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PHOTOS: Stories of survival shared, rebuilding starts day after twister in Ascension

4 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago February 08, 2017 Feb 8, 2017 Wednesday, February 08 2017 February 08, 2017 11:40 AM in News
Source: WBRZ

DONALDSONVILLE – People mixed survival stories with tales of plans to rebuild as people met on the streets of this Ascension Parish community Wednesday.

Hours after a twister tore through Donaldsonville, people are taking note of what's left, thankful there were no deaths and pondering their next steps. By lunch Wednesday, equipment was moving around and the last of debris was being cleared from roadways. Tuesday afternoon, a tornado wreaked havoc on an area near downtown.

“I just seen the whole house just open up, from the living room to the kitchen. The whole house just opened up wide,” an eyewitness remembered in an interview with WBRZ. “I said, awe Jesus, 'what's happening?' That's when I realized it was a tornado,” the man said.

The man said he felt paralyzed as the storm moved over his house and he prayed as his surroundings were torn apart. After it was over, he rejoiced.

“I just thank God for saving my life,” he said.

As the man shared his story, nearby others were surveying the damage. A house was blown twenty feet off its pilings. A business owner looked over damaged roofs of a row of structures.

As citizens worked to rebuild, the National Weather Service was surveying damage, too, to determine the severity of the reported tornadoes. NWS experts spent Wednesday in Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa and New Orleans East.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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