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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Miles remembers Gustav

BATON ROUGE – Hurricane Gustav hit Baton Rouge one year ago Tuesday and left thousands without power and with tree and other damage for weeks.

LSU football coach Les Miles lost power at his home, and a tree landed in his swimming pool. He was lucky. He also grew closer to his family and staff.

Miles’ family and all of his coaches’ families and other staff members and their families all lived in the LSU football facility together for nearly a week after the storm.

“It was a sad time certainly for the community and for all of us,” Miles said, “but there were some real positives derived - having your family in a meeting room that you also would sleep in that night for one. Really, it was kind of easy, to be honest. You weren’t worried about what was going on at home. Everyone’s electricity was out. And so, focus was pretty good.”

No time was wasted driving to work through any traffic.

“You were at work all the time,” Miles said. “And all you had to do was get up, shave and put on some flip-flops and go into the staff room.”

LSU’s season opener on Aug. 30 was moved from 4 p.m. to a 10 a.m. kickoff so as not to cause any traffic problems with hurricane evacuees and contraflow. After Gustav hit on Monday, Sept. 1, LSU’s Sept. 6 game against Troy was postponed to Nov. 15. LSU played its next game against North Texas on Sept. 13. LSU also had to change its schedule in light of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

“There were a lot of fond memories with a team that handled change and adjustment as well as they did,” Miles said.

So far, hurricanes have not affected LSU’s 2009 season. After practicing Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers will leave for Seattle on Thursday for their season opener against Washington at 9:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

LIVE CHAT TIME: LSU beat reporter Glenn Guilbeau will answer your questions about the upcoming season from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday. Go to LSUbeat.com or your paper's website and follow the prompts to join in and ask a question.

For the rest of the season, the chats will be on Monday mornings from 10 to 11.


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