Okay, Gustav, you win. We cannot travel to see my mother. Even if we could, there is the possibility that we will only get so far and have to turn back due to mandatory contraflow lane reversal. Meaning all major highways, roads, and interstates leading into Baton Rouge would be one direction only - away from the storm's path.
When Katrina hit land three years ago yesterday, she was a Category 3. Gustav has not even ventured into the warm Gulf of Mexico waters and he is a Category 4 with winds gusting to 185 mph. Less than 24 hours earlier he was a Tropical Storm. Gustav is expected to intensify to Category 5 by morning. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans called Gustav "the storm of the century ... the mother of all storms."
My mother is braving it alone in her tiny apartment. She understands that it is not feasible for me to make this trip. We both made peace with that extremely disappointing fact this morning. As hard as it was for us to finally make the decision to delay, we knew it was really our only option. My Aunt Y and The Godather promised me they would see to her. My mother, in her gracious, southern way, has refused their assistance at the moment, thinking she will be fine by herself. She doesn't want to impose on anyone. *sigh* It's not that I expect a major impact for Baton Rouge, but after Katrina they were without power for a week. There were downed power lines and trees everywhere. The torrential rains brought serious flooding. My mother is terrified of thunder storms, so the thought of her going through all that by herself just breaks my heart.