Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Residents clean up fallen tree during winter storm

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BATON ROUGE - Darryl St. Pierre, a resident in the Magnolia Woods subdivision, knew a winter storm was coming, but he never expected anything like what happened early Monday morning.

"Close to 8 a.m. we heard an extremely loud noise. Didn't know what it was," St. Pierre said. "I look out the window, and one of my really old water oak trees crashed -- one of my prized trees that I love."

The weight of the ice uprooted the tree from St. Pierre's front lawn. Its icy branches, limbs, and leaves left part of Magnolia Wood Avenue impassable.

"I've never seen anything like this at all," said St. Pierre, who has lived here since 1989. "Even with hurricanes, I've never had damage like I've had now."

St. Pierre is not the only resident of this neighborhood tucked off Highland Road who saw damage from this winter blast. He is taking it all in stride, knowing it could have been much worse.

"Well, I was shocked because I lost my tree, but I'm glad that it wasn't leaning towards my house because I don't think we could've survived the fall," he said.

Even with a crater-sized hole in his front yard, and an even bigger mess out on the street, St. Pierre is keeping a positive attitude, thanks in part to a working generator and some very thoughtful neighbors.

By Tuesday evening, a trio of his neighbors grabbed a chainsaw to begin dismantling the oak, hoping to kick-start the process of getting the roadway cleared.

St. Pierre says he is thankful for those neighbors, and that the tree didn't take down more power lines or injure anyone. He's looking forward to warmer temperatures and getting back in his yard to tend to his landscaping, everything from his camellias to his remaining trees like he has for decades.

"Seems like every time I get my yard looking the way I want it to look, something like this happens, and you got to start all over again," St. Pierre said.


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