Sunday, August 31, 2008


1) Hurricanes - Pat O'Brians
2) Gustav, over land

So, another whirly beast heading for Louisiana. Still too soon to say exactly where it'll go ashore, but it does look like a big storm and likely to get stronger as it crosses the Gulf.

Talked to my sister, who lives just outside Baton Rouge a few minutes ago, and I'll call my mother in a little while, to see if they've battened down. B.R. is more than a hundred miles inland and usually doesn't get the same wind-level as New Orleans. We went through a couple bad ones in the mid-sixties, Hilda and Betsy. The latter was a Category-4, and only a knot shy of being a C-5. Went through the eye of that one. Eerie sensation, that. Wind coming from one direction at more than a hundred miles an hour, then dead calm, ear-popping drop in pressure, followed by sudden fierce wind from the opposite direction.

We lost a couple of trees and some shingles in that one.

I am here to tell you that throwing a beer bottle into the teeth of a wind blowing at a hundred and ten miles per hour is not the smartest thing to do. Good way to brain yourself if you don't duck fast.

Driving times from of New Orleans are horrendous at the moment, even with all the roads one-wayed out of the city, and it is a mandatory evacuation. Say it could take up to eight hours to get to Baton Rouge, which is only seventy miles up the interstate.

Board it up, tie it down, and good luck, Louisiana.

Storm tracking link here.

Animated satellite view here.


Brad said...

They'er evacuating here in Texas too. Heard someone took 6 hours to get from Baytown to Houston. It's normally an hour and a half tops.

We got a little wind and rain from the last 2 big ones, Rita and Katrina. Not much rain, but the winds were enough to roll my dog across the back yard. And Houston is quite a ways from NOLA.

Steve Perry said...

My dogs are built lower to the ground ...

Sorry we didn't get a chance to visit when you were up in Seattle -- hope you had a chance to work with Bobbe ...

Anonymous said...

If I knew a Category 4 hurricane were coming I'd evacuate, too. Then I'd get out of town.

Brad said...

Quite a few chances to work out with Bobbe, had lots of fun. And Chimay.

My dog is a SHih Tzu, she was about 7 months old when the winds came thru. I got that "Why me?" look from her.

Hope your mom and sister are doing okay.

Steve Perry said...

My parents and sister and family are all doing okay so far. Sister lost part of her wooden fence, and the top of a tree snapped off and fell into the neighbor's yard.

My mother's trees have lost some big branches, including one that fell on the roof but didn't break through enough to admit rain.

They are in the worst of it now, big rain and wind -- gusts to ninety, power and cable are out at both houses, but both have auxiliary generators, so they have lights. Phones were still working an hour ago. Middle of a hard driving rain, temperature still in the eighties.

Power company won't come out until the wind drops below thirty mph sustained.

And this was just a little ole Category-2 by the time it got there.

Brad said...

Glad to hear they are doing good. My wife is amazed that we have not had even the fringes of the storm this time. Yet. Expecting some rain, but we aren't getting anything like with Kat or Rita.

Water over the levees in NOLA, but it appears that the evacuation may have done some good.

steve-vh said...

Sat through one in Conneticut back in the '70s as a kid. Lots of rain, awesome wind for our skateboards. We made the first skatesails back then!
Couldn't understand back then why they wouldn't let us stay up and watch, made us sleep in the crawlspace.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, that was always the problem for me -- I liked the sound and fury, wanted to be in it. Before Katrina, hurricane parties were common, especially farther north from the coast. Get drunk go outside when the win was gusting to twice the speed limit on the freeway, hoot and holler.

There was stuff flying around that would have taken our heads off and we were passing lucky that never happened.

My folks probably had fifty trees on their property when we moved there, year I was thirteen. Now, they have half that many, and all of the ones they lost were in storms; mostly hurricanes, some in regular thunder-bumpers. Only one fell on the house, and that one was close enough so it only had a couple feet of leaning before it got there, so it didn't do any real damage.