Tornado rips through town of Lake Arthur

JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The severe thunderstorms passed through Lake Arthur early this morning leaving behind a path of destruction.

Just after 4 a.m. this morning, the severe thunderstorms made its way into the town of Lake Arthur, bringing along an EF-1 tornado.

"I heard the big winds," Lake Arthur resident Angela Wainright said. "So I ran and got my grandson out of the room and he was really scared."

"We just heard a lot of racket," resident Kirk Conner said. "We jumped up, we got our daughter out the bedroom and got in the hallway. You know, not long after that it was all over with."

Conner's home is still intact, but the tornado lifted the roof and twisted it before setting it back down.

"Seeing newspaper flying in the house, I knew that wasn't a good thing, but God was with us," Conner said.

The twister seemed to have traveled down Arthur Avenue, wreaking havoc on the town, trees torn from the ground, power poles blown over and a cell phone tower mangled in pieces. But Lake Arthur Robbie Bertrand said it could've been worse.

"No one was injured that we know of and that's first," Mayor Bertrand said. "Everything else can be replaced."

Residents in Lake Arthur sent supplies up to Illinois after a tornado wiped out their town.

One of those families from Illinois was actually due in Lake Arthur Wednesday. The cleanup process began Wednesday as tin was piled up and roofs were patched.

Conner was able to secure his home temporarily. As a lifetime resident of Lake Arthur, he says he's never experienced anything like it.

"It was pretty horrific for awhile there," Conner said.

The American Red Cross has a set up in Lake Arthur to help the residents with anything they need. Bertrand hopes the cleanup process goes quickly.

"We'll do what we can for the people here and try to get things normal as quick as we can," Mayor Bertrand said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, power had been restored for the majority of the residents in Lake Arthur. There were several homes along Arthur Avenue where poles were still down and power could not be restored just yet. They hope to have all power back on sometime Wednesday evening.

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