Holly and I heard from Peter at about 10:30 this morning. He’s physically okay, battered but unbowed, soaked but not drowned. The damage to his residence caused by the falling tree is fairly minimal. It is bothersome, but happily, his house is some 60 years old, built to old standards, with massive structural members and roof trusses. The damage should be repairable without actual removal of the roof. Of course, this has brought to a screeching halt the restoration efforts following last week's fire. The contractors handing THAT project, largely smoke abatement and repainting, are now involved in emergency repairs of damage done by Gustav.
The entire area where Peter lives is totally waterlogged. His place is at the top of a long, gentle hill, but he cannot even walk across his yard without sinking in above his ankles. He edged his truck off his gravel driveway only a touch and it was immediately stuck. There’s still a lot of rain and lightning. He has to drive several miles to acquire a cell phone signal to make any telephone call. He’ll likely be unreachable, either by land line or cell phone for the next few days. Any internet connection and/or blogging are out of the question. It is hoped that electrical power MAY be restored by Friday, but it could take a few additional days. Peter will lose all his refrigerated and frozen food. He’s seen dozens of electric company emergency services trucks from all over.
There is clearly much damage to the various feeder electrical lines. When electrical services tried to restore connections, transformers exploded in series for a long distance. It will take a lot of work to reestablish all the connections and damaged lines.
A great many people are vastly inconvenienced, certainly, but loss of life and serious injuries have been minimal. Peter is impressed with the general level of preparations for the storm, and the function of emergency services following. The efficiency of Louisiana State Government, compared to that during and after Katrina, has been tremendously better.
More information follows as available.