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Belle Rose residents recover after tornado devastates neighborhood

Damage in Belle Rose, La. (Source: WAFB) Damage in Belle Rose, La. (Source: WAFB)
BELLE ROSE, LA (WAFB) -

Residents of Belle Rose are attempting to recover as many people in the small community are now homeless after Tuesday's storms. 

Larry Rodrigue, a worker with the Assumption Parish Police Jury, was shocked as he delivered ice to one Belle Rose neighborhood.  

"They said some of the houses were knocked down, but I didn't know it was this bad. This is devastating," Rodrigue said. 

Most of the homes on Daggs and Dupaty streets were damaged if not destroyed. A lot of them crumbled under the pressure. At one home on Daggs Street, a statue of Mary is the only thing standing. 

"That's what we used to call home," said homeowner Vernal Oliver.

Oliver could only stare in disbelief at his mobile home that was flipped upside down. Everything he worked for is gone. 

He was even more horrified as he walked around his old neighborhood. Oliver had lived there all of his life. 

Many of the people who live in the neighborhood said they were home when the twister hit. Oliver said he and his family rode out the storm inside a trailer. 

"Two minutes after the lights went out you hear like a train coming sound, and just all of the sudden we were lifted out up in to the air and went spinning," Oliver said. 

Oliver said had it not been for his grandparents' home next door, the trailer may have never stopped spinning. His brother and others had to break them out. 

While they lost everything, Oliver and his neighbors said after seeing the aftermath it was a miracle they survived. 

"I keep thanking God because if this thing took down a water tower, turned over a combine, and we are still here. We lived through it," said homeowner Eric Bias. "I couldn't believe, it was like a bomb exploded around here." 

Bias described the sound as unbearable with the wind and rocking. 

"You can hear everything just tearing apart and like a loud train horn and it didn't want to stop," he said. 

Bais said the pressure and vacuum of the tornado was "just unbelievable." He and his wife Carla found shelter in a tiny bedroom closet. 

"I was just holding on to the door and her and just hunkering down and calling on the name of Jesus," Bais said. 

Looking at what was left of their home, they know all they can do is start over. However, knowing where to begin is the hard part, but Bias said sometimes it just takes a little faith. 

"I thank God for what he has done and for what he is going to do," Bias said. 

Utility workers were out Friday working to restore power to the remaining houses.

Water, ice and non-perishable items are available at the Community Worship Center on Highway 70.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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