Hurricane Gustav roared through Baton Rouge on Monday and left us
sorely peeved, but personally, not badly damaged. Some areas
in-and-near Baton Rouge were hit harder, some people had trees fall
on their houses, and some people are watching the rivers come up with
After our experience with Rita in 2004, when we lost power 4 hours
before the eye came on shore, and about 10 minutes before I planned
to get up, I made a pot of coffee the night before (Costa Rica La
Minita) for the two Zojirushi vacuum bottles. Monday morning, I made
a drip pot of Panama Bouquete Golden Peaberry -- one cup to drink and
the rest to go into a big thermos. Those lasted until yesterday -
the Zoj. was still above ambient temperature after 2.5 days.
Our house lost some shingles, a section of fence, and a lot of limbs
and twigs from trees. Oh, yeah, we gained a major branch from a
neighbor's elm tree. It's still attached to the tree about 10 feet
up, but drapes over the fence onto my crape myrtles and into my
pool. The pool has now gone green from lack of circulation.
Yep, the power is off. It went out about 10:30am Monday. We hoped
for quick repairs and quick return to service, as in Katrina and
Rita. In those two, we lost power for 14-20 hours. No such luck
with Gustav. It's now been over three days. The latest forecast
from the utility company that covers part of our subdivision (but not
our part) is "by Monday." Hopefully, we'll be before that or shortly
afterwards. They're talking 3-4 weeks before everyone in East Baton
Rouge Parish (parish = what everyone else calls a county) gets their
We bought a 5000w generator yesterday after waiting in line about 1.5
hours at Home Depot. Fortunately, we got there at 6:30am before the
7am opening - only about 250 people in front of us. While waiting in
line, we heard that HD had 400 generators. There were still a lot
of people in line when we finished.
Then we waited an hour or so in line at one of the few gas stations,
that was operational and had gas, to fill up some gas cans. That's
where we got the 10w40 oil that didn't come with the generator (HD
didn't have any). Tip to any new generator owner: there's a gas
shutoff that the manual mentions on the engine, but there's also one
(probably) on the gas tank. If you don't open the one on the gas
tank, it's hard to run the generator . It's nice to be able to
power the refrigerator and freezer, a few fans and a light or two.
This morning, I made my first drip pot of post-Gustav
coffee. Sumatra Blue Batak Peaberry, at City+, six days
post-roasting, was my choice.
One of the great thing about the coffees from Sweet Marias is that
they taste good at any temperature I've tried them. Hot coffee, iced
coffee, room temperature (I don't drink hot coffee when there is no
When the power comes back on, the Vivaldi II goes back on (and I open
the water line to it). I'm looking forward to my next espresso.
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
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