The Gustav Evacuation, Part 4: Our Return

All bad things must come to an end. Most of us drive back the way we came, caught up with thick but moving traffic on the interstates.  But at the junctions of I-10 and I-12 we choke up and lose momentum, feeling farther from arrival the closer we get.  Those of us...

The Gustav Evacuation, Part 3: The Wait, by Ryan Sparks

We know what we smell like, okay?  Hours and hours under the sun or smothered by night heat have us sweating coffee, sweating Red Bull.  The clench of old cigarette smoke.  Fast food and soda breath.  We are covered in pet hair or the sticky evidence of children’s...

The Gustav Evacuation, Part 2: The Drive, by Ryan Sparks

Cue the music. We’re going for a ride. It’s hot as Labor Day weekend should be, summer’s last holiday, last chance to boil. We have our windows down and the music is passing between cars and mixing in the space between, pidgin notes and lyrics. The few radio stations...

The Gustav Evacuation, Part 1: Preparations, by Ryan Sparks

As Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf states in August of 2008, memories of the Katrina disaster triggered the largest evacuation in US history. Three million fled the oncoming hurricane. Most of the refugees were from the Louisiana south coast. Author, New...