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Tornado rips through homes in south Lake Charles

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Moments before the twister touched down on Hemlock Street, many of the homeowners heeded mother nature’s warning - the sound of a freight train barreling through the neighborhood.

“I got my wife and my kid, and we went inside to the center room,” homeowner Brad Busse said. “I personally looked outside and saw debris flying around. I think at one point, I got a picture of a trampoline that ended up over there.”

Rain and wind whip through the Ham Reid area and walloped some homes, leaving behind shreds.

“Around noon, I heard a transformer pop - looked outside - nothing was wrong,” homeowner Kylie Flesch said. “Then about 15 minutes later, I started to hear more noises and rumbling and something hit the side of the house while I was in the closet. [I] came out, and there’s debris everywhere. And I have a big board through the middle of my ceiling.”

“I heard a loud noise, and like, I felt like the windows breaking. So, I went to go check on her in her room to make sure she was okay,” homeowner April Pettefer said. “And then, everything kind of happen in the living room where I had been. And we moved into the bathroom really quickly, then it was over really fast.”

The National Weather Service confirms maximum sustained winds peaked at 130 mph.

“This one was definitely one that produced a tornado,” Donald Jones with the National Weather Service said. “Still undergoing our surveys right now, but we’re looking at probably a high-end EF-2 or low-end EF-3.”

The wind’s strength knocked down power lines, cutting off electricity to more than 7,500 Entergy customers. The utility company is working through the night to restore power.

“There may be some scattered cases where we don’t get power restored tonight, but we have our customer’s interests at heart,” Entergy spokesperson Margaret Harris said. “There are downed lines. Consider every down line a line with power. Stay very safe around them.”

Now, these residents are left picking up the pieces after surviving yet another natural disaster in the Lake Area.

“We just replaced basically the whole house,” Flesch said. “We, literally, just finished up everything, I guess, technically yesterday from damage from Laura. So, here we go again.”

“Just another disaster to go through, so keep throwing them at us,” Busse said. “We’ll take them and get through them.”

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