Tornado has residents cleaning up on Chrismas Eve
AMITE - People near Amite spent Christmas Eve cleaning up storm damage after a tornado tore through their community Tuesday evening.
Most of the damage happened near the intersection of La. 16 and La. 1064, just east of the Tangipahoa River. Homeowner Carol Morrow saw the aftermath of the tornado for the first time Wednesday morning. She said she was overwhelmed by the amount of damage to her home.
"Just look at this. Oh my gosh," she said. "And for Christmas, you couldn't ask for a better Christmas present."
The tornado damaged more than a dozen homes and knocked down countless trees and power lines. The Department of Transportation worked to clear fallen trees along La. 16 for most of the morning while electric companies worked to restore power.
Homeowner Andy Anderson recalled hearing a loud roar before calling family members to warn them. Anderson then grabbed a comforter and took cover in a steel bathtub inside his home. That's when part of the home's roof tore off.
"It lasted maybe 15-20 seconds, and when I came out I was just astonished when I saw my yard and all my trees were gone because I love my trees as much as I love my house," said Anderson.
Anderson says the twister knocked down around 30 pine trees around his home.
"It was frightening," he said. "I was beginning to wonder if I was going to live through it, cause it was happening real fast."
While the damage has already been done, residents say they'll spend this Christmas helping each other to carry on.
"The phone calls and the texts haven't stopped. It's amazing," said Morrow. "We live in just a wonderful community, and we give all the praise and glory to God that we are safe."
The same storm system killed four people in Columbia, Miss. And injured 20 others.