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Wind pulls roof off apartment complex, crushes cars

Photo provided by staff
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 7:00am

The storm was quick, but the damage will be long-lasting.

"It was scary," Kenyetta Chaney said. "It sounded like a lot of rocks hitting the doors, and all you seen was lightning."

"I asking my wife, 'what is that? It feels like something is trying to come in the house,'" Kenny Hebert recalled. "So I had to grab my baby and tell my wife to grab my other baby, lean against the wall. Cause it seemed like something was coming in here, trying to break the glass."

"My bed is right by the window, so I was pretty scared," Kevin Johnson mentioned. "It sounded like a train was coming through."

All of them live at Summergrove Condominiums on Florida Blvd. The storm that hit Baton Rouge late Sunday night brought strong winds, hail, and rain to the complex.

"And when I was looking out the window, you couldn't really see anything, couldn't see nothing," Johnson stated. "It was just hail, wind, and the sky looked kinda weird. I was pretty scared. And not a lot of things scare me, but I was scared."

The wind was so strong around 11:30 p.m. that it tore the upper roof off the complex along with five light poles, knocking out power to all 80 apartments.

"Where we gonna stay at?" Hebert asked. "We got babies, no food, no water, no shelter, no nothing."

The roof landed on some cars parked close to the street, crushing them. One of the cars belonged to the maintenance supervisor, who said he had just bought it.

"Kinda like a hurricane, pretty much," Johnson said, "except it was just one little, big gust of wind. Cause it happened so quick, and it was over fast."

Crews from DEMCO began fixing the power lines before dawn Monday, soon after the storm ended. Service was restored to the rest of the neighborhood around 6:30 p.m., but because the complex was so heavily damaged, residents did not have their power back on Monday night. That led to confusion and more questions.

"We got babies," Hebert said. "Everybody got babies out here need to find out what's gonna happen."

Johnson considered the extent Monday afternoon and took a positive attitude.

"We still have our homes," he noted. "I mean, we can be without a home today. So I'm thankful."

No one was injured by the storm or the falling debris.  

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