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Clean-up underway in Evangeline Parish

Posted: 6:32 PM, May 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-20 19:43:57-04

In Evangeline Parish, the clean-up continues after yesterday’s tornadoes.

Today the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-0 hit Mamou and an EF-1 hit Ville Platte. Many businesses and homes were damages – some even destroyed.

Across Ville Platte, there are still power lines and trees down. At one home, three trees were knocked down by the tornado.

Luckily, no one was injured and according to the homeowner, a sign near the tree protected his family. Sunday morning that homeowner, who didn’t want to be identified, woke up to thunder and lightning.

“I was awake looking out my backdoor. Lightning lit up the sky and when it lit up again I saw the first tree was over and that tree hit another tree and it was one big domino effect,” he said. “The house is almost 100 years old that tree has been there and now they’re all over my yard. I took a chain saw cut all the trees. We piled them up right now.”

And in the middle of the clean-up efforts was a statue of St. Francis.

“When the tree went over he stayed right there. That was a sign having St. Francis bring the tree away from the house,” the homeowner told us. “This is the bedroom sides are here. Had that tree came this way and hit the house i would’ve probably lost my wife and two kids.”

While he and his family pick up what the tornado left behind, they say the city is just trying to regain a sense of normalcy.

Jake Ortego, the homeowner’s relative, said he feels the community is working together.

“Pray that our city gets back together. I left the house yesterday and trees were all coming down and there’s definitely a lot of work that needs to be done around the city,” he said. “I’m just happy everyone is coming together and doing their part.”

Now residents are being asked to travel with caution because of downed trees and power lines. If you have damage, make sure to report it so the city has an accurate assessment of the storm damage.