Holy crap!

Mar. 26th, 2009 09:56 am
gwynhefar: (Chaos Theory)
Ok, so we had a thunderstorm last night. I remember listening to the rain and seeing the flashes of lightning as I was falling asleep. It was rather pleasant. Woke up this morning, and everything was wet, and a little drizzly, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So I headed into work, and almost immediately hit standstill traffic. I figured there must be an accident or something and traffic would thin out once it was cleared. Instead, it took me an hour and a half to drive 1.5 miles from the end of my street to the highway ramp. I never did see specifically what caused *that* backup, but considering what I found on campus, I can guess. The highway wasn't bad until I hit the road into campus, where I spent another 20 mins in traffic because a streetlight was out.

The campus itself was practically a disaster area. Broken tree limbs were everywhere and some of the smaller ornamental trees were down completely. It reminded me of what the campus looked like after Katrina. Apparently, what was just a run-of-the-mill thunderstorm on my side of the city was actually a mega-storm in other areas. A check to the downtown Baton Rouge wind archive shows that sustained winds peaked at 35mph last night, with gusts of almost 70mph. That's consistent with a low-level tropical storm and the gusts almost made hurricane strength.

When I finally got to work there's an email from the University confirming that classes *would* be held today, despite the severe weather damage to campus, but asked professors to be lenient with students who missed class or came in late due to wide-spread flooding and severe traffic issues.

It's pretty horrifying. An apartment complex about halfway between downtown and my place had its roof ripped off, and large numbers of people are out of power. In Mississippi, apparently at least one person was killed by the storm. I'm glad it didn't hit as hard where I am, but I'm still not ready for this to start up yet. Hurricane season isn't until June, dammit!
gwynhefar: (raxacoricofallapatorius)
Ok, so I made it back to Baton Rouge ok. My flight was delayed 2 hours in Atlanta, but considering some of the horror stories I heard from others in the airport, I think I got off lightly. I go crash now, and tomorrow it's back to work and more regular posting. Holiday update to come some time this week.

Update

Dec. 12th, 2008 02:25 pm
gwynhefar: (winter)
Ok, so the snow yesterday was wonderful. The rest of the day . . . not so much. Went into work around noon, after the roads cleared some. We're being forced to take annual leave for any time missed yesterday, even though it was the worst winter weather Baton Rouge has seen in almost 50 years, a winter weather warning was issued, practically every other school or government institution shut down, and even other departments on campus are not charging leave for their employees who were late or absent due to the weather. We are. Go figure. I don't regret staying home -- 4 hours of leave isn't worth my life, and I truly would have been afraid for it on the roads before noon. But it still sucks.

And then I get home and am in my nice toasty apartment for less than an hour when the power goes out. It doesn't come back on. As of about noon today, when I went home to pick up something I forgot during my lunch, it *still* wasn't on. Last night I slept badly, huddled beneath about six blankets, with candles burning in the bathroom sink so I would be able to see if I needed to use the toilet. The cats spent the night huddled together under the couch. The snakes spent it buried under their water dish. I'm honestly worried the two little ones might not survive if the power stays out another night.

This morning I had to dress by candlelight and stick my head under a barely-above-freezing faucet to get it wet enough to brush out. I didn't even bother pretending to shower. The temperature in the apartment was maybe 40 degrees. I know, I've been in the South too long. I've turned weak. So sue me. Cold is fine as long as it stays *outside*. I like my inside to be warm.

I have heard an estimate of 5pm tonight for the power coming back on. We'll see if that happens. If not, I may have to bum a bed on someone's couch who actually does have power.


In other news, I've been a writing and submitting fiend this week. Wrote two new short stories and submitted both, and dug a few bits of poetry out and submitted that too. Got a rejection notice on the Floyd piece from the first place I sent it (incredibly fast turn around), but sent it right back out somewhere else. We'll see. The poem I got accepted a year ago still hasn't seen print, although I've been assured it will come out in the Spring issue, so we'll see on that too. But mostly I'm just happy to be writing again. Not sure where my sudden eloquence has come from or how long it's going to last, but I'll take what I can get.
gwynhefar: (zomg!)
Ok, now I'm actually ticked off.

