‘Mother of all storms’

The state of Louisiana is trying to get back to business as usual after Hurricane Gustav powered through, causing what is estimated to be billions in property damage.Gustav first struck the state on Monday and, as of Wednesday, its remnants were still in northern Louisiana. Gustav was downgraded to a tropical storm over the course of Tuesday, but still capable of causing property damage and dumping large amounts of rain in the area.

On Monday, Gustav dumped 1.88 inches of rain in Grambling. However, on Tuesday, Gustav dumped 7.2 inches of rain in the area, causing flash flood watches. There were reports of minor flooding and power outages in the area.

While Grambling escaped most of the damage, Ruston did not. Several utility poles were down and a tree on Highway 80 fell onto a power line late Monday night, knocking out power in the area. A lot of homes were without power early Tuesday, while utility companies worked to restore power.

“The lights went out last night at 8:30 and came back on at 10 this morning,” said Dacia Woods, a junior at GSU. “I felt like a refugee in my own home.”

There was also some property damage in Ruston. At Lowe’s, some storage sheds were torn apart by the winds produced from Gustav. Gustav produced winds as high as 39 mph early Tuesday morning.

“There are several houses with trees on them,” said Captain Stephen Williams of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In Monroe, there were reports of flooding and power outages in various neighborhoods. In some neighborhoods, the floodwater was too high for some to leave the house. The higher water also brought in an unwanted visitor, according to a report from The News-Star.

An 8-foot alligator found its way to Brookwood Drive off of U.S. 165 North about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

“We’ve never seen one in our neighborhood before,” said neighborhood resident Stacy McDaniel, according to The News-Star.

The alligator was shot and killed by an authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries nuisance hunter, the paper reported.

As Gustav heads north and showers down Arkansas, there is one thing for certain. The “mother of all storms,” as New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin called it, did not do as much damage as Hurricane Katrina did three years ago. However, it did just enough to remain fresh on the minds of citizens.