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This is the full update [Sep. 3rd, 2005|01:27 pm]
Finally time to sit down and write a respectable update. I’ve been dizzy all day today and now I am happily laying on the couch listening to Kate, Keith and Cat playing munchkin. But I didn’t really feel up to the task of sitting upright and thinking.

I figured I’d shed some light on the last few days.

Monday evening everyone was scouting the damage. Baton Rouge wasn’t in terribly bad shape. Pretty widespread power loss and trees and limbs down all over the place. The interstate looked like it had been carpeted in leaves and swept only on the driving lanes.

Livingston Parish was completely dark. They had taken all the power trucks from out here to Baton Rouge. Governor Blanco felt that they needed to get the metropolitan areas back on first. I somewhat understand the thought process there. There are hospitals and such there more capable of holding injured and ill people. However, places like this that do not have safe drinking water and must boil it, well..we can’t. We need electricity to boil water.

The lines at the gas stations are, without a doubt, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Cars filling up with 4 or 5 gas cans on top are becoming a common sight. Every time Kate or I have gone to the gas station, we’ve topped off our tanks and filled the gas cans for running the generator.

Now, I have to say that the “basics” being all we’ve got has been kind of nice. Sitting around and playing games by candlelight and cooking with what we have to work with has led to some extremely nice memories. Allow me to share with you last night’s dinner.

Cheesy Potato Soup

4 large baking potatoes
1 large onion
1 packet of powdered cheese for popcorn
1/4 lb of ham
1/3 cup of powdered milk
Enough water to cover potatoes in pot

We made the soup on the Coleman stove.

This morning and yesterday morning I had a banana for breakfast. I think I’m actually eating healthier during this than I have in months.

On Tuesday I had a minor shitty thing happen. The storm had passed and I suspected that chaos was going to ensue. I was a little frazzled and decided I was going to try to make the trek to Atlanta and spend a little time in my father in law’s recording studio. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any gas to fill up with before I left.

Thinking that as I moved further north I would find an open gas station, I drove on. Unfortunately, this was not the case. When I got to the point that I realized if I didn’t turn around, I was going to get stuck too far away for anyone to help me, I headed back toward Baton Rouge.
I didn’t quite make it. I was in between Holden, LA and Walker, LA when I decided that I had pushed it too far and pulled over. I called Keith and Kate to come get me.

On our way down the interstate we saw a sign saying that Denham Springs had gas. So we went an exit further and filled Kate’s car up and filled up the gas can to take back to my car.

I already had a headache and the gas fumes pushed me right over the edge into migraine. By the time we got back to my car I was riding with my head out the window to get oxygen and my eyes closed to avoid the light. Keith drove my car and we caravanned back to their house.

I promptly laid down in the bed with a ziplock bag full of ice behind my neck and passed out from the pain of the headache. When I woke up I felt great. The heat was a little oppressive but I really did feel a ton better.

On Wednesday evening, all of the people from Kate’s office had power back and one of them offered up their generator. We took my car and loaded up the gennie and hooked up a window unit and the small fridge.

Last night we did finally plug in the TV for about an hour because we felt awfully out of the loop. We’d heard the radio but hadn’t really seen much in the way of images. We avoided the big national news programs as they are engaging in a fair bit of sensationalism. That’s not to say the images aren’t real, however, at least locally we are debunking rumors and trying to keep things honest.

There is looting. There is shooting. Having a generator at the moment is like inviting people to rob you. I’ve learned how to load and shoot a winchester and a 357 magnum. There are speed loaders for the 357. I haven’t actually shot them, but I’ve been told what to expect should I need to.

The helicopters are flying overhead back and forth to other areas. Tensions are high. People are stressed. Some are handling that stress well. Some are not.

One thing is for sure. Life will be forever changed for me, my family and my state. Economy will change. Attitudes will change. Katrina is now going to be a part of Louisiana History.

Remember during last hurricane season when I explained how I love hurricanes but I never want to see any loss of life or damage to property? This is what I was talking about. There was nothing beautiful about Katrina. We knew New Orleans would not weather a storm of this magnitude well. Unfortunately, all those years of discussion were tested and failed miserably. New Orleans will never be the same.

There’s my update. We’re all alive and healthy. The kids have been out of school and at last report, Tuesday will be their first day back.

I’ve got a few pictures of the aftermath that I’ll show later. I’m actually writing this update in Word so that I don’t have to plug the cable modem in for too long at a time.

I’m a little nervous about how the job hunt and/or filing for unemployment is going to go. But I know I’ll be okay. I have plenty of skills that can be put toward the re-build efforts, so I know I’m employable.



[User Picture]From: jaylana
2005-09-03 11:06 pm (UTC)

Thank you Hollywaffle

You were the last we were waiting for word from; I, in my infinite wisdom, fairly to record the fucking phone number before I closed the window it was in.

My best friend stayed at her home in New Orleans, we lost contact with her on Monday. Knowing Joe (and later finding out his two brothers, father, and grandmother) were with her, I didn't worry about her...until the levees broke. My friend for more than half my life, I have never succeeded at making her a good swimmer; I'd made sure she could manage to get out of our pool if she got tossed in, but never gotten her to leave the safety of the shallow end. I've known the feel of sudden total terror now. The last address I'd had for her was on St. Charles. With water everywhere? Utterly frightening. Thankfully she was able to finally get through to her parents on Thursday. We had already set up a communication 'train'. Her to mom and dad, and they to the rest of us. I cried with her dad Wednesday night while we waited, and with her grandmother after the good news on Thursday.

And since then...waiting for word of you and holding close to the knowledge that you were saved at least the harshest of the winds and the water.

I'll pour the syrup.
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