This is final exam week at LSU. I kept waiting for an announcement that the University was closed -- after all, all the other schools in a three parish radius have already closed. Instead, what I get is a text message saying that the University will remain open, and exams will continue as scheduled.

WTF?!?!?!!?!

It's *snowing*. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There is snow *on the ground* and *ON THE STREETS*. People in Louisiana don't know how to drive in the snow. People I know who have lived here for 40 years have *NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT*

[Oh, and a branch just feel off a tree onto my neighbour's car. At least it wasn't a very big branch -- doesn't look like it really damaged the car. Anyway, back to my rant.]

All the bridges across the Mississippi have been closed by state police due to ICY CONDITIONS. And yet the University is still holding exams. Guess if you live west of the river you're shit out of luck.

There will be deaths from this, mark my words.
gwynhefar: (WTF)



This is the view out my balcony this morning.


I woke up when my alarm went off at 6:30 and for a second, I thought something had to be wrong because there were the voices of my neighbours outside my window and maybe it was really 6:30PM because what would all my neighbours be doing up at 6:30am?

After confirming it really was time to get up, I took a shower and headed out to the living room. That's when I saw the snow out the window. Threw on a pair of sweatpants and a flannel shirt and some boots and rushed outside. Sure 'nuff, there were all my neighbours gathered out watching the snow.

Snow. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana! I have it on authority from friends who've lived here all their life that it has only snowed twice in the last 35 years and neither time has it stuck to the ground.

We've got about 2-3 inches on the ground now, and it's still coming down.

I called in to work -- I might be able to drive in this, but I don't trust other Louisianans to do so -- and now I'm just watching it out the window. A part of me is freaking out about just what this says about our global climate situation, but most of me is too happy to see snow.

More pictures under the cut )
gwynhefar: (Default)
So today I'm out walking by the library and I see this older gentleman staring at something on the ground. I get closer and I realise that he's studying one of our albino squirrels (both of whom made it through the hurricane, yay!). So I strike up a quick conversation and we're talking about how rare it is to see an albino squirrel and I'm telling him how there's actually two that hang out around here and how I think they're siblings. Just then, I spot the other one across the path and just as I'm pointing it out to him this big hawk swoops down at the second albino squirrel. Now I love hawks, and generally I'm totally ok with the whole food chain and all that. I've seen hawks grab squirrels and rabbits before and usually I'm too busy admiring the hawk to be upset at the death of the rodent. But I've taken a proprietary interest in our albino squirrels.

It must say something about me that rather than some general exclamation of dismay, my first reaction was to shout *at the hawk* "Don't you dare!". I don't know if my shout distracted it or it was just having a bad day, but thankfully it missed, and the squirrel went scampering off to a tree. It was a close call though. Not entirely sure what kind of hawk it was, but I think it was a Cooper's Hawk.

To Do

Sep. 7th, 2008 02:09 pm
gwynhefar: (louisiana 1927)
To Do Today:


  • Take out trash

  • Laundry, laundry, laundry

  • Enjoy electricity



To Do This Week:


  • Get mini grill

  • Get snake food

  • Get *real* coolers (not the styrofoam ones I have)

  • Clean out aquarium (a week of no filtering is ugly)

  • Do grocery shopping:


    • Cat food

    • Cat Litter

    • Bread

    • Lunchmeats for sandwiches

    • Hot dogs

    • Fresh condiments

    • Ice!!


  • Fill up car with gas at last minute before Ike

  • Get gas can and fill that up too

  • Get lockbox for important documents



I'm sure I'll think of other things. Good thing my electric bill is going to be low this month, cause I'm going to be way overbudget on everything else. *sigh*

Well, shit.

Sep. 6th, 2008 10:14 pm
gwynhefar: (Hurricane Warning)



Didn't we just do this? Just who is it that Louisiana has pissed off lately to deserve this? Fuck.

Woohoo!!!!

