Rayne, Louisiana Twister Victims Focus on Cleanup
Monday, March 07, 2011
A deadly tornado ripped through southwestern Louisiana over the weekend leaving at least 1,500 residents homeless.
Jalisa Granger, 21, was killed when her home was crushed by an oak tree. She had been trying to protect her 15-month-old son, Tyrek. Her son, brother and mother survived the incident.
In the town of Rayne, about 150 homes were damaged or destroyed as winds topped out at 135 mph, leaving at least 12 with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Dangerous gas leaks and downed power lines have been a big concern for crews surveying the damage to the city.
"We've had a major storm to hit the city. It's the first time a tornado's hit here in a very long time and it looks like it affected probably about a quarter mile swath and a three mile area," Mayor Jim Petitjean said.
Gov. Bobby Jindal was meeting with officials and surveying the damage. He said more would be known about federal assistance when teams from the state and federal government assess the damage.
"These are a strong people. We are going to rebuild back better and stronger than we were before," Jindal said.
The tornadoes and flooding that followed were part of a massive storm system that struck 20 states from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northeast.
New York was bracing for yet another massive winter storm on Monday and some areas are still on the watch for possible flooding.