Since I did not have the means to tell the tale of Gustav while it was happening, I shall share the story now.
Our preparations had been made. Sunday was the deadly calm before the storm, weatherwise. The first rain bands crossed Baton Rouge on Sunday evening. Little in their advance portended the hazardous weather to come. We went to bed Sunday night with power and all other amenities still in working order. These items were still functional upon my awakening on Monday morning.
Throughout the first half of Monday, conditions deteriorated, though by midday the weather was still more or less breezy and more indicative of a severe thunderstorm than a Category 2 hurricane.
At five minutes before noon on Monday, power ceased to flow to the apartment and we were plunged into eternal darkness. Power to this very moment has not been restored and is likely not to be restored for another week.
The worst of the weather passed over us during the afternoon of Labor Day. The wind gusted madly as trees swayed, shingles were shorn from the roof of my apartment building, rain lashed nearly vertically, and materials such as carports flailed like aluminium foil in the turmoil. During this time we left the windows open to the storm as the breeze proved functional in cooling my apartment. Regrettably, this also permitted moisture and rainwater to enter the facility and possibly ruin my electronic appliances and other such items.
As the day ended, the weather gradually decreased in severity, though the breeze remained and rain was a constant into the night. This steady rain would remain with us pretty much for the next two days.
Coming in Part II: life without electrical power.