Gustav is knocking on the door… don’t answer it and maybe he’ll go away!

1 Sep

It’s about 2:00 am, and all is well…

It’s the calm before the storm…

Hurricane Gustav is just offshore, and headed for landfall. And, it looks like the levee’s are going to get tested again.

Here in Mississippi, we’ve gotten some rain and high winds already, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming… it looks like we may get a LOT of rain, and even some pretty good tidal surge, but the bullet is aimed, once again on Louisiana. All the models are starting to converge on the SW area of Louisiana, just shy of New Orleans.

And I’m not talking about Tyra Banks, or Heidi “whats-her-name.” Hey, I’ve got nothing against her, I just can’t remember her name. And anybody who loves “Seal” can’t be all bad. That guy can really sing!

But I almost wish that reality show “I’m a washed up hag of a supermodel/harpy” Janice was there. Maybe a building would fall on her. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen to “wicked witches?” LOL!

I can’t wait to see what the press, and those who wax philosophical are gonna do with that. Remember last time? We heard all about wrath, and sin, and repentance…

I hope that this time, we hear about help, and compassion, and caring. This part of the US has gotten pounded for the last several years, and it’s starting to make me think that building a house out of steel isn’t that crazy after all…

So, it appears that the “City Beneath Sea Level”  (8′ below) is about to get another dose of reality, Mother Nature Style. This time, people are listening. New Orleans, and most parts of the LA/MS Gulf Coast, have become ghost towns. Biloxi is all but abandoned. The only thing we’re seeing on the streets is the occasional police car, and HumVees. It’s an exodus of biblical proportions…

Even the casinos are shut down. So, we KNOW that people are listening. And while we ponder what else they’re listening to, here’s what I’m listening to;

Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks

Here’s what people in New Orleans are “listening to” on the TV;

The guys and gals at MSNBC are telling us that a historic evacuation of nearly 2 million people from the Louisiana coast is seemingly complete, as gun-toting police and National Guardsmen stood watch while rain started to fall on this city’s empty streets…

The storm is getting set to crash ashore sometime late Monday morning with frightful force, testing the three years of planning and rebuilding that followed Katrina’s devastating blow to the Gulf Coast. The storm has already killed at least 94 people on its path through the Caribbean.

Painfully aware of the failings that led to that horrific suffering and more than 1,600 deaths, this time officials moved beyond merely insisting tourists and residents leave south Louisiana. They threatened arrest, loaded thousands onto buses and warned that anyone who remained behind would not be rescued.

Col. Mike Edmondson, state police commander, said he believed that 90 percent of the population had fled the Louisiana coast. The exodus of 1.9 million people is the largest evacuation in state history, and thousands more had left from Mississippi, Alabama and flood-prone southeast Texas.

Late Sunday, Gov. Bobby Jindal issued one last plea to the roughly 100,000 people still left on the coast: “If you’ve not evacuated, please do so. There are still a few hours left.”

Here in Mississippi, it’s not quite so sophisticated. The local authorities are telling us “to either batten it down, or get the hell out.” Where I live, there was a mandatory evacuation scheduled for Sunday afternoon. It’s based on which “zone” you fall into, based on address. But, as the storm progresses, it’s clear that although the weather is going to get really rough, it’s not gonna be another Katrina, at least not here.

We’re gonna get some high water, to be sure. But how high is anyone’s guess. The wind is gonna howl. And I suspect that a career in “roofing” would be a real asset right now. Time will tell. Until then…

It seems like the minutes go by like hours. Life seems to slow way down when you’re waiting for a hurricane to slam into you. We knowing it’s coming, but no one really knows how bad it’s going to be. And with that, comes the raw nerves,and the giddy “Man, are we gonna get spanked!” vibe…

We’ve done everything that we can do, and we’ve made our peace with what’s to come. And as crazy as it sounds, I’m not even that nervous. Hurricanes are hurricanes and they’re coming for you, no matter what you do.

Here’s the latest update I’ve heard that seems “reasonable;”

Hurricane Gustav is now about 200 miles away from the US mainland and will be making landfall around midday Monday. Hurricane warnings are in effect from High Island, TX to the Florida/Alabama border. Persons who are in the hurricane warning area should finish everything they need to protect their belongings and their safety NOW. This storm is extremely dangerous. As of 11 pm, winds remained near 115 mph and the pressure was 954 millibars. While there is about 12 hours of opportunity for Gustav to strengthen, it will probably be about the same intensity or just a little higher at landfall. New Orleans will be in the right-front quadrant of the storm, which typically has the highest storm surge. If the storm surge goes right into the city, it could be awful news.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm surge is expected to be 10 to 14 feet to the east of where the storm makes landfall. Hurricane force winds extend outward 70 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds 220 miles. At 1am, New Orleans reported wind gusts to 33 mph and the storm is over 200 miles away. For those of you who made it out of harms way, good job! For those who stayed in your homes, hunker down because the worst of the storm will be tomorrow morning.

So now you know as much as we do. As my wife and I get ready for the storm to get here, we’re holding our new son, and thinking about how blessed we are, in spite of everything around us.

If you’re near us, and you’re reading this… Help everyone you can. It’s how healing starts.

Good luck, and stay tuned!

Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks – My Favorite Version!
(No pictures of doom and gloom, and good production values)

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