I felt it was important and necessary to let our readers know why our office has been shut down for phone calls and Internet communication for many days in September. As of this writing, because of Hurricane Ida, we still have no telephones or Internet at the Breakthrough office. We only recently reached the company that handles our Website and they assisted us in getting our Website orders with safety and security for our customers. Here is a short story of what has happened.
On August 28, 2021 I was enjoying my birthday with family and friends… OK, I will tell you, my 73rd. We all expected that the next day would be anxious with Hurricane Ida strengthening and showing a direct path toward the Louisiana coast near Grand Isle, about 100 miles south of us. We had all been through some pretty bad hurricanes in the past, but the eventual path Ida took would produce the worst devastation our home area (Hammond, Louisiana) has ever experienced. The storm hit us August 29, only a few days before our press date for this issue. Unlike thousands of other businesses and homes in south Louisiana, our office and house suffered no severe damage, but we were facing no electrical power, no land-line telephones, nor Internet for weeks. It took days before any dependable cell phone communication returned.
Our local airport reported gusts to 134 mph and sustained winds of 110–115 mph as we were in the eastern eye wall of the storm for 6 hours. Being 40 miles northwest of New Orleans, our topography and landscape abounds with mature virgin pines and towering oaks. Thousands of these trees were uprooted and broken over by these powerful winds, downing power lines and poles. Our personal property has 18 mature pines and oaks on the ground. Fallen trees and then water intrusion damaged or destroyed at least 50 percent of the homes in our neighborhood.
As bad as it was here, there are locations along coastal parishes of Louisiana that were hit much harder than we were, with winds exceeding 150 mph, tidal surges, and up to 15 inches of rain.
Two weeks after the storm we had power restored to our office where Kathy has her graphic and publishing computers, but no telephones, emails, or Internet. I had a gasoline generator at our home office where I work enabling us to finally complete this issue 17 days after Ida. There were several articles, such as reference and stories of the new Taxidermy Hall of Fame inductees, planned for this issue but we could not complete them because of no Internet, photography, and graphic needs. Our reference articles and much more will be back as normal next issue, including coverage of the 2021 European Taxidermy Championships in Budapest Hungary.
We offer a big thank you to all who have reached out to check on our well being, who have offered hope and assistance. I hope by the time this issue is printed and mailed we will have all of the good features we have come to work and live with. God is great, and even in times of difficulty he gives us the strength we need to continue. •