BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Fireworks, gunshots and falling rocks are just some of the words residents used to describe the sounds of loud thunder and rain that rolled through the Baton Rouge metropolitan area late Sunday night.
Strong storms left a trail of damage. The bulk of it, officials said, in East Baton Rouge Parish.
For some it seemed the rain was slow to arrive to the Capital City, but when it finally did it came with a force that took many people by surprise.
"It was like a big boom," Nicholas Carter said.
"I thought somebody had kicked in my door," Steve Decell said.
"I was lying in bed sleeping and all of a sudden all I hear was a loud noise. Boom," Patricia Beauchamp said.
"As quick as it came it was over just that fast," Kevin Johnson said.
The damage was done long before the sun came up.
In the Sherwood Forest neighborhood, strong winds sent trees crashing onto houses, debris into the streets, and ripped the roof off of a condominium complex.
Kevin Johnson lives there.
"I really got scared because I saw the wind and I heard that train noise and I noticed that's like the sound of a tornado. So I went in the hallway called my mom and talked to her because I was scared. I've never been in a tornado before," Johnson said.
The storm crippled utility services. It knocked out power to thousands of homes in East Baton Rouge Parish. Lineman began making repairs in the rain.
With the sun rose the damage was clear. Reality set in.
Steve Decell said he was sleeping when a tall tree sliced through the front of his house.
"I got out of bed and took three steps and on the third step, kaboom, and that's when I turned around and there's that tree laying across my bed, and I'm looking at the sky through my ceiling," Decell said.
Patricia Beauchamp and her family woke up to a similar sound in the Garden District when a tree cut through her kitchen.
"Everybody was scared running and everything else. They was running, didn't know what was going on," Beauchamp said.
After the storm passed, there was a sense of calm. While some of their properties were badly bruised, people stopped worrying about themselves and began helping each another. There's no denying there's plenty of work to be done but they said in the end they are grateful.
"There have been worse situations like this in Baton Rouge and in New Orleans after hurricanes and floods. We just try to put it all in perspective and count our blessings," Decell said.
Entergy and Demco report linemen are working to restore power to all customers by Monday evening.