I am sure that now, you are hearing on the news what we in New Orleans have been bracing for all week--the arrival of Hurricane Gustav. Right now, the primary sentiment of Gulf Coast residents is one of extraordinary trepidation. None of us want to relive the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, and based on the forecast of Hurricane Gustav and Mayor Nagin's proclamation that Hurricane Gustav is the "Storm of the Century," there is a very strong possibility that we will--almost three years to the date of the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
To update you on the path of Hurricane Gustav, here is the latest real-time map (which is updated by the National Hurricane Center):
For those of you who know me, my close friends and family have evacuated safely (or are in the process of evacuating). I am reading your emails now this morning, and want to thank you for your concerns. Please think about the other people of New Orleans and Louisiana as well.
Please pray for the people living on the Gulf Coast, many of whom simply do not have the psychological or financial wherewithal to make it through another hurricane like Hurricane Katrina. Many have lost everything, and are in the process of potentially losing everything, again.
Please pray that the people of New Orleans will never lose their generous, abounding, and unparalleled spirit, even despite tragedy and hardship. Please pray for the people who are still evacuating, that they would not encounter car troubles, that they can make it through the bumper-to-bumper traffic relatively quickly, that they would be able to purchase enough food, water, and supplies, even despite the empty shelves, and that they can find rooms in which to stay. Please pray that the levees will hold. Please pray that by a miracle, the storm would weaken and that the Gulf Coast may be protected.
Also, please pray for those who have lost their family, friends, or homes during Hurricane Katrina, and who are still coming to terms with their losses. In a time of frenzy and fear, the blogger at Contraflow Maps reminded me to "remember" the losses from Hurricane Katrina with this image: