Rita Update - The Aftermath

This post is more than 2 years old.

Well, since it is over 36 hours later, you can guess what happened. What follows ia a long story, so for those who just want the short story, I'm fine, my wife and kids are fine, and we had no damage.

Now for the long story. About 10 minutes after my last post (which by the way shows that there is a bug in BlogCFC since the link isn't working), I was outside with my wife. The wind was growing quite strong. We were looking at the tree that fell down a few hours away when we heard a big boom behind us. We went inside and the power died, almost exactly at minute.

So - I paced around the house a bit, pacing till about 1AM. At that point, the wind was very, very strong and the rain was horizontal. I decided at that point that there wasn't much I could do. I had all the kids in our master bedroom so I decided to rest. As soon as I got in bed, a transformer behind the house started sparking. That was enough to freak me out, so I just went to the window and watched. There are some large trees around the house, and I was pretty worried one or more would fall. Then I heard it. The sound of wood creaking very, very loudly. It seemed to be to the left of me, and with the wind going to the left, I wasn't too worried. Then a large tree directly across from the window, about 50 feet away, started to learn, quite deeply, towards our house. That was enough for me to get my wife up and bring the kids to the center of the house.

So, I spent the new few hours sleeping off and on, watching the trees, checking the house, and generaly just being nervous as hell. The sky, at 1AM, was almost as bright as what you see right before dawn. Around 6 I figured I wouldn't get any more sleep so I started listening to the radio.

Lake Charles, which is to the west of us, was hit a lot harder. Lafayette was very lucky. The tree that fell down the street just barely touched the house across the road, and when I say barely, I mean the leafs were "tickling" the garage door. The yard was a mess. I have pictures I'll post tomorrow, but basically we were completely covered in small brnaches and leaves. But zero damage to the house. We were able to clean the yard.

By 5PM yesterday, the radio was saying that 23,000 people had been without power in Lafayette, but there were only 3000 people left. I had high hopes. What I didn't know is that the power company wasn't going to work 24/7, but took off 10. So - I got to enjoy sleeping without AC. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's Fall. It's almost October. Unfortunately, Fall for the Deep South simply means the end of "Ludicrous" Heat and the beginning of "Ridiculous" Heat. However - with getting almost no sleep the night before, I slept like a baby, for a good 10 hours.

This morning I woke up and began to finish up the yard work. The power company drove by around ten and began working around the street. Almost exactly at noon we got power back.

So, as I said, we got lucky. Our only real "loss" was alot of food, but almost all of our frozen meat stayed frozen. I'm going to rest up today, watch the Saints lose, and just cool off. Next time - I'm evacuating. I'm just way too much of a wimp to go through that again.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Steve Bryant posted on 9/25/2005 at 11:31 PM

Sounds like an adventure!

Glad everything worked out well in the end.

Comment 2 by Michael posted on 9/26/2005 at 2:42 AM

I've evacuated for every Florida storm that looked like it might come close. You were not even in the strong side of the storm and you were on the outside bands of Rita. But I've stayed for a "Tropical Storm" that was just below Hurricane" status. Never again.

Once you got through one storm like this in the dark... you never want to repeat it. I can relate to your nervousness. Which is why I evacuated for Ivan, Dennis and Katrina. Because even when you don't get the eye of the storm, the wind/rain/noises/loss of power, will scare the hell outta ya.

I can understand your staying because it was quite obvious that the storm was going to miss houston and only the weak western side would hit you. But if it were me I'd have been outta there because I've done this before. There are a billion reasons why you don't want to weather it out and only a few reasons why it makes sense to stay.

Next time you'll evaluate things differently having experienced what you did.

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/26/2005 at 4:06 AM

Eh? I was on the east side for Rita - about 1 hour from the eye. It was -not- the weak side. We were on the weak side for Katrina.

Comment 4 by Joe Rinehart posted on 9/26/2005 at 5:05 AM

Hey Ray,

Glad to hear all is good - Dale and I were a little worried when the updates stop, and we hoped it was just a power outage.

Michael, wtf? How about a "Glad to hear everything's okay?"

Comment 5 by Michael posted on 9/26/2005 at 10:42 AM

Raymond, my misjudgement. Even though you identified where you were somehow when I was typing I was envisioning houston on a map. You definitely had it bad in that north east wrath. A total brain fart while I was typing the message to you.

The tropical storm that shook me up blew out the power and then the windows on the one side of the house were shaking and buckling like crazy. I was sure one was going to blow out.

The whole reason I typed the above was because I can relate. "Been there, done that"... and I don't want to do it again. It's no fun once you've been through it once.

Joe, his reponse conveyed that already. I was simply relating to the experience he went through. I can relate 100%. I certainly didn't think or intend for my comments to be offensive. Obviously you thought my relating to Raymond was offensive???

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/26/2005 at 4:28 PM

Hey Michael, it's all good. I'm just happy I got my AC back. Talk about being spoiled. ;)

Comment 7 by phill.nacelli posted on 9/26/2005 at 5:14 PM

Ray & Family,

Glad to hear you guys are ok, like Joe said, we worried when we saw the blog updates end, but figured you must've had a power outage.

All the best...


Comment 8 by Damien posted on 9/26/2005 at 5:29 PM

Glad to see you are all safe. My wife & I went through Hurricane Charley last year with our then 8-month-old son who had a bad cold at the time so we know all about what you went through. We actually had to leave our house after charley had passed over, around 10pm, and the devastation was unreal - as the cliche goes it was like something out of a movie; unfortunately though we didn't think of taking our camera so we don't have any evidence of what we saw, just anecdotes. Again, glad to see you and your family are all safe.

Comment 9 by Brannon Hightower posted on 9/26/2005 at 5:51 PM

Ray, Glad to hear that you and your family are safe and your home is still intact.

Comment 10 by Sean Corfield posted on 9/26/2005 at 10:35 PM

Glad you're safe but I do have to ask: hurricanes happen most every year. We're in the middle of a likely ten year cycle so there's more bad storms to come. Why do you live somewhere where you know you'll have to put up with this most years? Michael talked about evacuating for every major storm... once would be more than enough for me! Sheesh, I'd be off to live somewhere else in a heartbeat!

Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/26/2005 at 10:40 PM

Heh, well, _many_ places have dangers. I grew up in St. Louis and every summer we had to go hide in the basement from tornados. CA has earthquakes. In Virginia we also had hurricanes, but a bit more rare. Something else to remember, this storm turned. We were on the very edge of the projected path until the last minute. I definitely would have left had I known it was going to change course like it did.

Comment 12 by John Farrar posted on 9/26/2005 at 11:04 PM

Next time consider a Dome Home... heh!


Comment 13 by Daniel Greenfeld posted on 9/27/2005 at 6:50 PM

Two years back we got hit by a hurricane in Northern Virginia. I spent the day before digging a water draining trench thirty feet long across my backyard so the downslope wash wouldn't flood my basement. I was ever so grateful for being told by my doctor several years earlier that I had to start working out or would have to face type two diabeties. Anyway, the trees around the hosue swayed and dumped small branches everywhere. The following three days we were out of power, but it being September the weather was glorious. We got to know our neighbors, and the street helped each other to clean up. When the power finally came on, I was almost sad.