Sep. 6th, 2008 10:09 pm
gwynhefar: (let there be light)
I have power again!! No more cold showers. No more lukewarm sodas. No more fumbling with candles and flashlights. And internet, glorious internet!!! Hello folks! I've missed you!
gwynhefar: (Fiona)
Per [livejournal.com profile] whitecrow0's request, this is to let you know that the kitties came through the storm just fine. They freaked a little with all the winds, and mostly hid under furniture, except for Fiona, who kept following me around and begging to be held and trembling. Poor thing was traumatized. But she's back to her cheerful self now, and I think they like having me home most of the time lately. I think they're dealing with the lack of air conditioning better than I am, and they have plenty of food and fresh water. So they're good :)
gwynhefar: (louisiana 1927)
Ok, so life is returning to normal slowly but surely. I'm still without power, and my electric company won't tell me if it will be 3 days or 3 weeks before I get it back. They're being less than helpful. Other parts of the city are slowly getting power back, however, and more and more places are opening, including this wonderful little bar/restaurant that is providing me with free wireless at the moment.

I never imagined that Gustav could be worse than Katrina. And in general, it wasn't, but in Baton Rouge, it was much, much worse. Gustav hit Baton Rouge harder than any storm has in recorded history, narrowly beating out Betsy in the 60s. The entire city, and the vast majority of the outlying areas, lost power, and it is very slow coming back. Yesterday I stood in line for 45 minutes to get ice, and had a cold soda for the first time since the storm. The gas lines are miles long at the very few stations that have power. Thankfully I don't need gas yet, but I'm not looking forward to it when I do.

Work is closed until at least Monday, they'll be 'reevaluating' this weekend. Of course, if I am back at work on Monday that's good in that I'll have a way to get online regularly, and bad in that it's difficult to look presentable for work when you have to get ready before the sun rises with no electric lighting, a complete inability to look at yourself in the mirror, and no hot water for showers.

*sigh* And at least one of the computer projections has Ike headed for us. Why oh why?
gwynhefar: (Hurricane Warning)
So Gustav downgraded to a category 2 overnight, and seems like it shifted a bit further west, all good things for me. From what I can tell from satellite the eye is making landfall around Houma, LA, right about now. I'm in the middle of one of the outer bands. It's raining, but not coming down too hard. There's about 3 inches of standing water in our parkinglot, but we get that with bad thunderstorms here. And the trees are whipping about every 30 seconds or so when a strong gust comes through. However, I still have power, obviously, and the apartment itself isn't shaking the way it did in Katrina. At least not yet. It'll probably get worse as the eye makes its way up here.
gwynhefar: (Hurricane Warning)
Ok, a seven-hour drive today means that I'm exhausted, so I'm shutting down and going to bed. I'm stocked up on food that doesn't need cooking, the major electronics are unplugged, the bathtub is filled with water if the pipes go out, I've got flashlights and batteries and a battery-powered radio that also has a power crank on it so I can keep up with the news as needed. And all the kitties except Robin and Siobhán are in crates, so if a window does break or something, I don't have to worry about them escaping in a panic. Siobhán is nearly impossible to get into a carrier or crate, but she also tends to hide *under* things, so I'm not too worried about her getting out. Robin is simply too wily and well aware of what a carrier means for me to easily get him inside, plus he'd have to share with someone even if I did get him, as I only have 4 carriers. So I guess I'll have to take my chances that he doesn't run off. Not that I'm expecting any window breakages, but you never know.

Since there's a very good chance I won't have power in the morning, I'll say goodnight now, and update any way I can whenever I can.
gwynhefar: (Hurricane Warning)
Ok, just a note to let y'all know that I made it back home safe and sound, and am all holed up and prepared for the duration. I'll be online for the next few hours, probably. It's raining a little now, but nothing really bad yet. The radio said we should start to see the first major effects around midnight here, and I figure I'll probably lose power soon after, so after that I'll just send updates as I can. Here's hoping I get through as well as I did in Katrina. Please keep *everyone* on the Gulf Coast in your prayers tonight.
gwynhefar: (Hurricane Warning)
For those wondering. I am in Birmingham, AL, right now, but I am cutting my trip short (I was supposed to fly home tomorrow, but that flight got cancelled) and will be driving back to Baton Rouge this afternoon. I will be hunkering down with the kitties and will let you know how it goes as soon as I have email and/or phone contact when it's all over. Keep an eye on this post, as I might have someone post a comment here letting you know how I'm doing if I get phone contact without email access.

