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Made it to Bay St. Louis - MtnVwPilot

Sep. 26th, 2005 07:06 pm Made it to Bay St. Louis

A few minutes after my last posting, which was made from a McDonald's in Pensacola, I got onto I-10 and headed west. The rain was coming down in buckets, and there were several inches of standing and running water in many of the Pensacola streets between McDonald's and the highway. Once I got established on the highway, though, I decided to turn on the radio and see what I could find... As soon as I turned it on, I hear the "BLLAAAT BLLAAAT BLLAAAT" tones of the Emergency Alert System, which was issuing a flash flood warning for Pensacola. No shit. 20 miles west, though, and the rain stopped.

I stopped in Pascagoula for supplies, and spent a couple of hours at Wal*Mart. It's a Wal*Mart SuperCenter, which means it has both the regular "department store" Wal*Mart stuff, as well as groceries. The main entrance was totally boarded up, and many of the letters from the signage on the building were missing, so I was worried that it would be either closed or largely emptied out of anything useful, in which case I was probably going to have to backtrack towards Pensacola to find one that was open. As it happened, though, there's a second entrance to the "groceries" part of the store, which was open, and it's all one big store once you get inside; and, it was very well stocked. Furthermore, everything is so cheap compared to the Bay Area! Anyway, like I said, I spent a couple of hours, and loaded up 2 over-full shopping carts (which the locals call "buggies") with stuff for me and the rest of the team that's already here.

I got into the place we're based out of, the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center, at the local airport, just in time for dinner. Meals are being prepared by an outfit from Wyoming which normally cooks for forest fire base camps. According to my team mates and my one experience so far, the food is fantastic though basic, but the cooks seem to assume that you need about 4000 calories a day. If you're spending your days cutting fireline by hand with a shovel and a Pulaski, that's not at all unreasonable; we're not, though, so I'm gonna have to watch it... Anyway, I got here too late to get officially signed in and introduced around today, but there seem to be at least a dozen or so different groups (including at least two Urban SAR Task Forces) working out of here.

The city itself is about 8 miles south of here. I haven't seen it yet; Jeff's going to take me with him on a couple of installs tomorrow, both to show me around and to show me how we're doing things.

As I was driving in, getting closer and closer, one of the things I noticed first is that most of the roadside advertising billboards have been knocked down. That's a heck of a way to do a roadside improvement program... I took some pictures with my cell phone, but haven't had time to put them online yet.

I'm exhausted... Time to go try out the shower truck (an 18-wheeler; all the camps at Burning Man would be _so_ envious) and get some sleep; it's going to be a long day tomorrow, and every day after that for a while...

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Comments:

From:shadowsmark
Date:September 27th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the updates!
From:malabar
Date:September 27th, 2005 09:14 am (UTC)
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Did we mention that you totally rock? You do.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 27th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)

Thanks

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Hey Brent... Haven't had a chance to talk since you left... Thanks... More power to ya'... I'm young and of limited resources, but if there is anything I can do, let me know... Take it easy brother... Robert Jones
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 27th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
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Not sure if ya' got my last comment, but... right on Buddy. Thanks for doing what you can.