After 21 tornadoes hit Louisiana, residents wake up to aftermath of another natural disaster – WWNO
After 21 tornadoes touched down in Louisiana over the course of 24 hours, residents across this weather-battered state – who have contended with a litany of severe storms over the last few years, from major hurricanes to twisters – woke up Thursday morning to an eerily familiar scene.
Homes had shifted off their foundations; roofs had blown away. Peoples’ belongings were scattered across the street. Downed power lines cut off roads, and linemen queued up to begin repairs, yet again.
The tornado ripped away a portion of the roof of Joe Glorioso’s 114-year-old house on 9th Street in Gretna, exposing the inside of his home to the pouring rain. By late morning on Thursday, he’d already cleared much of the house of furniture, piled outside on the curb; the ceiling in one now-vacant room sagged with water.
“I’m in shock,” said Glorioso, 81, a retired hairdresser and school bus driver. “It’ll hit me. But it’s stuff we get through.”
With dozens of home insurers pulling out of Louisiana after the record-breaking hurricane seasons of 2020 and 2021 – plunging the state into an ever-more-precarious insurance landscape – Glorioso worried he’d see his monthly premium skyrocket.
“The rates are gonna go up for sure,” he said.
Alisha Lanier, 41, spent Thursday morning raking up debris outside her home in Harvey along with a crew of contractors. She was at her home when the tornado hit.
“The barometric pressure dropped, and my ears popped,” Lanier said. “And that’s how you know it’s a tornado.”
She was safe, but a massive steel beam had impaled the roof of her house. Once she could get it out, she was confident she could get back up on her feet.
“We’ll be alright,” she said. “But it will not be thanks to insurance, ‘cause they don’t pay anyway.”
Keith Eccles had just finished repairing his home after Hurricane Ida dealt it a blow last year. An artist and art teacher at West Jefferson High School, the shed of his Gretna home had blown down the block. The tornado had ripped away his roof, too.
He was thankful that neighbors had stepped in to help him move his paintings from his house to his studio next door after the worst of the storm passed on Wednesday night – and that his family came out of the severe weather alive.
“It’s gonna make this holiday a lot more special,” he said, tearing up. “Be grateful for what you have and be surrounded by the people that you love. Because your life can change in an instant.”
For the residents of Arabi in St. Bernard Parish, this is the second time in less than a year that a tornado has devastated the small community outside New Orleans.
Merritt Landry spent Thursday morning on his tractor — a must-have, he said, when you live in Louisiana and experience hurricanes and tornadoes frequently — picking up broken glass and other debris that was strewn around his home.
He sheltered from the storm in the hallway, huddling with his family and their dog. Their roof suffered damage, but he said everyone is in good spirits.
“We’re used to hurricanes, but tornados are new to us.” Landry said. “We’re resilient people — we’ll be back.”
Longtime Arabi resident Trina Moolekamp is no stranger to natural disasters and the aftermath that follows — her home was damaged during Hurricane Katrina, and on Thursday morning, she spent the day sweeping up glass and debris around the house from the twister that hit the day before. But she said she was confident she would rebuild. Moolekamp added she feels fortunate that no one was injured.
“Things are repairable and replaceable,” Moolekamp said. “People are not.”