Ragley area recovering from devastating tornado damage

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 10:38 PM CST
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Ragley, LA (KPLC) - Residents are still picking up the pieces after last week’s severe weather destroyed several homes in Beauregard Parish.

In seconds, a tornado hit Ragley homes with a force so strong it sucked one woman into a home and threw her into a refrigerator.

“It threw me into the refrigerator, the wind sucked me in, and then that’s when the roof come down, all within probably 20, 30 seconds,” said Deanna Yancey.

The tornado was different than a hurricane, Yancey said.

“With the hurricane, you know, you worry for three days or four days before it comes, but this was so quick, and it was the calm before the storm,” said Yancey.

Yancey said until now, her father’s home had survived every storm since 1974.

“And all that had been there for Rita, Laura. He had a few shingles missing, they got a new roof, but other than that, all those buildings made it through those two hurricanes,” said Yancey. “He’s been living there since 1974.”

Mel Pennartz said there were so many trees down, he could not leave his home.

“Big oak tree and about seven or eight trees all around here that just blew them over,” said Pennartz. “Both of these trees, the stumps right there, they was across the road, and all along that road was trees.”

Another Ragley homeowner had just finally finished rebuilding after Hurricane Laura when the tornado came in and demolished the home again.

Deputy Scott Greenmum of Beauregard Parish confirmed that seven homes were destroyed and 11 others have major damage.