Acadiana storm destroys homes and leaves 1 dead

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a hard day for folks in Acadiana after severe weather destroys homes and even takes the life of a 43-year old man from Scott, Louisiana.

"You never expect something bad like this to happen," says Amanda Broussard, a resident of Acadiana. "Of all days, it had to be Christmas Eve morning."

This morning Broussard did not expect to hear that her lifelong friend Ryan Hebert had been killed.

"It wasn't even bad weather, it was just some wind gusts," says Broussard.

But the winds were strong enough to knock a tree straight into the bedroom where Hebert and his wife were lying.

"She heard the tree falling and then she turned over and looked at him and he was under the tree," says Broussard. "It's a big shock and a hard blow to take on Christmas Eve."

Just miles west of Scott, folks in Crowley are picking up pieces from a tornado that touched down early this morning.

"There are at least three or four homes hit very badly," says Sheriff Wayne Melancon with the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office. "We have several homes with roof damage and other things like that."

Jude Danna lost his home of eight years in the tornado.

"My wife was wrapping presents when she told me a tornado was coming," says Danna. "I barely made it to the bathroom and before I knew it, it hit."

"It may appear that families have lost a lot, however, folks say they have found a peace this Christmas within the community."

"I have the community here," says Danna. "Until it hits you don't know, you just don't know. It's just unreal the support I have."

Although a lot may be lost through the rubble and debris, the Dannas' feel there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

"I've got my babies and my wife," says Danna. "Just take it one step at a time, I mean that's all we can do."

The Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office says deputies will be on sight throughout the rest of the day into tomorrow.

If you would like to help out folks who suffered from the severe weather, contact the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office at 337-788-8700.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.