaac doesn’t change his mind again.

A taste of What’s to Come

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

About 5 pm here.¬† Weather is still the same, only wind is stronger, just a stronger breeze.¬† Isaac was formerly declared a hurricane around 11:30 this morning.¬† We in BR were not expecting the real effects of the storm until tomorrow.¬† Just heavy winds and maybe some squalls later tonight.¬† However, at about 4:30 pm we lost power.¬† It’s sunny, and we have no power.¬† Entergy says they’re going to fix it. We’ll see.¬† After Gustav, we don’t have much faith in them.

Waiting for Isaac

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
It’s about 10 am here, and seems like just another day.¬† It’s partly cloudy, but the sun shines through in breaks in the clouds.¬† There’s a small, warm breeze.¬† It’s just like fall.

It’s a little eerie though.¬† I step onto my back porch and hear nothing.¬† There are no birds chirping and no squirrels chattering.¬† We don’t hear them, and we don’t see them either.¬† Even the neighborhood dogs are silent.

We finished our preparations yesterday, so we are just piddling.¬† We’re doing laundry so that if we do have clean clothes if we do eventually lose power.

We’re just sitting here waiting for the rain to come.¬† They say Baton Rouge will get some in the afternoon, but it’ll be worse for us tomorrow.

 

Postponements

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Well,¬† I’m still around.¬† Isaac is like a typical male — can’t make up his mind.¬† We are expecting to start feeling tropical storm winds after lunch today.¬†¬† But it looks like the hurricane won’t arrive until tomorrow afternoon or later.¬† This lolligagging over the Gulf just means it is going to be full of rain.¬† We are expecting 8 inches of rain within these 3 days, and more over the weekend.¬† New Orleans is expecting 10 – 20 inches.¬† They are predicting power outages to start late this evening around Baton Rouge, so we will see.

I don’t like these nighttime hurricanes.¬† I lived through one — Hurricane Rita.¬† It’s scarier than a daytime one.¬† You hear all these noises that sound so loud, and your imaginations go wild.¬† Rita had made it sound like it was tearing our roof off.¬† In a way it had; it had torn off some of the tin strips.¬† So a nighttime one is not one I’m looking forward to.

EBR finally announced that they were closing their schools in the late afternoon.  All of the other school systems had made their announcement before lunch.  They closed schools for Tuesday and Wednesday.  But if the storm keeps creeping and stalling, hubby might be home on Thursday, too.

We spent yesterday afternoon emptying the yard of anything that could become a projectile.¬† All my dragon chimes have been placed in the garage, along with my Hibiscus plant that I wanted to save.¬† Tommy mowed the grass.¬† This was to help with water drainoff.¬† Hopefully, it doesn’t get so bad that the water knocks down some more trees.¬† They wouldn’t fall on the house, but what’s a yard without trees?

I’ll check in periodically.

Preparations

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Well.  Maybe that clock was forecasting my future.

We are in the path of Isaac.¬† It should be a Cat 1 when it passes within miles of us (Baton Rouge).¬† Right now we will still be to the west, the tamer side.¬† But we will be so close to the eye, that we should experience alot of the hurricane force winds.¬† And they think the storm will move a little more west before all is said and done.¬† But it won’t be any worse than Hurricane Gustav, so please don’t worry about us.¬† In fact we may fare better.¬† Gustav took 5 of our trees, so we have no more trees near the house to worry about.

I had to go to Walmart this morning to get oil for the generator.¬† Tommy’s at school.¬† I was not looking forward to fighting the people or the lines.¬† I was happy that my visit would be short, for I had done my grocery shopping last Friday.¬† But I went early — 7 am — and there weren’t lines.¬† It was crazy what the people were buying though.¬† They had buggies full of milk, milk that would spoil if they lose electricity.¬† The chips were gone, but all the good food — canned goods and stuff like that– was untouched.

Today is so sunny.¬† It’s a very pretty day.¬† The calm before the storm, I’m sure.

If we lose power, we have a generator.¬† Tommy’s already bought enough gas to last us a few days.¬† That’s important because there will be lines and even stores that will not open right away.¬† I’ll be able to get on the Internet sporadically.¬† So I will check in and let you know I’m ok.

This will be the first hurricane that my children have not been in the house with me.¬† My daughter lives out of the affected area, but my son lives here in Baton Rouge.¬† He’s a 22-year-old boy, so you know how well they have prepared for that.¬† But that’s part of growing old, getting experience.

After resting a while, I will need to start moving my plants into the garage.  I have a pretty peach-colored hibiscus that I want to save, and some violets.  Hubby plans on mowing grass when he gets home tonight, and then will move all the lawn furniture inside.

Come to think of it, this will be the first hurricane that I will not be in school.  In prior years, I was kind of looking forward to the hurricane break, as frustrated as I was with school.  But now, I have nothing to look forward to.

Ok, so I’m off to hurricane-proof my yard.¬† Everyone have a great, safe week.