Here comes my first hurricane. Wish me luck!

I’ve got a really nervous feeling brewing in my gut.This does not look very nice to me. In case you’re too lazy to click, that’s the projected path of the Category 4 storm, Hurricane Lili. I’m smack dab in the center of that path. Winds are expected to reach 150 mph inland. Storm surge may reach a whopping 20 feet. The director of the National Hurricane Center is comparing it to 1959’s Hurricane Audrey, a devasting storm that took the lives of 390 people and is still talked about by the locals.

I know what you’re thinking: “Sounds like a good day for a lovely Oklahoma vaction, neutron star!” Nope, not quite. My wife is a nurse and she’ll be needed here. I’m not going anywhere without her. AFAIK, they still haven’t ordered the evacuation of my parish (county) yet. They did, however, order the evacuation of Iberia Parish, just 15 miles south of here. Not a very comforting thought.

I was still kind of in denial about it this morning. I figured it would veer off path like that storm a week ago. Doesn’t look like it. It really hit home when I turned on the Weather Channel this afternoon and saw one of their on-the-scene, national reporters talking about a large “swath of destruction” that he luckily wouldn’t be there to see. While reporting, he was standing on the side of a street just a mile from where I live. The only cool thing about this was that I was able to call my grandma in Pennsylvania and say “Hey, turn on the Weather Channel. See that Outback Steakhouse in the background? I ate there last week!”

On the way home from an extra short night at work tonight, I stopped at the usually 24 hour Wal-Mart Supercenter, which closed at 8 tonight. Apparently, half the city beat me to it. Shelves were barren. No meat. No water. Very little bread. The only chips in the whole store were four bags of sweet potato flavored nastiness.

I was, however, able to secure one of the last flashlights - a $20 Maglight. Normally, I’d be pissed off at having spent that much on a flashlight (not to mention $5 each for candles). Tonight I’m grateful. I also filled up at one of the very few gas stations in town that still had gas left. They only had 92 octane for $1.50/gal, but, again, I was grateful.

Damn, I’m nervous. Cross your fingers for me, gang. Come this time tomorrow, I may be underwater. :frowning:

Ehh, nah, you’ll just be rolling over in bed, trying to shut off the ‘alarm clock’ (a.k.a. the Civil Defense Sirens). :wink:

I’m sure you’ve heard all of this but…

Just be calm as you can under the circumstances, make sure everything that’s loose or has to potential to get loose is secure. Put important documents, photos, etc., into waterproof containers, and put everything you need (medications, important documents, etc.) somewhere where you can scoop it up easily just in case you do need to leave. Also, put things you think you’ll need in a central place: nothing like the power going out, and fumbling around the house for the flashlight there, the candle over there… If you have rechargable batteries, now’s the time to make sure they’re all charged, or charge as many as you can in case the power goes out. Tape up windows, close curtains, etc. Well, leave some curtains open so you can watch the goings on and make bets on if your neighbors tree is going to flatten your roof, and laugh at the idiots down the road drinking and trying to play stickball in that mess…

Good luck!

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Hi Neutron,

I’ll be thinking about you and your wife tomorrow morning when the storm is supposed to hit. Please be safe and well!

Batten down the hatches!


Good luck and hold on! Watch out for flying cars, road signs, trees, people etc. You might want to fill a bath tub with water to flush toilets with and to drink. I hope both of you stay safe.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I think a lot of other people are doing the bathtub-full-of-water thing tonight, too. I just took a shower and the pressure was so damn low I could barely get the shampoo out of my hair.

I just saw the 10 o’clock news which showed the newest projection with various colors representing the intensity of the storm. The tiny, dark-purple center band - the place where the highest winds are possible - has zeroed in upon me. The newscaster mentioned Lafayette Parish specifically.

There’s a very strange vibe in the air around here tonight. As the initial light rain falls, some people are nervously scurrying about trying to hoard all the supplies they can. Others are taking their last opportunities to get the hell out of town. And even as I write this, I can hear the drunken screams of the third group, the people having “hurricane parties.”

Well, if you don’t hear from me for a while after tonight, it’s probably because the power is out. I’m told that Hurricane Andrew knocked the power out for a week in Lafayette. I’ve never lived a week (or hell, even more than eight hours) without power, so if it hits us like they say it’s going to, it’ll sure be interesting.

