NATALBANY, LA (WAFB) - The word from weather officials Sunday confirms that a tornado, with winds upward of 100 miles-per-hour ripped apart a mobile home on Joel McDonald Rd. in Natalbany.
"What we've got here is definitely tornado damage. I'm here to confirm it," said Mike Efferson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"We were asleep when the trailer turned over and the tornado came over," said Lenney Ray McDonald, a survivor of the tornado.
Living in the mobile home, three people, two of them taken to the hospital after the storm flipped their home around 3:45 a.m.
When asked if the force of the tornado moved him out of his bed, Lenney Ray McDonald answered, "It tossed me. I hit a wall."
McDonald escaped with just some cuts and bruises, but his nephew and mother were hurt badly enough to go to the hospital. The elderly woman, in her late 70s, broke both of her legs and her nose.
A fourth member of the family went missing in all the damage. "Tinkerbell", a Chihuahua, was finally found six hours later.
About a dozen Natalbany firemen responded. Plus, the Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office and power crews. Into the afternoon, the lights were still off at some neighborhood homes.
"One interesting thing about this particular situation was that the storm was actually moving toward the northwest. If you look at the track of the damage, it goes from a southeast to a northwest direction which is not quite typical for tornadoes. It's just in this situation, that's what occurred," said Efferson.
The family is being helped by the Red Cross.