Thursday, September 4, 2008

Going home -- the continuing saga of Hurricane Gustav

We were debating when was the best time to start the trek back to New Orleans from our Hurricane Gustav Evacuation to Florida. Linda learned her parents were heading back to Mandeville because of the conditions in Alexandria, La where they had holed up from the storm, only to find it followed them. They told tales of tornadoes and a hotel without power. So on the road we were, leaving Perdido Key to the pelicans and other regulars who were showing back up.

We decided to try to meet them at their house to make sure things were okay. They weren't. The place looked normal and there was no damage, but there was also no power. That was not going to be tolerable for anyone for long in that stifling "after-the-hurricane" heat. Linda's dad is 87 and on oxygen so we needed better conditions.

We borrowed a generator from a friend, opened old wooden windows that hadn't be raised in years. Then we hooked up a big fan and try to blow air through the house. It worked somewhat, and got some that "closed-up-house" feeling out.

Her brother Danny showed up with a small window air conditioning unit a few minutes later and as darkness was stealing the light, the new appliance was shoved in the window and a cool, but not cold breeze poured out of it.

We decided we couldn't leave them alone. The unit could barely keep one room cool, so we all bunkered down in the living room (Linda, me, her parents, her mom's friend Ruth and Linda's sister Karen) on sofas, recliners, mattresses and what-have-you. We draped sheets over the open doorways to keep the cool contained.

All went well till this morning when Linda's dad got up to use the restroom. On the way back he slipped in the hall and split his head open. Off to the hospital with him we went. Probably a concussion.

It makes you realize how we depend on all the comforts that keep our society going. It also reinforces that warning that cities after hurricanes are filled with hidden dangers.

Hopefully power will be back up soon.

Gustav, goodby and good riddance.

--steve buser


Steve Buser said...

Everyone. Sory for not responding to your comments and visits. We are a little "internet poor" right now. As soon as we are back up to normal, I'll get around to visit.

Halcyon said...

The traffic on I-20 west was unbelievable yesterday! It was backed up for miles. It reminded me of France. Everyone leaves for vacation on the same day and the roads get so clogged. I've never understood that.

Sorry to hear about all your troubles. I hope you'll get home soon and back into your routines. Hope the father is ok too. Falls at that age can be serious.

PJ said...

Perdido Key sounded like a good place for you to lay low for a few days. So sorry to hear about your father-in-law but I'm glad you were there to help.
We found out about hidden dangers after Ivan. Next to the insurance companies the worst one we encountered was when someone up the street had a fence that was down and their pit bull got out and mauled my dog right in front of me. What saved us? A man across the street working on a reroof, his head covered in tattoos, got a broom off my neighbor's porch, jammed the end of the handle in the corner of the dog's mouth, and that released the jaws. I've never been so happy to see a bald man or a tattoo.
You just can't anticipate all the things that can happen. I hope things are better from here on out.

angela said...

What a nightmare for you all. Keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be back to normal as soon as possible.

photowannabe said...

How tramatic for your parents and stressful for all of you. Hope everyone can get settled and back to "normalcy"
Really thinking about all of you and hope the power comes on soon.

Sharon said...

So glad you are back, but sorry to hear about the troubles. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon. You pay a pretty heavy price for living in such a beautiful place.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Steve,
So sorry to hear about your father in law. It seems that older people are especially vulnerable during things like this.

Hope things have gotten better.

I hear that a crew from Meridian will be coming down to help with the power situation there. My son in law will be one of them!

My son hasn't gone back yet...they are not letting the students back on campus yet.

Will continue checking your blog for updates,

Chris said...

Just checking on you, Steve. GLad you are home. . .so sorry about the power and all. I hope things settle down soon. What a nightmare! I think you said it best. . .Good-bye and good riddance, Gustav.

Columbo said...

Hopefully things will get back to normal. Sorry about your father-in-law. Our prays are with you.

Lynette said...

First, Steve, I have to say thank you for that flock of pelicans' photo. It's super.

Second, I want to say that I'm glad y'all are together and safe, despite the heat and humidity and your father-in-law's fall.

Third, please don't worry about not being able to comment. I'm just so glad that you're getting to post because I know that being creative is taking your mind off things for a bit, even when you're posting about Gustav, because you're photographing and writing and sharing.

Thank you.

lavenderlady said...

Take care of yourself and your family. We can all wait.

Kelly said...

Sounds like you have bigger issues at hand than responding to comments on your blog. Sorry for your troubles, and I hope everyone is okay now?

Jules said...

Hi Steve - so glad you are ok but not good news about your Dad-in-law. It is so much more difficult when you get old isn't it??? Gustav could have been so much worse but it has certainly turned everything upside down.
Take care and see ya when normality arrives.

Jilly said...

What a time you are having. I'd heard on the television that so many areas still lack electricity. Do hope Linda's father makes a quick recovery and that things get back to normal soon.

Thanks for the updates. it personalises the hurricane but am just sorry it's so difficult. Guess it could have been even worse!

Louis la Vache said...

Steve, thank you for the update. "Louis" sincerely hopes Linda's father has recovered by now, even knowing the wound won't heal that quickly.

Louis la Vache said...

No need to apologize for not visiting, Steve. Everyone understands. On the other hand, we want you to know you have our support even if we can't be there with you.

Chris said...

Oh, Steve. I certainly hope Ike isn't heading your way!

teahouse said...

Found your site via NYC Daily Photo. I'm from Louisiana originally and used to live in New Orleans. I remember evacuating for Georges in 1998. Sigh. I'm sorry that things have been so unsettled! Hopefully they're back to normal now.