Local nursery devastated by severe weather - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Local nursery devastated by severe weather

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KEITHVILLE, LA (KSLA) -

Shock, anger and sadness are just a few of the emotions that greeted the owners and employees of an Ark-La-Tex nursery, devastated by Thursday's (5/16/13) severe weather that rolled through the area. At that one business alone, damage and cleanup costs will rise into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The crunch of large hail, peppered across the local landscape, were familiar sights and sounds after severe weather tore through parts of the area. The storms turned well over 50-thousand dollars in plants into garbage here at Ark-La-Tex Water Gardens, just south of Shreveport in the 99-hundred block of Mansfield Road in Keithville, Louisiana.

General Manager Crystal Pirtle recalled, "I came in this morning to find it like this and I was speechless." That's because the wind, rain and hail shredded plants grown and used in the business' landscaping projects.

Co-owner Mary Cash told us Friday (5/17/13) morning, "Everything is turned over. There's millions of leaves, there's so much cleanup to do. Some of it may live. Some of it may not."

Mary and her husband John Cash have operated their business here nearly forty years and cannot recall a storm ever leaving behind this much damage. "If it helped I guess I'd cry more (laugh)," added Mary Cash.

The owners say cleanup efforts alone could top 10 to 20 thousand dollars, on top of the 50 to 100 grand lost in plant inventory. To make matters even worse, insurance won't cover the damage or cleanup because such plants are considered so highly perishable."

Despite the major setback, Mary Cash wanted to send a message to her longtime customers: "I appreciate your support in the past and I appreciate it now. And, be thinking about us."

Luckily, they have another farm in Logansport, LA with other plants that they'll move here to help keep the business afloat.

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