Hey, neutron, I’m not far at all from Lafayette. Bet I know the Outback Steakhouse you mentioned. :slight_smile:

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty damn freaked too right now. But I can also tell you, I was here for Andrew, and it was much less of a big deal than I was expecting. Kinda fun, actually. Now Lili’s supposed to be a bit worse than Andrew was for us (we were on the good side of Andrew) but rationally, I don’t think there’s any reason to be scared if you’re prepared.

Probably kinda late to be giving advice - you might not even see this till after the hurricane - but: tape up or board over all your windows, especially if you live in an area where there’s lots of potential projectiles around. Definitely fill the bathtub with a water supply. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio with plenty of batteries, so you can hear the news. Have lots of food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or heated stocked up. (Some beer might not be a bad idea; calms the nerves, and hurricane parties are a time-honored tradition. :)) Get any pets you may have indoors early tomorrow morning.

Oh, and it might be a good idea to have a battery-powered walkman with headphones, or something similar, available (as long as there’s someone else in your home to keep an ear open for the radio news). I imagine the literal howling of the wind could get to be a downer - although, oddly, I didn’t hear it at all during Andrew, even though I was expecting it.

It will not be safe to go outside for several hours after the hurricane proper has passed - sudden gusts of wind carrying large objects in the air are still possible, and very dangerous. Also, tornadoes can follow in the wake of a hurricane. That’s arguably the main danger - we’re just far enough inland to be (hope I’m not jinxing it) safe from the storm surge. Know ahead of time what’s the safest room in your home to go to in the event of a tornado. You might want to move important stuff in there ahead of time.

I’ll check in on this thread as soon as we get electricity back. (Might take a little longer for me than for you; I live in a fairly rural area.) Hope I see you then.

Forgot to mention two things.

  1. I’ve heard the Audrey comparisons too - but according to my mom, who lived through Audrey, its destruction was primarily due to the fact that people who were supposed to evacuate refused to do so. Lafayette hasn’t been told to evacuate, unless you’re in one of the low-lying areas of the parish.

  2. On the upside, after the hurricane’s passed you can expect a couple weeks of really fantastic weather. :slight_smile:

Good luck from N’awlins.

My best advice - the next time a catagory 4 comes your way, RUN!

Thanks, king of spain. Helpful advice, indeed. I forgot all about my walkman. I would have had to go searching for it with the power out if you hadn’t reminded me.

The Outback Steakhouse, BTW, is the one on West Pinhook next to the filthy Vermillion River. I’m not sure if that’s the only one in town, but I think it is.

And actually, just as I’m typing this, they just showed the same guy, still live, still in the same place. Damn, that was like 9 hours ago that I saw him the first time. Has he been hanging around on Pinhook all day?

This may sound ignorant to some, but if you have natural gas or propane to your house, go outside and shut off the main valve coming from your source before the main storm hits.!

Maybe do some cooking while you have the chance. It’ll give you something to do and in the event you lose power, perishable items will keep for awhile that way. (A big pot of gumbo sounds good!) You can always turn it (gas) back on later.

Fill containers w/ water and put them in the freezer. They’ll keep things cold if power fails and also provide drinking water if needed.

Take care and good luck, t-keela (formerly of New Orleans, Beaumont, & many parts South of Houston) been through a few 'canes myself

As one who experienced the direct wrath of Hugo, I don’t expect to hear back from you for a while. God go with you.

I really wish you guys would go someplace else. Please be careful.

Just this moring ,I was wondering if any Dopers were affected by Lily. Good luck to all, be careful.

Final update for those keeping score at home. This is probably the last time I’ll be able to get online for a while: the news is already reporting scattered power outages in parts of Lafayette.

I’m in much better spirits this morning. Lili is reported to be down to a Category 2 - winds have decreased from 145 mph to 100. I realize for those not in hurricane country, “the wind’s only 100 miles per hour!” doesn’t sound like much comfort, but having been through a Category 4 before, 100 mph sounds positively tame.

Things don’t look that bad yet, although we’ve gotten some rain from the outlying bands. It’s just starting to pick up right now.

My cat was visibly nervous and refused to eat breakfast this morning, and I’ve heard similar reports about some of the neighbors’ dogs. I’m told they can sense the barometer dropping.

