As you probably know hurricanes are one of natures most powerful, and deadly forces. My wife and I decided to ride out the storm in our shop with Brianna and DJ Ellis. DJ is an MP here at Fort Polk. Our shop has many brick buildings on the East side of it which is where most of the most powerful winds would be coming. Contrary to our house which has a large pasture next to it. So we decided that this would be the safest place to be. Not to mention being able to keep the shop from being looted after the power goes out. We were prepared pretty well. We had a supply of optima batteries, a power inverter, plenty of gas, water, food, clothes and we also had a police radio. We could tell what was going on around the area during the storm, which was pretty cool. I stayed awake all night, and went outside to check the buildings from time to time. Just before dawn we had some really strong gusts. A tree fell onto the building next to us, and part of my bay roof blew off. About that time I began to wonder if I had made the right decision to stay. If there is ever a next time, I will leave ahead of time, things could have been much worse. I'll not put my family in harms way again. I had tried to take video during the worst part of the storm but you couldn't see anything and the wind blowing into the microphone was so loud you couldn't understand what I was saying. The next day I took a little trip in the truck to check out the house in Rosepine. I'm glad we didn't stay there! The roof and the sliding glass doors upstairs leaked severely and a lot of our stuff got ruined.
I think the worst thing is, you find out just how pampered we really are. Once the next day begins and the heat is practically unbearable, there is no escape. Insects seem to be swept in by the storm and are everywhere, (check out the video) biting gnats, mosquitoes, and spiders in swarms. No one has gasoline, or ice to keep things cold. There is no phone service, not even cell phones. There is no running water, so you better have some to pour in the toilet after you go to flush it, or dig a hole and go outside. Showers are almost out of the question, you might need that water for something more important, like drinking. I suggest a healthy supply of baby wipes. All the while being eaten up by mosquitoes and bugs. After a couple of days supplies will start to roll in, but you are going to be in a very long line, for a very long time, to get very little of anything. Quite a miserable time is had by all. I left a couple of days after Rita, seeing my son with 20 or 30 mosquito bites, running around in a diaper sweating was all I could take. Time to go! My family and I left for Monroe, Louisiana where we stayed in a motel for the next 8 days until the power came back on.