Haughton see major storm damage

HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) - The few families taking refuge at Platt Elementary School in Haughton were happy to have a dry place to stay and something to eat after either straight-line winds or a possible tornado damaged more than two-dozen homes.

Early Thursday afternoon, the storm moved over the Mimosa Gardens and South Merrywoods Subdivisions in Haughton. The storm uprooted some trees and snapped others in half, terrifying those who were at home when the winds came through.

"I heard the trees falling then I ran," said one woman who rode out the storm. "I'm shook up but I'm OK."

An estimated 30 homes in the two neighborhoods suffered anywhere from minor to major damage.

Inside one of those homes was a 94-year-old woman and her 70-year-old daughter. The storm uprooted a large pine tree in front yard, sending it crashing down on the women's home, splitting the structure in two.

"I told (my mother) we had to get up and move," the daughter said. "She was eating and I took her tray to the kitchen, and by the time I got to the kitchen, the tree had fell into the house."

The older woman ended up under a roofing beam. Fortunately, the beam didn't fall all the way to the floor. "I'm a little sore, but I'm OK," the older woman said. "I just thank God I'm as good as I am." She was treated for very minor injuries.

A few hours after the storm, the Red Cross set up a shelter in nearby Platt Elementary School. The shelter was set up as a haven for up to 70 people, but almost became a target as another storm later on Thursday brought the potential for even more damage.

One of the nearby residents who came to the shelter was State Representative Henry Burns. "Unfortunately, I think we'll wake up in the morning with a lot of damage, water damage, so we'll have our plate full, and we just ask for people's prayers. We want to say thank you to the Red Cross ... and everyone else who's working real hard."

Burns said he's already been in contact with city and parish administrators to see what the next step for the damaged area is as far as seeking possible state aid.

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