9.07.2008

My Gustav Experience

*Phew* :)

We are finally home, with power and water. The city appears to have dodged the bullet with this one. All-in-all, hands down, the best evacuation vacation either me or the Lady has ever had...


Since you and I last spoke....After posting that I was signing off, I packed up the 'puter....we were up late that night trying to remember everything we needed to bring, trying to strategically stack everything in the truck to fit, while still leaving enough space for the 3 beasts (Biggie, Bunny, and Salvie, our cats)...we decided to leave in the morning, after very little sleep...the Lady's mother was coming with us so we headed over to her house, unpacked everything, repacked it all back into her Honda CRV (more space, yay!), and headed off...the initial plan was to go about 40 miles away, north to my sisters house "across the lake"....by then we were hearing horror stories about Contra-Flow, a plan used by the state to turn all interstate highways away from the city, even the incoming ones.....it can be VERY confusing, you are diverted to different highways, you have to know exactly where you need to go, because once you're on, there are very few chances to get off or turn around....we only needed to take the Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain to get out, so we didnt have to deal with the interstates or the mess of Contra Flow, but people spent ungodly amount of hours stranded in non-moving traffic trying to evacuate (18 hours from here to Alabama!!)....


We arrive at my sisters and discover they have become anxious and booked 3 hotel rooms, one for their family, one for us, and one for my grandparents. Turns out, something we hadnt considered, because the storm was headed just west of us, it was expected to force storm surge into the lake, flooding areas north of the lake, where we were going to be....Katrina headed east of us, which forced the surge south, flooding the southshore of the lake....so we no longer felt safe where we were, packed up the cars, and headed for Panama City FL, the closest hotel rooms we could find on short notice, and also a city to the east that would allow us to avoid Contra Flow (I'm not interested in having to keep a piss bottle in my car....plus, the thought of a million people suffering road rage on a non moving highway, and the fear of being stuck on the road when the storm hit, no thanks....) We managed to get there in 8 hours (wouldve been 6 except for the two hours in stopped traffic outside Pascagoula MS waiting for a trailer that had flipped to be removed from the highway)...


Our hotel was not the nicest of places, but we had cable and were less than a mile from the beach...I should mention that the Lady and I havent had a vacation since our honeymoon in '02, so we decided to make the most of it, and we absolutely did....we watched very little of the storm coverage, the media was mostly pissing me off, all hoping for something horrible to happen and seemingly disappointed when it looked like the levees were holding and everything would be (relatively) fine...the storm hit as a category 2, moderately weak, so I'm not completely convinced that the Army Corps of Engineers knows what they are doing with the levees, but I'm a little more at ease...


When we got home, we had no power or water, but also no trees in our roof or through our windows, so we were lucky...we had to endure the disgusting task of cleaning out our fridge again, and yesterday I braved the local walmart to try to restock some of the essentials, bread, milk, cheese....bad idea....its amazing how many people can fit in a super wal-mart....population of China, come on in!....Got me thinking, how is it fair for these stores to make such a profit at times like this? Shouldnt there be some sort of government issued food stamp to allow us to restock our supplies? Reimbursement for hotel maybe? There were for Katrina but those were extreme circumstances....As it stands, we had to use our rent money to cover expenses and now we are behind on bills....there should be a trade-off system, for every bag of rotten groceries you bring us, we'll give you a bag of fresh foods....


Anyways....I'm glad to be home in one piece....and I am definitely NOT going to mention Hurricane Ike right now.....talkatcha soon....



6 comments:

Darkstrider said...

Sounds like it went pretty smoothly. Great to hear it!! Contra-flow, eh? Weird, wild stuff. I've heard it all now! Actually crazy to think about, all the traffic on the highway going the same direction.... kind of makes sense in a perfect world scenario. Too bad we don't live in that world.

Anyway, just wanted to say welcome back (damn, that song is in my head again!) and I hope Ike don't give you no trouble.

gl. said...

hey, there! glad you're back safe and sound, though it sounds like you have returned to plenty o' troubles back home. *big hug*

UbaTuber said...

Thanks yous, and good news today, looks like Ike is headed further west, probably southern Texas....we can unpack!! :)

mefull said...

Sounds like an ordeal. Major hassles but no major damage, glad you all are safe.

jriggity said...

glad all is well man!

jriggity

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Oy vey... I found myself watching the news about Gustav on a TV in the waiting room of a hospital emergency ward... Another friend going through an unhappy drama at that same moment...

Very glad that both of your situations seem to be stable at this point. Ugly, worried weekend, that.