TANGIPAHOA PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — Recovery efforts are underway in Tangipahoa Parish after a community is ripped to pieces during a tornado on Wednesday.
All hands were on deck in the Village of Tangipahoa. Law enforcement agencies, the Red Cross, churches, and people of the community were all pitching in to help. Neighbors say the best way to describe this natural disaster was like a scene from a movie.
The community reacted as daylight revealed extensive damage from a devastating tornado on Wednesday evening.
“He actually told me it looked like the Wizard of Oz with things in the air,” said Pamela Bean, Tangipahoa resident.
“It was like a bomb went off. It’s completely destroyed,” said Chief Jimmy Travis, Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office.
Dozens of mobile homes, churches and gas stations were destroyed within a half-mile radius.
“I’ve seen floods over the years here, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen significant damage from a tornado touching down,” said Travis.
Emergency responders rescued people from their homes. Some suffered injuries. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.
“There was a resident that was bedridden that basically lost their roof. We were able to remove that person from the residence,” said Travis.
Pastor Lafayette Funches of Brown’s Chapel is opening his doors to those in need of shelter, food and water. He has allowed Red Cross to come in and set up.
“I always believe the church should make an honest effort to be involved to help alleviate some of the suffering and some of the pain,” said Funches.
Bean says her son along with the rest of the community is still recovering from other natural disasters like Hurricane Ida and the flood in 2016.
“Now you have to go through that process of starting over again,” said Bean.
Bean is now concerned about trespassers stealing people’s property.
“It’s like putting a hole in the person that’s trying to deal with that trauma and people have the nerve to come through and pick through what may be a memory of yours that insurance can’t cover,” said Bean.
Moving forward, Bean hopes to receive additional funding and resources from local officials to help Tangipahoa bounce back even stronger.
As of Thursday evening, Entergy is working to restore power.