A fine, gentle rain is falling on central Louisiana tonight, courtesy of Gustav, who has flowed off to the northwest. Monday and Monday night, he lashed us with wind and rain, not being downgraded to tropical storm before he left us. The eye, or what was left of it, passed over us Monday night. Tuesday, I woke to moderate temperatures, a falling rain, and went to work, helping with damage assessments and reassuring the public. This evening, I have family at my house because I have air-conditioning.
Shelters here began closing yesterday afternoon for lack of need. Folks went home after the storm, to clean up and get on with life. I didn't really see a lot of private property damage yesterday. Sure, some trees blew down on houses, some fences were damaged, some shingles were lost, but by and large I didn't see much private property damage. What I did see was a lot of infrastructure damage, lots of trees on power lines, lots of power lines down, lots of poles damaged or destroyed. As a result, a big portion of Rapides Parish and the majority of Grant Parish is without power this evening. Thankfully, temperatures are mild and power crews are working now to try to restore power to as many as possible.
Now, we begin tracking other storms. It's that time of year. In another several days, the power will be back everywhere. In another week, most of the damage will have been repaired. By this time next year, Gustav will be a minor memory.