05 September 2008

Gustav tales Part II: Descent into darkness

After the storm had passed came the great calm - a calm in which civilization and its accoutrements had evaporated.

For the next few days our position languished without power, and seemingly without hope. Breeze turned to still calm as the humidity spiked and made life quite unbearable. Conditions descended to a feral state as society degenerated into primitivism.

Services and goods were fatally scarce, with the few points of distribution marked by extremely long lines of bedraggled and desperate people hoping against hope to find some hedge against starvation. Few federal emergency "relief" resources could be found with the exception of the usual phalanx of storm troopers which terrorized the streets in order to control the movements of the citizens, in an effort to allegedly deter looters.

The fatal period was after dark, when the only light available - the natural illumination of the sun - vanished and the city was plunged into blackness. Storm victims, their very lives dependent on a State sanctioned monopoly utility company which couldn't give a fuck whether they lived or died, reverted to pre-industrial habits of life as windows were opened and ancient habits were relearned in order to deal with the lack of modern climate control. 

Streets were cleared fairly rapidly despite the destruction of the tree canopy, but the effects of this damage was devastating to the electrical grid, which by some mind boggling stroke of fate and State permission had never been constructed in a manner which would serve to minimize damage during hurricane conditions - and this in a state where hurricanes are a more or less annual event.

After two days of this, and close to desperation, yours truly fled for more hospitable parts, as it was becoming all too clear that to remain in the city without regular supplies of food and water meant inevitable starvation.

At this moment it is estimated that the city of Baton Rouge will have power fully restored in three to four weeks.

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