Mauled By Hurricane Gustav – Repairing the Damage

This storm was supposed to be a breeze… or so we thought. It was not projected to hit so close to us. This is the worst Baton Rouge has ever been hit but worse than Baton Rouge was my hometown of Plaquemine, LA. That is where I grew up and where my grandmother, my sister, Andrea and her family, and my brother, Ryan still live. Plaquemine got beat up really bad. I will post those pics and videos this weekend but we’ll start with the bad but not as bad as Plaquemine pics.

This is my short video of the onset of the storm. It doesn’t seem so bad but this was hours before landfall and I wasn’t dumb enough to go outside and film while branches were flying. Okay, so Ryan wouldn’t let me go outside then but here is the onset of the storm. The howling you hear is not thunder. It is the wind.

I made the boys stay in the hallway for the most part. I cleared the walls of anything that could fall we laid out blankets and pillows for them. Several tornadoes touched down within miles of us and we could hear the wind screaming. We are so blessed that it wasn’t worse for us.

After the storm we had to do clean up. We couldn’t get out of the subdivision yet and we needed to help neighbors clear debris so we waited to venture out. The boys helped a good bit.

Or should I say Maxon and Carsten helped a good bit. Where is Andrew anyway? 🙂

The neighbors all gathered together to talk after the storm.

The piles of trees, limbs, trash, and fences grew by the hour.

A few hours into the storm we had lost power. It stayed off for eight days.

Food a la Gustav. We cooked all we had left in the freezer since we had no power to keep it cold. Ramen noodles and sandwiches became our main meal. The guys are in the back surveying the damage to the fence, trees, and power lines.

When we did get past the subdivision (see slide show below) we saw massive lines to stores and gas stations and I mean cars, not people.

Here is a slide show of our neighborhood. When we first drove through we thought, “well this isn’t so bad.” We were so wrong. It was almost like God had his hand over our subdivision because everywhere outside of it was severely damaged. Our neighbor, the great guy who shared his generator and food with us, even commented that there must be a lot of believers in this neighborhood because God sure did spare us from what happened to the rest of South Louisiana. The God thing is, when Ryan and I were praying before the storm I envisioned our house encapsulated inside a bubble with angels standing guard all around. As Ryan prayed he spoke those very words! God was most certainly watching over us. We also prayed for our family friends, and neighbors and none of them suffered major damage.

Keep in mind that these photos are nothing compared to the other photos I have. This is our neighborhood:

More Gustav posts and photos to come.

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  1. Hi Iva. You are so right Louisiana has lost 43 lives due to Gustav. Some attributed to the storm itself and others from the after affects including clean up and heat exhaustion.

    I pray for their families and hope that we never have to face another storm like this one again.

  2. Thanks for your insight, Michelle. I did not deliberately put my family in harms way. This hurricane was not supposed to come for us. We were not even under voluntary evacuation. We were told the most we would get is gusts of 50 mph or so. That’s it. The predictions for this hurricane were way off.

    I volunteered after Katrina hit and saw the devastation and loss of lives. For days and months we lived this nightmare. I do not take these things lightly. I listen and heed to authorities. If anyone knows how fragile life is it is my family. Had I known that the hurricane would turn and come our way then we certainly would have evacuated. In fact, they moved evacuees into our area because it was deemed safe so please don’t assume I was playing Russian Roulette with the lives of my children.

    I certainly hope that I’m wrong and that your implications were not meant the way there were perceived.

  3. I’m glad you are all safe! My husband is a hurricane chaser. He has worked several years with the Weather Channel as a cameraman. Gustav was #150 or so for him. He has seen many deaths from hurricanes. When a hurricane is coming the best thing to do is evacuate. Our house was hit by a tornado in the middle of a hurricane about 5 yrs. ago. We live on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Most people don’t think about tornados just the hurricane. People are not invincible. Most of us think it won’t happen to us. I did listen and evacuated and we were all safe. My husband is in hurricane Ike right now training several people how to work in a hurricane. He talked to several people yesterday about their leaving and they won’t. He thinks several will be found dead over the next couple of days, because they didn’t heed the warnings. Next time I would suggest that you not put your family in dangers path. We never know where God will send the hurricanes and tornados so don’t play Russian Rullette… get out if it is even coming close to your direction. And what are we teaching our children about those in authority if we ignore them and doing our will?!

  4. I’m glad your neighborhood was spared. Were there any casualties? Because when you get right down to it, even the most devastation of THINGS can be repaired, but people are irreplaceable.

  5. So glad you made it through ok!

  6. So glad you all are okay! Where we live a few years ago we had five storms come through in one year, three of them fairly close hits. We had many of the same pictures as you…but what was so neat is that like you, we prayed for that bubble of protection! And God did protect us…the only damage we had was that our paint had been sliced by the wind and rain and there were pockets of water inside our exterior paint. Powerful wind…and yet we were perfectly safe. God is good.

  7. Amy,

    We’ve been praying and praying for you, your family and many, many others who were affected, and are so grateful that God heard and answered with great protection for you! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your pictures! It reminds me just how powerful God is and how much He loves us!

    BTW, thank you putting the Bible Study button at the Cafe so quickly! As if you didn’t have anything better to do, right?

    Love and appreciate you sister,

  8. Hey Amy,

    This is Susan. Could you send me an email with the directions I need?

    Thanks sweetie…

    Have a blessed day~

  9. Praise God for answered prayers & His safety!

    Glad you were protected – and I think it's great that your children helped with the cleanup effort. It builds character 🙂

  10. I am so pleased to read and see that you and your precious family are OK. My thoughts and prayers were, and still are, with you all. Paula 🙂

  11. Happy to read you are all doing great! God is always there through the storm and after the storm as well.. I will continue to pray for you and your neighbors, that the Lord give supply the patience and everything you all need to get everything back together.

  12. chickadee@afamiliarpath says:

    i’m so glad you were spared more damage. that looks awful.

  13. Praise God for His protection! I’ve been praying for you all too.


  14. So glad you are all safe!!

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