The storm formally known as Hurricane Isaac is now making its way to Baton Rouge. The winds are still at a maximum sustained 70mph which makes this still a powerful storm, but nothing compared to the sheer power of Katrina and others. Starting last night, we’ve had pretty consistent rainfall. The wind has gradually picked up over the course of the day. We still have electricity and the boys were able to get in a full day of school (girls are still working on theirs).
I have a somewhat (okay… very) obsessive habit of checking the NHC and the weather radar. No matter how many times I visit those sites, the outlook is the same. It’s a slow moving storm headed our way. As the gusts pick up and the wind starts to howl, the radar indicates what my eyes see. I suppose it is my way of passing the nervous time.
Connie’s family in New Orleans is doing well. Most, but not all of them have lost electricity and they’ve also had at least one instance of a leaking roof. Not ideal, but it could always be much worse. We are hoping to keep our power as long as possible. We should be seeing increasingly strong weather over the next 12-18 hours.
Update on Friday 8/31: Looks like the storm has finally moved on to the north. Hopefully those suffering drought conditions will get some rain. We never lost electricity at home although several our friends did and their power hasn’t been restored. We are very thankful, but are reminded of those that still have water in their home.
This morning as I got to my computer, one of the first things to do was to head over to the National Hurricane Center and get the latest on Isaac. It was a good news, bad news sort of thing. The good news is that Isaac is still a tropical storm and hasn’t intensified as much as anticipated. The bad news is that the storm track prediction has the eye passing over our neighborhood. A good site for seeing the detailed track is the Storm Advisory site. The storm is still predicted to grow in wind speed, but it should be at less than 75 mph (maximum sustained winds) when it passes Baton Rouge.
We’ve had storm systems pass through this year that were about as bad. Of course this one will be a little longer lasting. I can already see the banded clouds of the feeder bands moving in the morning sky, so this evening should see a more dramatic shift in the weather. Our plan is to stay here through the storm and then depending on the state of the electrical power grid, we will decide whether to take a short vacation while the local electric companies get things fixed. We have a new roof on our house and the “trees of death” were removed a couple years ago, so I expect that we will do fine.
The price as the pump for gas has spiked in recent days, increasing more than $0.50 per gallon. With long lines, most filling stations are running out of gas. The stores (especially big grocery stores like Walmart) have been picked over and the feeding frenzy continues. I’m always a little surprised by the behavior of the general population in the face of these storms. We have enough supplies to make it through the week and I don’t expect to stay around in the case the stores are damaged by the storm. I haven’t been to the store and I don’t expect to make a trip. I have over three quarter of a tank of gas in my truck and that should take the family and me out of the impacted zone. We’ve got battery backup units that will supply phone and radio power in the interim. So now I’ll just get back to the waiting game.
Tuesday Afternoon Update: Isaac is officially a hurricane. They expect the winds to top out at 85 mph along the coast. Filled up an extra bottle of propane for use with my grill (which is strapped down). Getting breezy here, but you can tell that everyone has already taken care of business. You see people out walking around enjoying the breeze. We are down to just charging devices and waiting for tomorrow morning.
Wednesday Morning Update: Family members in New Orleans are reporting that their power is out. We still have power, but the winds have been gusting through the night. Not as much rain as I expected, but the storm has stalled and has not moved significantly closer to us. It looks like this evening will be the worst for us.
During Hurricane Gustav (and Katrina as well), we were really nervous about the very large trees (two largest were water oaks) looming over our house. I not so affectionately named them the Trees of Death. And with good reason since they really were large enough to cause catastrophic damage to us as well as our house. When I talked to neighbors after the storm, it seemed that they all had the same thing in mind. With a couple of them thinking that it might hit their house instead (they were large trees). I had decided that as long as those trees were up, we wouldn’t stay for another storm.
Continue reading Trees of Death No More
It’s always a strange feeling when you realize that wishing for something good for you means bad things for someone else. That’s the business you get into when you hope that the hurricane doesn’t hit you. That’s where I found myself this week. Coming off the pummeling that we got from Gustav, the Baton Rouge area really couldn’t take much more (not to mention south Louisiana which is getting some rough stuff again). Watching the storm forecasts out of the National Hurricane Center, I just didn’t want it to come to us. Maybe the less dense area of south Texas would be best. Just go somewhere that isn’t densely populated or better yet.. just dissipate.
Unfortunately, Ike is now headed to the Greater Houston area. This is probably one of the most densely populated areas in the southern US. “Hey Ike, I didn’t want you to go there either.” Not only that, but I have a lot of people that I care about (family and friends) in Southwest Louisiana also and they are on the more dangerous side of the storm. Looking at the wind fields and the shear size of this storm, I think it is much more deadly (and carries a lot more energy) than it’s category implies. I hope that I’m wrong in thinking that there will be significant damage in the area of it’s land fall. Please be in prayer for those that are in the storms path and in particular pray that the storms size and wind field would be reduced.
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