This past week we experienced something unlike anything we have ever experienced in our lives. Hurricane Laura and all of her fury hit the coast of Louisiana and Texas as a category 4 hurricane, making her way north to Natchitoches Parish Louisiana. Natchitoches Parish is approximately four hours north of our coast, yet when she arrived in our community she was still a category 2 hurricane. This was the first time in history that our parish had actually been placed under a hurricane warning.
We were so lucky! The worst damage that we experienced was a small tree that fell, and the loss of seven of our chickens and our electricity. My daddy had a tree fall on his tractor and several other trees fell on his fence in the horse pasture. It could have been so much worse. Other families were not so lucky. A very good friend of mine lost her entire home, and many others had trees sticking up out of the roof of their home as if the tree had roots inside the house! A hurricane on the coast is not the same as a hurricane in the forrest. Trees went everywhere!
The worst devastation was experienced down south on the coast and in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I can’t even imagine what that community is going through. So many families are grieving the loss of loved ones and their homes, and it could be months before they get electricity and running water again.
We were without power for an entire week because of the wide spread devastation that Hurrican Laura took in our community. Trees were down everywhere, and they took the power lines with them. Luckily we had a generator so that we could keep our deep freezer and refrigerator running, but finding gasoline to keep the generator going became a problem. Everyone was running a generator, which meant that everyone needed gas.
This hurricane was so powerful that it actually reversed the flow of the Texas River for about twelve hours. This river reached a flow rate of 7600 cubic feet per second UPRIVER! If that doesn’t tell you the force behind this storm, I don’t know what will!
Loss of Power
To be honest, the loss of electricity wasn’t a huge burden. I missed hot water for my shower, and I missed being able to actually clean my house. But most people around here cook on propane stoves, so we were still able to cook for the most part. Luckily we had plenty of food stored away from the garden and from Jason’s hunting trips. We also had a window unit air conditioner, so we plugged that into the generator as well. Many people even lost their water system, and there was no bottled water to be found anywhere. But luckily we have a Berkey. Drinking water was never an issue for us.
I learned a lot during this experience with Hurricane Laura. I learned how to be better prepared for a hurricane in the future, but I also learned and experienced how a community comes together and helps each other when necessary. Seeing electric trucks from all over the country, flying American flags on the back of their trucks, while so far away from home so that they could get us back up and running… y’all it brought tears to my eyes.
The Heat and Humidity
These linemen had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they chose to leave their homes and their families to head south and help. They arrived just in time for a heat wave that hit bringing a 110 degree heat index with enough humidity to wash your hair! If you aren’t used to that kind of atmosphere it can get really dangerous. These linemen are the real heroes in this story! And if you were one of the ones on Facebook complaining that they weren’t working fast enough, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Just sayin’.
I know that these linemen will never see this blog post. I’m sure their families that had to hold down the fort on their own so that their lineman could be away from home in order to help us will never see this either. But I have to say it! THANK YOU!!! There are no words to express my gratitude, not only for my electricity being back on, but for your servant heart that WANTED to come help. The hurricane showed me how united we all truly are and how a little bit of kindness can go a long way.
Experiencing something as dangerous and devastating as Hurricane Laura was not a lot of fun, but I am grateful for the lessons that I learned throughout it. Because without the rain we can’t have the rainbow.