Tornado in St. Amant

Friday, March 27, 2009 - 4:51pm

A confirmed tornado ripped through homes in St. Amant last night. Our Lauren Unger was on the scene and has more on the damage. Neighbors on R. Daigle Road have a lot to clean up today. Many of their homes have been severely damaged, but through it all, they say they feel lucky.

95-year-old Ruth Jerome was home last night when the storm hit full force, blowing part of the roof off her trailer. “Glass was blowing everywhere, picture frames, and I just covered my face and said, Jesus, I’m ready, just don’t let me suffer.” Moments later it was all over. Jerome was able to crawl out of the ruins, unharmed except for a small cut on her hand. It wasn’t until she looked back that she realized the extent of the devastation. “I almost cried to think that I got out of the trailer like that. You can’t imagine the feeling I had, I am so lucky.”

There was even more luck right next door and another amazing tale of survival. Verna Ducote says, “All of a sudden there was this clap of thunder and my room exploded.” A piece of a nearby fence had come crashing through her roof, but Verna Ducote was able to get out of the apartment. It was an escape that was made just in time. You can see the roof, destroyed just feet from where she was laying moments before.

But her family’s home wasn’t so lucky; it was a home that has survived more than 100 years and even a move across town. Now the family isn’t sure if they can salvage it. The house suffered massive damage: a missing roof, soaked wood, and more. Anita Ducote explains, “It took a door in between that room and the next room and just blew it off the hinges, door stop and everything.” Massive damage and a frightening night for many in St. Amant.

Both women say they plan to live with family until things are fixed up again. The Red Cross is currently assisting a number of these families.