Speaking of which, I’m really pissed off at my next door neighbors, who skipped town leaving their dog outside. Now they also left a lot of lawn furniture and so forth outside, so I’m thinking they just don’t know any better, and the dog has a porch that should provide pretty good shelter - but dammit, those people deserve what they get when they come home and find all the stuff they left outside destroyed. I’d be making a Pit thread now if I didn’t have limited time to be online.

Landfall (defined as when the leading wall of the eye crosses land) is expected within half an hour at most.

(neutron, I’m really glad to hear I could help, and yes, that’s the Outback I was thinking of.)

See you after the power comes back on.

I live about 1 hour directly north of New Orleans. Lili wasn’t too bad here, I know she’s not completely gone, but I really believe the worst is over. There were 4 trees (tall, tall pines) across my front yard for Andrew and we didn’t have power for 8 days. After day 5, we checked into the closest Holiday Inn. Lili hasn’t done much here. (Roseland, LA, if anyone cares to look it up. It’s the big toe area of LA.) I think the flooding is bad in some areas, and the power outages are pretty severe. The tornadoes are what I am worried about at this point. Hopefully, not much of Lili is left. It was downgraded to Tropical Storm not long ago. I hope all the other dopers in the vicinity were as lucky as we were. ** Neutron Star**, we hope to see you post very soon.

So it looks like all NS has to worry about is surviving without the SDMB until the power comes back on…

– :eek:

Oh, the pain…

Ah, power is back. Well, for me, anyway. Actually it came on sometime yesterday at my apartment, but I wasn’t here to see it. After the storm (which I slept through :)) was over and my wife was home and off work for the weekend, we decided to go to Texas to avoid the power and telephone outtages. Unlike some people, we were lucky that we never lost running water. While everyone else was sweltering without air conditioning in the Louisiana humidity, my wife and I were enjoying ourselves in a nice (but not too nice) suite with a jacuzzi. Beats the hell out of sweating in the dark, that’s for sure.

It was pretty amazing seeing the damage Lili caused. Every McDonald’s sign in the area is blown out. Exit signs on the Interstate were snapped right off their metal stakes or bent at odd angles. Trees everywhere were snapped in half, many taking down power lines with them. From what I’ve heard, there’s still over 100,000 people without power three days after the storm. In hard-hit Acadia Parish alone, there are still 375 miles of downed power lines. People in those towns are distributing ice and food to those affected.

At least it’s good that nobody was killed, although there have been a few hurricane-related deaths after the fact (carbon monoxide poisoning from generators and things like that). The only thing the storm took from me was a refrigerator and freezer full of food, so I guess I got off lucky. My TV cable is still out, but I can imagine greater tragedies.

I hope to see king of spain back online soon, but he may be a while, depending on which rural town he lives in.

glad to hear you weathered the storm well. she did downgrade nicely for y’all.

smart idea, going on the “hurricane getaway.”

…It’s “she,” actually, but I understand where the name’s confusing. :slight_smile:

I’ve had power somewhat sporadically for the last day or two - it kept coming on and going off again after a few minutes. I actually started composing this post once only to have it go out. But I think we’re back for good now.

You slept through kind of a fun storm, neutron - or I enjoyed most of it. My house has a back porch that provided pretty good shelter from the direction the wind was blowing from, so I actually risked stepping out there for a moment as the wall of the eye was passing over us. I saw bushes and small trees actually bent double against the ground under the wind - I am very, very grateful that we didn’t get the 150 miles per hour winds that were being predicted! Oh, and the coolest thing? Three times I saw hummingbirds come to our window looking for the feeder we’d taken inside. They’re tougher than they look, apparently!

Property damage around here is pretty extensive; nearby I’ve seen several healthy, strong cedar trees split in two at the trunk. My next-door neighbors had a falling tree just barely miss their window. My home got off okay, though, now that we’re done raking debris out of the yard. The worst part was going through those few days with no air conditioning or hot food. Oh, and I’ve seen the power cable that brings us tv lying on the ground, so the television’s gonna be off for a while.

…and the neighbors’ dog made it through just fine, too. I’m still probably gonna open that Pit thread, though.

Many thanks to everyone who posted to express support! It’s much appreciated.