Hurricane Gustav: Northshore

I was able to return to my house this morning and everything is fine! The landline phone/internet line is not working but everything else is. We got no damage, only very small tree branches down, no flooding, and no roof leaks. Water needs to be boiled and word is that a pump needs to be replaced for the sewage — we’ll find out via websites later today when those issues have been resolved.

Click on any of the pictures below to see them larger.

Some neighbors decorated their SUV. Some in our subdivision stayed in their homes even though there was a mandatory evacuation.

Walgreens is open! And since yesterday they haven’t needed to use their generator. CVS Pharmacy across the street is also open.

This highway is usually bumper to bumper with traffic. 🙂

Nobody’s in the parking lot for the post office, that’s a switch!

Closer to the lakefront, barriers still remain from when water was high down this street. These would be moved soon, as others already were and it was possible to get to that street going down other streets which connected to it. Between here and Lake Pontchartrain is our church and our son’s school — it didn’t get any floodwaters inside the buildings, but it was close. Closer to the lake, the rectory got water — but only inside the garage.

The doors to the church are open because this part of town is still without electricity and it is warm and humid today. They’re getting ready for morning Mass.

Also look at photos at our church’s website: click the link at the bottom of homepage labelled “Read Full Updates / Hurricane Gustav Blog” and you’ll say “Whoa!” about a couple of them. The photos are located here. Also, the Times-Picayune photo galleries have some great photos.

My photos below show the only damage I could find on the school grounds. Not bad at all!

It looks like the tree shown above had part of it snap off, and that is what fell to the ground, hitting part of the building on the playground, shown below. Very little damage.

The shade canopy shown above will need to be replaced.

The parish rectory had a few feet of water in the garage, but nothing in the house itself. The bayou next door flooded into the garage as well as covering the street. This is about a block away from Lake Pontchartrain.

This is a bridge going over that bayou. The water is still receding, still flooding part of the rectory’s yard.

Nearby, a few areas of Lakeshore Drive still have minor street flooding, sometimes going into people’s yards.

City road crews have been working to clear the streets to make them passable, such as this one where a fallen tree is blocking half of the street.

A RaceTrac gas station in Covington near I-12 was open with gas and a convenience store. It only had minor damage to signage above the gas pumps. The credit card/debit card devices had connection problems, so purchases were cash-only.

On the way back to New Orleans, heading towards the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, I saw an electronic sign that said “BRIDGE CLOSED”. I told them about it at the toll plaza and they said the hurricane broke the sign and it is stuck with that message on it. No tolls were collected today. Many people were returning to the southshore after being evacuated.

That’s all the pictures for today. I’ll be staying overnight at the station again tonight, unless I find out that the pumps are working in our subdivision so that the toilets can be flushed. It would be nice to have water to drink without having to boil it as well, but for safety until the water lines get tested, the advice is to boil it.

Thank you, Lord, for sparing us damage to our house!

-Rich

Thursday, September 4, 2008 Update:

All three of us will be spending tonight (and the nights to come until we go away again…) in our own house tonight! When I woke up at FOX 8 this morning I called the water service and found out that toilets can be flushed now, just hold off doing laundry and dishwashing unless it is an emergency. They’ve emptied out where waste had been building up when the pumped failed, replaced the pump, but need a couple of more days for levels to get back to normal so they want all of us to try to use drainage sparingly. Tomorrow around noon they expect to get the results back of the test they did to see if the water is safe to drink. After I called them, I went shopping at Wal-Mart and dropped off what food I could find (shelves are a bit bare, but being restocked) at home before returning to work. I’ve moved all of my stuff out of the TV station. Our landline telephone is now working and probably our internet service (which comes through the same phone line) as well.

Carol and Michael will be returning home tonight as well, but they’ll get there before me.

The post office has put out the following information which affects all areas affected by Hurricane Gustav. Quoting:

Hurricane Gustav Information

Sept. 4, 2008 8 a.m. ET – Postal Service employees are on site in the areas affected by Hurricane Gustav and are receiving updated information pertaining to the progress being made in those locations. Our primary concern is the safety of our employees and the security of the U.S. Mail. Once safety can be guaranteed and power is restored, we fully intend to resume delivery and collection operations. Until then, however, affected areas can expect some service delays and we ask you to be patient.

Louisiana

§                          Plants and Post Offices in Northern and Central Louisiana including Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and Lafayette Areas, (ZIP Codes 705 – 714) have resumed services

§                          New Orleans and Mandeville area Post Offices (ZIP Codes 700, 701, and 704) will resume normal delivery and retail operations effective Thursday, September 4, 2008 contingent on access and the safety of our employees and customers.

§                          South Louisiana Post Offices with ZIP Codes 703 will resume partial retail and delivery services on Thursday, September 4, 2008.

§                          Several 703 Post Offices are closed due to emergency restrictions and Parish-wide mandatory evacuations. Service will resume once restrictions are lifted and the facilities deemed safe for employees and customers.

§                                          Terrebonne Parish Post Offices include: Houma, Bourg, Chauvin, Montegut, Schriever, and Gray.

§                                          Other 703 offices closed are: Grande Isle, Galliano, Golden Meadow, and Larose

 

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