My home town of Gonzales was reportedly hit by 75 mph winds, which ain't no stiff breeze. While this is not a mega-disaster, it appears that power is out to 4/5 of a million people right now.
My parents report that some trees near their home were uprooted, and while no one's home appears to be have been destroyed, damage was somewhat widespread, and power lines are down all over the neighborhood. This is a story that I imagine is repeated in neighborhoods across South Louisiana.
In the same article quoted above, it appears Gustav is directly responsible for at least 3 deaths, two in Baton Rouge and one in Lafayette.
Even if this is nothing like Katrina, it is still a very significant event, and we once again return to the theme of this blog, which is football. Other outlets can give you all the information you could ever want about the human impact of the story. This blog is about football and other college sports, and that's where our analysis will go, even if it seems a little trifling right at the moment.
This storm definitely threatens the game against Troy scheduled for Saturday night. It also threatens preparation for the game, which is a bad thing when you're going against a team that is definitely capable of beating good teams.
The bad thing is, the LSU football team needs this game. As has been well documented here and elsewhere, the quarterback play and other aspects of the football team definitely need some work, and need the experience of going against live competition.
The problem is, the LSU fanbase may not be ready for the game. It is unknown when 800,000 people are going to be getting power back. One would imagine the process will start tomorrow, but may not finish for quite some time. It is difficult to imagine the downed trees will be cleaned up in less than one week, and there's no way of guessing how easy it will be for the Troy football team to even get to Baton Rouge.
We will, after all, need an opponent. And they will have to get here on Friday at the latest.
Would they have ANOTHER game with a half-full house? Would they delay the game until Sunday or Monday if it would help, knowing TV is not an issue, nor is North Texas? Would Troy go for that plan?
There are lots of unanswered questions right now, and we don't know exactly when we'll have the answers. I imagine we'll need to have an answer by around Wednesday evening at the latest, but that's only a guess.