Everyone who's in the area, please keep safe, and those of you who are out of Gustav's way, please keep the rest of us in your thoughts.
gwynhefar: (Hurricane Warning)
For those who don't know what I was talking about in my previous post, see this:





At least it's still only a Category 2. Now they're calling for it to be a Category 3 when it hits. Wonderful.
gwynhefar: (louisiana 1927)
When I first heard about it two days ago, it was still a tropical storm and wasn't even to Haiti yet. Yesterday, folks were talking about it, and this morning I get an email reminder to sign up for the university's emergency text messaging system. Yes, folks, it's official. A hurricane is in the Gulf and Louisiana is on alert. It would be almost funny if it weren't so serious.

Years of having the Big One pass them by had made Louisianans rather blasé about hurricanes. They happened every year, after all. Then Katrina hit, and so many were unprepared, myself included. The first I heard about Katrina was when my parents called me on Saturday morning. Ok, so I'm not much of a news person or I would have heard earlier, but the point is, no one was even really talking about it on Friday. Then Saturday came and folks started to realise it might actually hit us this time. I got about four or five calls Saturday from friends and family, so I would have figured it out by then, but of course, when you're talking real preparation, that was way too late. Saturday afternoon I went out and bought a case of bottled water and some batteries and that was about the extent of my preparation (it was significant, I think, that I obtained both those items rather easily and without fuss). Of course, Baton Rouge is far enough from the coast to be pretty much safe from major flooding of the type seen in the lower parishes. I'd like to think that those in New Orleans and along the coast were paying more attention to Katrina than I was, but we all know how that turned out.

The point is, if nothing else, we've learned from our mistakes. We've been lucky in the past few years in that only a handful of hurricanes have made it into the Gulf at all and those that did hit far enough away to not be an issue. I mean, I feel sorry for Mexico and Texas and West Florida, but at least it wasn't here. And I knew about each one well in advance. Because we pay attention now. Every time a named storm rounds the Florida Peninsula, Louisianans keep a weather eye on the Gulf. Because you never know.

As for me, I still have that case of bottled water. I'll actually be in Birmingham this weekend, but I'll be keeping an eye on the news.
gwynhefar: (New Orleans)
I went to the Baton Rouge Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade yesterday. It was the perfect day for it too -- Warm but not too hot, and at least it had stopped raining. So of course this means -- bead count.

Multi: 6
White: 1
Silver: 4
Gold: 20
Red: 5
Pink: 23
Green: 22
Blue: 7
Purple: 21

Total: 109
gwynhefar: (defeated)
I now have 18 months to buy a house.

My new apartment managers have decided to start bringing those of us who came in under the old pet policy -- 'whatever you want so long as you pay your deposit and no one complains about the noise or the smell' -- into compliance with the new pet policy -- 2 per apartment, no exceptions. And since I am listed as having three on my original lease, I was told to either move within 18months or get rid of a cat. And yes, they will be coming to check. Now, much as I have cats who like to hide, I don't think I can get away with pretending to only have two to someone who is *looking* for evidence of more.

And my chances of finding a rental anywhere that will take the number of animals I have is about nil. Dammit. I'm not ready for this, financially. Once my car payment is up, yeah then I could probably do it. But that won't be for another three years. And it doesn't matter that I have 18 months to find a place, I will be worrying about it every minute between now and the time I move into wherever I end up going.
gwynhefar: (doctor doctor jack)
Had a great 3-hour chat at Starbucks with a new friend last night. It's always great to find someone new in Baton Rouge that I have a lot in common with. There aren't that many of us around here.

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