Monday, September 01, 2008

Before Hurricane Gustav

Lafayette Pro Fiber is happily aware of the friends of Lafayette who follow our progress here through the LPF blog and suspect that they will be concerned with the effects of Hurricane Gustav. On the downside: this will be a serious storm in Lafayette with the city getting sustained hurricane force winds. We anticipate some damage to homes and businesses, downed power and communication lines, trees down, and lots of large limbs stripped out of older trees. The power will likely be out for days. On the upside: well, this is a much better story than we were telling ourselves a few days ago. Gustav was a category 2 storm at landfall; earlier we were anticipating a 3 or even 4. There is a lot of difference and the upshot is that Lafayette will "only" get category 1 hurricane force winds. That is not out of the range of the experience of the people who live here—a big storm but not a monster. A category 2 storm would likely have brought down structures that survived lesser storms and produced an unprecedented amount of damage. So this bad storm is not as bad as feared.

Yes, we will probably lose some of the newly installed fiber; the area being built out now is predominantly aerial—it's in the older central core—and some poles will come down. However the fiber is apparently actually tougher to bring down than the power, phone, or cable lines that run beside it on the poles. I'd read that in other places and a recent tornado in a the center-city "oil center" retail area confirmed it. Delay in the LUSFiber launch? We'll see.

At any rate: I expect to lose power and connectivity as the eyewall passes. Happy to answer any questions in the comments as long as I'm up. See you on the other side.

2 comments:

Nick Istre said...

Well, the eye has passed and I'm still up. Hopefully, everybody is safe.

John said...

Hi Nick,

Power went down at our house off Louisiana St. shortly before the eyewall came through. Friends say that only about 10% of LUS' service area is without power. I'm surprised and hope that means I get power back quickly. Trucks were out in my neighborhood cleaning trees of the street by 6:00. (I'm posting from a friend's.)

Apparently the storm hit as category 1 in Lafayette and it was pretty dramatic at our house, surrounded as it is by old pecans. Lost a big limb in the back yard and branch came down on our grapefruit and messed up the crop, but otherwise we came through in good shape.