Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Comes to Town

8-31-08, 8:27 pm. Staring Into the Cone of Uncertainty

After much preparation and anticipation, hurricane Gustav headed straight for us. Of course I made the usual preparations: cleaned house and ensured all the laundry was clean in case we were without electricity for days, bought food that needed little or no preparation, charged all the batteries for the flashlights and portable TV, put all of our family photos and important documents in Ziploc bags and plastic totes for easy transportation, packed overnight bags, fueled up the cars, and made sure we had enough junk food to keep us happy. Oh, and Sporty - The Dog that Adopted Us, followed me into the house at one point, made herself comfortable on the couch and it was obvious that she was here to ride the storm out.

Sunday night when I had completed preparations, Sean asked if I had happened to pick up ingredients for chocolate chip cookies while I was out shopping. I told him that it just so happened that I had. He asked if I could bake some cookies because that would really make it a less stressful situation. So...I baked eight dozen cookies Sunday night and cleaned the kitchen all over again!

Monday morning we awoke to clear skies but it didn't take long for the first bands to appear. Then came the strong breezes, then came the wind and the rain. We lost power around 11:30 a.m. Sean and I watched the events unfold through the storm door in the family room. The worst of the storm hit from around 3:00 - 3:30 pm and we had the girls "camp out" in our walk in closet with lots of pillows, blankets, a flashlight and their Nintendo DS games.

The winds were incredible. At one point they made a deep, rumbling noise that we could feel in our bones. It was like a caravan of 18-wheeles was passing through. It was awesome and scary at the same time. The rain seemed to take the form of sheets in the wind, billowing horizontally. The water rose quickly but as soon as the eye passed over us and the rains stopped, the water drained just as quickly. Luckily the southern wall of the eye had collapsed so we didn't get the second round of strong storms that you would usually expect.

We were lucky - didn't lose a single shingle off our roof. Some of our neighbors weren't as luckily, but still faired well. Quite a few large trees fell, but for the most part missed homes and structures - sometimes by inches.

We are very thankful that we didn't get a stronger storm and that we made it through safe and sound.

To see the description for a slideshow image, click on it.

This video shows the winds picking up as Gustav approaches.

This video was shot from the back door. It shows the rain blowing horizontally.

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