Three tornadoes strike in Prairieville, Sorrento

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
A resident of Prairieville walks through a tornado stricken street.

The storm that rolled in this morning, June 6, affected the capital area a great deal with regards to flooding, and additionally in Ascension Parish tornadoes struck in the Prairieville and Sorrento areas.

Sheriff Bobby Webre was on the scene at Beech Street in Prairieville, where at least five homes plus vehicles were badly damaged. Roofs were torn off, trees and power lines were down, and things like doggy bowls were overturned in the middle of the street.

Furthermore, large trees were down making the road impassable. However there were no injuries.

"Nobody is trapped," Webre said. "Everybody has been accounted for as far as we know with no injuries, thank goodness. It was a quick moving cell that came through and popped one down."

Next, Chris Drive off of Highway 933 in Prairieville had one home with irreconcilable damage. Two trees fell on Don Avery's home, trapping him and his wife inside.

"When we started hearing the wind, I was sitting in the front room trying to watch the news for the weather," Avery said. "All of a sudden I could hear it picking up, getting real strong. So then I went and got my wife who was laying in the bedroom, awake. We went and got in the bathtub in the middle of the house, and within five seconds the tree just come crashing through our house all the way down.

"A tree in the back of the house fell on it too, so we were trapped inside the house. They had to come and actually pull us through the windows of the house."

A statue of Mary stood in their yard, facing the carnage. Avery also had a shop in the back of his home where he parked his car. Another tree fell on top of it.

"As long as we're ok, the house can be replaced," he said.

The Galvez-Lake Fire Department, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, EMS, and others came to their aid.

"They did a great job making sure we were safe," Avery said.

The family will not be able to get into the house until part of the tree is removed.

Lastly, in Sorrento at the Exxon plant near the Interstate 10 and Highway 61 intersection, a tornado struck and ripped an office trailer in two. Five people were injured, and reportedly there was a head contusion and a broken leg.

Sheriff Webre added that in his first 15 years with the department, he cannot recall any tornadoes, but in the past decade there have been quite a few. The most recent was in St. Amant just a few months ago.