Monday, September 08, 2008

Gustav Redux

My family is still suffering down in Baton Rouge. Again, I am so amazed that there is no national news about this tragedy. Before I get to my tale, I want to share some photos from the Entergy website (Baton Rouge's main power supplier).

I know the power companies are working so hard. my own cousin has been working 16 hour days. But he gets to go home and sleep in his own bed and see his kids.

The fact that the power is so slow to come back on is a testament to how much damage there is.

Crews of linemen going to work.

This is where some of the hundreds of linemen that came to work from other states had to bunk. These men leave their homes and families, live in rough conditions and work extraordinarily long hours to help people get power.

One of my favorite photos of Hurricane Gustav damage. Not only did he have his way with this transmission line, he clearly mopped the grass with it!

While my mom has had power since 6 p.m. Saturday and the local news there has been claiming since Sunday that their whole neighborhood has power, in reality, my sister's area only had their power back about an hour ago.

Today, my sister had one of her annual PET scans. This test is always approached with a great deal of anxiety in my family. It can tell if there is cancer anywhere in her body. What would normally be a short drive to the hospital took them over an hour and a half because of downed power poles and malfunctioning lights... and idiot drivers who don't know the "if in doubt, STOP!" rule! While they were inside getting her test (all clear! YEAH!), someone punctured their wind shield.

My brother-in-law had to deal with paying for the two generators he picked up from a former client the last Tuesday. He expected they were "about $400." They were over $1300!!! My mother was having a cow! But, I did a quick search for their model number and found that's a more than fair price. They weren't being gouged. But it is an extra expense.

The generator itself was both a blessing and a curse. My mom found it to be so loud that it rattled her nerves. She took to running it off and on just to have some relative quiet. Not much quiet as all the neighbors seemed to have loud gennys too! And then both households spent close to $150 on fuel each ...not counting that they had to drive 25 - 30 miles at time and wait on line for more than an hour to buy the fuel.

But now that the power is back on, I'm hopeful that a little air conditioning, a well stocked fridge, a working electric stove will calm nerves and allow them all to heal.


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Linda@VS said...

Holly, I just heard on the news that 40 percent of Baton Rouge residents are still without power eight days after the hurricane. One of my co-workers said Entergy told her family it would be at least another week before they get power. Another co-worker had five trees fall on his property, including one whose roots ripped up his gas line as they pulled out of the ground. Talk about stressful!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the media thinks that unless entire neighborhoods are destroyed, it's not worth reporting that people are without power. I wonder if that would be different if the reporters had no power for days or weeks and their workplaces were unusable due to power outages. I guess reporters have generators and the stations have generators so they don't think it's anything to fuss about. Plus, I bet they're looking at Ike-when that one is over they'll go back to reporting about the damage to Baton Rouge. Just wait.