Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac: Days One and Two

I've been blogging on Blogger since 2006. It hit me today that I've never blogged a hurricane, though we survived Gustav in 2008. Granted, that one was a lot to deal with and blogging was the last thing on my mind. Gustav's the one who dropped a tree in my bedroom. Kind of hard to blog when you're without power for five days, without internet for nine and more worried about keeping the water out of the house.

Isaac is proving to be more difficult than usual for the computer models. They're only accurate about eight hours into the future. At this point he's just been upgraded to a category one hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph. Predicted landfall, which means the center of the storm coming ashore, is between Grand Isle and Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Houma will be getting a direct hit if he does indeed go ashore there.

These are the clouds above my house about forty minutes ago. They don't look anything special and there's no distinct spiral shape to them. A little unfortunate, because spiral band clouds are super cool. But I doubt we'll see any during the daylight. Looking out my window right now they're starting to get a little more dense and have some gray in them.

As the crow flies I live about 130 miles inland, in central Louisiana. For us to get hurricane force winds here the storm has to be a Cat 2 or 3 at landfall and moving pretty fast. Way faster than Isaac's pitiful 1o mph. We've gotten hurricane force winds only three times. Lili in 2002, who came ashore directly south of Lafayette and went straight up I-49. I live off I-49. Rita in 2005 who came ashore as a 3, and Gustav in 2008, a 2 at landfall. None of those storms were much fun, particularly the last two.

Day One of preparation was yesterday. Up here it consists of making sure you have bread, batteries, bottled water, lamp oil and in my house already ground coffee for the French press. We don't usually lose our water, even during Rita, but we always buy some bottled just in case. No such thing as too prepared. Day One also includes gassing up your vehicles and the gas cans for the generator. I had to drive ten miles north of where we live just to find a station that still had gas. Too many people got caught without the last two times and none of us will ever forget how miserable it was. All but one station by the house was already out by the time I left, and the lines were heinously long.

Yesterday I spent nearly an hour waiting in line gassing up my mom's car, putting some in the truck and filling gas cans. It's a normal part of getting ready. Several stations in town were out of gas by mid-afternoon and prices take a pretty significant jump. That's because a little over half the nation's gasoline refining capacity is located on the Gulf Coast, with at least a third of that right here in Louisiana. The refineries are shutting down in preparation for the storm.

The Saints are weathering the storm in Cincinnati and are scheduled to play the Titans Thursday night. However, Isaac's trajectory is still uncertain and he could rain out the game in Nashville. Drew Brees is very good, but even he'd have trouble throwing passes in 50 mph wind.

Today, Day Two, I woke up to wind. This morning it was coming and going, now it's fairly steady with occasional gusts. It will continue to pick up as the day goes on, though we'll probably top out at about 50 mph sustained. Especially if we stay on the west side of Isaac, which is the safer side. The rain will start arriving late this evening most likely. There's a band marching across Mississippi that'll probably make it here.

As a writer, what do I do to get ready? Since I have an Android phone, I'm making sure both my current WIP's are uploaded to my Google Drive with the most recent version for easy access on my phone if I need to look something up. I use Evernote to track stuff and I also have it on my phone. I have plenty of paper, and I'll be filling up my fountain pens this evening. We're planning to lose power, so when it goes off everything will get saved and I'll turn my computer off. Simple as that.

Provided I have power there will be another blog post tomorrow detailing Day Three.

13 comments :

  1. I pray you and your love ones are okay through this--in fact everyone along the Gulf Coast.

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  2. Thanks for the post. I have grandchildren and a great granddaughter in Lafayette and a daughter and son-in-law in Opelousas. So can't help being nervous. Although they don't seem too worried.

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    1. This one's really not anything big to worry about. It's just going to be very, very, very wet.

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  3. Thanks for the post, Rachel. You're in my prayers.

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  4. Thanks for keeping us Yankees up to date on what's happening down there. My good friend, Fay Lamb, loves hurricanes. Crazy woman. One time she actually called me while one was over her house so I could hear the wind.

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    1. As long as there's nothing landing on your house it can be a lot of fun. When the power goes out and we can't do anything but stay in the living room we play games. This time we have a new Doctor Who game we haven't played yet.

      Once clean up starts after the storm, though, the fun goes away real fast.

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  5. Stay safe, Rachel! Our daughter, who goes to school in Thibodaux, decided to get in the car and come home last night since they canceled classes all week. I'm so glad! She would have been pretty much right in the path! Praying for all who will get the high winds and so much rain! :)

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  6. Stay safe, Rachel. We're all praying.

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  7. I am so glad I went in July! Imagine me down there during a hurricane? LOL! Stay safe.

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  8. Praying Rachel, Having lived through "Carol" way back in the last century, I know a bit about Hurricanes. Blessings, Cass

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  9. Thanks for keeping us posted on the hurricane. I'm sure you're at least a bit nervous. Stay safe and God be with you.

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    1. Not nervous at all. Not with this one. If he was a 2 or 3 at landfall, yes, we'd all be a bundle of nerves. Just wishing he'd hurry up and get here instead of dilly-dallying.

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