Rayne Tornado: Victim's father speaks, Jindal tours damage - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Rayne Tornado: Victim's father speaks, Jindal tours damage

Jalisa Granger, 21, died while shielding her young son after a tree fell on to their house. Granger was the storm's only fatality. (Photo Courtesy : Granger Family) Jalisa Granger, 21, died while shielding her young son after a tree fell on to their house. Granger was the storm's only fatality. (Photo Courtesy : Granger Family)
Jude Granger, the father of Jalisa Granger, the 21-year-old mother who died shielding her son from the twister. Jude Granger talked with KPLC about his daughter on Sunday. (Photo: KPLC) Jude Granger, the father of Jalisa Granger, the 21-year-old mother who died shielding her son from the twister. Jude Granger talked with KPLC about his daughter on Sunday. (Photo: KPLC)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal arrives in Rayne to get an upclose view of the damage on Sunday. (Photo: KPLC) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal arrives in Rayne to get an upclose view of the damage on Sunday. (Photo: KPLC)

By Brandon Richards - bio | email

RAYNE, La (KPLC-TV) – On Sunday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal met with victims and toured the damage left behind by a deadly tornado in Rayne. 

The tornado, which struck the town's northern neighborhoods on Saturday morning, left one person dead and about a dozen others injured.

The storm destroyed at least 120 homes and more than 1,500 people were evacuated from the hardest hit areas out of concern over gas leaks and downed power lines.

Most of the evacuees were receiving help from family and friends. About 29 others were taking shelter at the Rayne Fire Station, which was converted into a community shelter for displayed storm victims. The American Red Cross is assisting them.

Jindal toured the damage from a helicopter and then on the ground, first at a destroyed public housing facility and then at the home of a mother who died protecting her young son.

"The damage is tremendous," Jindal told reporters. "The only way to truly understand it is to see it."

Jindal said he was amazed by the work of the local emergency responders and pledged to do everything he could to help Rayne recover.

"Rayne is coming back better and stronger then it was before, thanks to the strong people that live here and call this community home everyday," said Jindal.

Emergency officials started letting some residents, whose houses received only minor damage, back into their homes late Sunday. Officials were hoping to slowly let others back in once certain areas were deemed safe.

The mayor of Rayne, James Petitjean, said the estimated 120 homes that were deemed inhabitable would affect about 600 residents.

The father of Jalisa Granger, the 21-year-old victim who died protecting her son after a tree fell on to the home she shared with her mother, said his son was the person who first broke the news of the tragedy to him.

"He said ‘Daddy they're all dead!' I said, ‘What? What's going on?" recalled Jude Granger. "He told me ‘Daddy they're all dead!' I said, ‘Oh please don't tell me all this, not my daughter, not my baby girl."

Granger described his daughter as someone who was always there for him in his time of need.

"I love my grandson and I love my daughter," he said. "I'm sorry for this to happen."

Rayne city officials plan on helping the Granger Family set up an account through a local bank to collection donations.

Jindal said FEMA will arrive to the town on Wednesday to access the situation and to determine whether anyone qualifies for federal assistance.

Officials said the best way for people to help is by making monetary donations to the American Red Cross.

"That's what's going to be needed, especially here because this is going to be a major rebuilding operation," said Tony Credeur, CEO of the Acadiana Chapter of the American Red Cross.

All of the victims who were injured in Saturday's storm have been released from the hospital, according to city officials.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • TDL Week 4: High school football scores

    TDL Week 4: High school football scores

    Friday, September 22 2017 8:20 PM EDT2017-09-23 00:20:45 GMT

    The Iowa Yellow Jackets just keep landing in big matchups. Because of that, Iowa is once again in our Game of the Week. The Yellow Jackets host the Jennings Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Both teams are undefeated, Jennings (2-0) coming off a 26-6 win over DeRidder and Iowa (3-0) coming off a 42-14 win over Sam Houston. It will be the first District 4-3A matchup for both teams. We'll have a live scoreboard during the game. Mobile users, click HERE to view the scoreboard. Here's the list of ...

    More >>

    The Iowa Yellow Jackets just keep landing in big matchups. Because of that, Iowa is once again in our Game of the Week. The Yellow Jackets host the Jennings Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Both teams are undefeated, Jennings (2-0) coming off a 26-6 win over DeRidder and Iowa (3-0) coming off a 42-14 win over Sam Houston. It will be the first District 4-3A matchup for both teams. We'll have a live scoreboard during the game. Mobile users, click HERE to view the scoreboard. Here's the list of ...

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Teen girl key witness in Stacy Johnson Jr. trial

    UPDATE: Teen girl key witness in Stacy Johnson Jr. trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 8:03 PM EDT2017-09-23 00:03:24 GMT
    Stacy Johnson Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)Stacy Johnson Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

    Robert Colston Sr. died from a gunshot wound to the back, according to testimony today from the Calcasieu Parish coroner. Parish Coroner Dr. Terry Welke was on the witness stand late Thursday afternoon in the first-degree murder trial of Stacy Johnson Jr., who is accused of killing Colston.

    More >>

    Robert Colston Sr. died from a gunshot wound to the back, according to testimony today from the Calcasieu Parish coroner. Parish Coroner Dr. Terry Welke was on the witness stand late Thursday afternoon in the first-degree murder trial of Stacy Johnson Jr., who is accused of killing Colston.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Fall is officially here, but it will feel like summer this weekend!

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Fall is officially here, but it will feel like summer this weekend!

    Friday, September 22 2017 6:50 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:50:10 GMT
    High pressure still in control of our weatherHigh pressure still in control of our weather

    Fall officially began at 3:02 p.m. Friday, but Mother Nature did not get that memo!  It will continue to feel like summer through this weekend into most of next week.  The long-range forecast does show a possible cold front, but that is nearly a week away and subject to change.  Temperatures will be warm and muggy overnight with lows by Saturday morning ranging from the upper 60s north of I-10 to the upper 70s at the coast.  

    More >>

    Fall officially began at 3:02 p.m. Friday, but Mother Nature did not get that memo!  It will continue to feel like summer through this weekend into most of next week.  The long-range forecast does show a possible cold front, but that is nearly a week away and subject to change.  Temperatures will be warm and muggy overnight with lows by Saturday morning ranging from the upper 60s north of I-10 to the upper 70s at the coast.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly