Residents, firefighters pick up pieces after severe weather crushes community
POSTED: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 8:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 8:52pm
ASCENSION PARISH, LA (NBC33) — The National Weather Service confirmed a EF1 tornado touched down in Ascension Parish. Several homes and even a fire station were damaged. The area off Black Bayou Road between LA 44 and Airline Highway got hit with strong winds around 9:00 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 10.
Residents there are thankful no one was injured.
Ascension Parish resident Angel Hutchison's day began with startling news. She knew about a tornado warning for the area before she left for work, but never thought she'd hear of such strong weather damages.
"I got a phone call from him saying that a tornado had come," Hutchison said.
Her son was at home when severe weather rolled through her neighborhood tearing up trees, ripping off roofs, and crushing cars. Winds reached as high as 90 miles an hour.
"Scared, because he heard the whole freight train sound they always say you hear and he heard that. I was just worried about him," Hutchison explained.
Residents say the sound lasted only a few seconds, but the damage left behind could take weeks to clean up.
Hutchison's neighbors' homes were also damaged. People went out in the rain and patched up their roof with tarps.
Meanwhile, firefighters at the 7th District Fire Department saw similar damage.
"The damage here was that it pressurized the inside the building. It pushed the backdoors in and it caused the north wall to collapse," Rick Webre, Ascension Parish Homeland Security director, said.
Construction crews cleared out as much debris as they could. Firefighters say they're not letting the mess get to them.
"In times if they need us we will respond we'll be there within minutes, like we always have," Assistant Chief Lloyd Solar, 7th District Fire Department, said. "We will leave this behind to go help our people out."
Parish officials say they are still working on getting an exact total for damages to the fire station, and they don't know how long it will take to fix up the building. 7th district firefighters are still able to respond to emergency calls.
Hutchison said friends and family plan on cleaning up her yard. She expects damages to cost over $20 thousand to repair.
"Actually it's just stuff it's just stuff in the house. I'm just so glad that my son is okay," Hutchison exclaimed.