Ragley residents grateful to survive devastating storm

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:10 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Advance warning saves most people in hurricanes, but in storms such as Tuesdays, there’s often short notice of weather severe enough to destroy homes.

Some people in the Ragley area lost their homes. Yet, the people inside survived.

To lose ones home in a vicious storm is devastating and terrifying for those with seconds to decide the safest spot to be.

“The hallway in this house is the inner walls. And if we had gone in there, we probably would have probably got sucked in,” Sam Cloud said.

Cloud ran to his 85-year-old mom in her room and shielded her as best he could.

“When I was going through it, I felt so small because we don’t have control. When something like that happens it’s out of our hands. And we have to trust in God,” Cloud said.

And so they did, as did many others who wondered if that moment would be there last.

“We went into the hallway. We got my daughter on the floor and my wife, and I knelt next to her, and I pulled the mattress over the top of us, and it came screaming through,” Ray Bowman said.

Again, no injuries. All agree it happened so fast.

Paul Buller had received last minute warning by phone from his adult children.

“The French doors in the back blew open. I got up, slammed the door shut and I could hear them talking on the phone and I said, ‘It’s over!’ Still, he had a huge hole in the top of his house,” Buller said.

Ninety-year-old Mildred Peavy and her daughter huddled in a hallway and are safe.

“I just thank the Lord we wasn’t hurt. We’re okay,” Mildred said.

And so despite the cleanup and insurance difficulties ahead, people here are thankful it wasn’t worse and grateful to have survived.

For some residents, the damage is as bad as Hurricane Laura or worse.

The disaster is not nearly as widespread as the hurricanes, so people not affected are able to lend a hand to those who need help.

Kathryn Mott was delighted to be helping others.

“My fiancé's boss at B and S House Leveling called, said he wanted to take off work today and get together and help the community that got hit by the storm, so all met up this morning and came out and helped,” she said.