A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, September 01, 2008

Limbs and Looters and Drug Seekers

According to CBS News, nearly two million people evacuated South Louisiana as hurricane Gustav approached. I spent most of the day at the hospital, working. The emergency department was filled with drug seekers who claimed to have left their sanity preserving tablets behind. It wasn't an easy day, and I found it hard to be empathetic.

Between cases, I stole glances at the weather channel to keep tabs on things. The industrial canal levees were impressive, but the most memorable on the spot coverage was a reporter who pointed out that some limbs were bent, and that the parking lot with speed bumps above the water she stood in was "flooded." I suppose she was an Arizona reporter. We have been lucky. Power is out all across the state, but here, the lights stay lit, and the air conditioner churning, although once in a while the lights dim or flicker. The winds are still rattling the window panes. Limbs are down and the store shelves are bare, but there are a few cheerful signs.

Amazingly, the price of gasoline went down. Most people, myself included filled the gas tanks of our cars on Friday or Saturday at $3.89 a gallon. Today, gas is $3.59 a gallon. Looting has been curtailed in South Louisiana by announcing that looters would be bused directly to Angola and housed among the general population. This was odd, as pointed out by one blogger, as those accused are held in jails, while those convicted go to penitentiaries.. But then, there was a report of at least two looters, Thomas Battenburg of Arabi and Kelcy Price of Ponchatoula who experienced just that surprise. Angola. The Farm. Famous for "Dead Man Walking" and the Angola Prison Rodeo. Louisiana State Penitentiary. LSP stands for something else among the prison population, "Last Slave Plantation." True or not, the threat of Angola seems to have been effective.

It's looking like the levees held in New Orleans. Grand Isle and Lafitte were hit the hardest, it seems. Lafitte is still fighting rising water. It makes the limb that dropped across the roof of my veranda an hour or so ago seem small potatoes.

We are still waiting for confirmation that the worst is over. It's somewhat understandable why some people chose to stay in New Orleans, saying the hurricanes "always turn." Picking up one's life every two weeks and running from a storm during hurricane season can be trying. I suppose a lot of people feel rather silly for evacuating. I know I feel rather silly in my precautions. I'm just thankful that the evacuees will have a place to go home to, and perhaps by the middle of the week things will be back to normal. Tonight, a curfew is in effect. Tomorrow, after the blow is over, I will fire up the chainsaw and deal with the limb on the roof and any more that may fall tonight.



Blogger Bob said...

Glad things are working out well so far. Be careful when cutting those limbs, make sure someone is home with you before you begin working.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous DocN said...

NEVER feel silly for taking reasonable precautions. That's why we have auto insurance and fire extinguishers- we hope never to need them, but are damn glad to have 'em when we do.

Also known as the old adage, it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.


8:29 PM  
OpenID sirmontalvo2 said...

so far so good... I have been thinking about everyone down there... wish everyone the best.

8:44 PM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

I'm happy that you damage was minimal. As Bob wrote, be careful when you start your clean up.

Take care.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

AZ reporter...classic. Hope the powder stays dry and unspent.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Travlin said...

Glad your family is well Xavier, and that New Orleans took it easy. People all over the nation were rooting for you all.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...


For sure, stay careful. As for your preparations, they were correct. Kind of like insurance, you hope you don't need it; but if you do, there it is.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Freddyboomboom said...

Glad to hear you weathered the storm with 'most everything shipshape and Bristol fashion.

You would have felt more foolish if you'd not made preparations and needed them.


11:47 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

Glad you area all OK and thanks for sharing your news. Sat here in Ireland, I don't think your precautions were silly, just common sense.

Angola: They'd have been even more scared if they'd been sent to Angola the country. First time I was there there was a cholera epidemic!

Now, back to that landslide I've been working on for the past week...


8:03 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Most excellent news. We have lots of evacuees up here in Tyler Texas. Long way back home with lots of disruption. Better safe than sorry but I think I would have stayed home. Glad it wasn't any worse but good thing folks are taking more precautions.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous DickieT said...

I belive the trip to Angola in lieu of lockup is because the jail population was moved there ahead of the storm. In Katrina it was moved to an I-10 overpass then the train station AFTER the flood hit.
Good move by the Mayor, (something about blind chickens...)

10:12 AM  
Blogger fisHRman said...

Glad your ok. Over here in Southeast TX, we were prepared and evacuated and we dodged that bullet. I work in our EOC, and it is absolutely amazing the planning and execution that goes into a mandatory evacuation. You first line guys in the hospitals and on the streets desrve real big thank yous for the jobs you do.

2:28 PM  

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