My Hurricane Gustav Experience | Giftie Etcetera: My Hurricane Gustav Experience

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Hurricane Gustav Experience

Monday - noon

The storm really blew up. The winds were bending all of the trees sideways. The sounds were terrifying. It looked like a tornado was outside my home, except that the winds all blew in a single direction. There was a huge bang. Our tv satellite (not currently in use since we have cable) crashed into our bedroom window. Alan rushed outside in the rain and wind, to keep the satellite from bursting through our window.

A chimney tumbled across our neighbor's yard. It was about to crash into things. Alan went outside, gathered the pieces, and put them out of the way. There was a huge hole in my neighbor's ceiling.

Tornado warning near our home.

Monday - 2 p.m.

We lost electricity. It started to get hot. Suddenly, we heard a huge crash. BOOM! Alan shouted, "Ander, RUN!" We saw the branches of our HEALTHY tree, smashed against our kitchen window. We looked up, but no tree came through the ceiling. Ander and I tucked into the hallway to wait out the next two hours, while Alan checked. By a MIRACLE, the tree did not damage our house or car at all. Had it fallen a few inches in any direction, there would have been extensive damage.

Monday - 4:30 p.m

The storm dwindled to rain and light wind. We went outside and surveyed. Debris was everywhere. My friend's roof was seriously damaged. We lost shingles. Our gassed up car was stuck, because of the huge tree in the driveway.

Monday night

It was hot and muggy. We put batteries in the walkman and listened to the news. Ander was very upset because the tree took his lights and "tt" (tv). We knew the milk was getting bad in the fridge. We ate junk food. It was like the end of the world.


My family was on their way home. No one could get near my house. Our cell phones weren't working. And I was contracting. We had Easy cheese, crackers, and apples for lunch. It was sweltering hot. My contractions got to 1 to 1 1/2 minutes long, every three minutes. But no phone. Only a half tank of gas in the only vehicle we could get out of the driveway, considering the downed tree. And no way to know how to get to the hospital around the downed trees.

Finally, my family showed up. They took Ander, consolidated cars, and left us a vehicle with more gas. Alan packed for the hospital and to evacuate from home. He dumped all food in the fridge and the freezer. We boxed the dry food and bottled waters and took baths with candle light and a washcloth and soap. We headed for the hospital.

It took an hour to get to the hospital, because there were no working red lights. The hospital had no power, except in critical sections like the NICU and to power monitors and computers. It was sweltering hot. They hooked my up. At first, the monitor wasn't right and it showed no contractions, though I was having some. They fixed the monitor. My contractions were still every 3 minutes and regular.

Finally, they checked me, but I'm still not dialating more. Without electricity, there was nothing else they could do. I did get a hot cafeteria meal and then they sent me home. We drove out to my sister's, closer to New Orleans, because, frankly, Baton Rouge was really hard hit. There was 0% power in our area, including Baton Rouge, except for generators at the hospitals.

We sleep in my sister's camper, hooked up to a generator, so we had air. I still had regular contractions all night, but the went away.


Things went better. We ate well. Everyone had to cook the meat from their freezers, or it would rot. So we had jambalaya for lunch and fried fish, shrimp, and chicken for supper. Using camping supplies and a propane stove, we were able to cook. Wednesday afternoon, because my sister lives next to a hospital, she got power! Thank goodness, because we were running out of gas for the generator. We were running out of ice to keep milk and water cool. 75% of her parish does not have power still today, and some parts will not get it until 3-4 weeks from now.


I started having strange pains. My doctor was in the hospital, but unavailable by phone. I called my aunt, a nurse. Apparently, I have a bladder infection. No pharmacies near us were open, of course, so we thought we'd have to drive for an hour (without much gas) to get meds.


My house has power. (Still, most people don't). A pharmarcy by my house has power, so I get my meds. I am not contracting. I slept last night.

Things are not perfect. There's not lots of food. Grocery stores are coming on, slowly, but lines are long and perishables are hard to get. Alan can wait in line, or he can take care of us. It's impossible to do both.

But we are healthy and safe. We have a home. We can invite friends who don't have power and don't expect it anytime soon.

Please, though, if you are not from here, realize the New Orleans was spared, but BATON ROUGE WAS NOT SPARED. It is bad. People are getting sick, from everything from food poisoning to heat exhaustion. We are limping through.

I am 35 weeks today. Just one more week of bedrest...not that I can do much anyway because of the discomfort. And I have internet!!!



pacatrue said...

Wow, well, good thoughts are with you.

Frog said...

Yeah!! Glad to see you have electricity and internet!

ShannonK said...

So, so glad you are in your own home with power. HUGS

Sue said...

make sure cooking on camping stoves is done outside. The propane can make people sick. That was a common problem up here when we lost power for a few days.

My heart turns for you. I am sitting here wishing I could fly you to nice safe Canada. Well, my area is safe. No hurricanes. I just want to reach through the computer and give you guys food and help you out.

This has to be so scarey. I couldn't imagine going through this. I wish I could do something to help. I really do.


will be praying.

Stac Cole said...

I know where we will be hanging out once we return from Texas :)

We came to the in-laws yesterday (Thursday) to get some a/c and television. I almost rather the insane heat and no television :)

We will return on Sunday because we both have to be at work on Monday. Still projecting 2-4 WEEKS before we get power (way too many trees and lines down around us). Not sure when Bren will be back in school, but I can drop him by your house on my way to work so he can help you out with whatever you need. Just call me on my cell and let me know. Monday is still a long ways away as far as electricity is concerned, but since the school is less than 2 miles from us, it doesn't look hopeful.

OH, and DJ and Mo-Mo Billie have power. But my parents do not and neither does any one else on the street.

Giftie Etcetera said...

Stac - Y'all come over anytime. We have couches to sleep on and lots of toys (like xbox). Sounds like Maw Maw Billie's house is too crowded anyway!

missyc said...

I'm glad you're all OK and baby is still cooking... HUGS!!

Anonymous said...

I am really glad to hear y'all are okay. I was worried about you. Keep me updated on how the baby and family are doing.
If you need to escape for awhile, y'all are always welcome here.

Love and Hugs,

Stac Cole said...

Give me a call and let me know if there are any hard to find groceries that we can bring you from Texas. According to the school board website, lunch next week will consist of water and MRE' needless to say, my kids will be packing lunches. haha. We'll stock up on bread and sandwich meats, but I imagine those are hard to come by near us.

Anonymous said...

If Ike heads this way, you are also welcome to stay at our place. Probably lose power (did during Gustav) but no other damage and closer to hospitals. Just a thought. - D & J