When a tornado struck the southwestern Louisiana town of Rayne on Saturday 5th March 2011, at least one person was killed, and 12 others injured. The death brings a heart-warming story of a mother’s love, and how fierce a tornado can really be.
The fierce, 135 mph winds hit this small Louisiana town very suddenly, shocking many of the inhabitants, and bringing great destruction – pieces of over 100 homes shot skyward, debris lodged in treetops and a U.S. Postal Service truck was flipped on its side. The storm had sprung from a large storm system from the Gulf of Mexico, and was predicted to spread rain on Sunday up through the Carolinas and into the Northeast, as the heavy rains fell in the Southeast and a mix of rain and snow farther north.
When it was over, the services and relatives went out looking for casualites – and they found Jalisa Granger, a 21-year-old mother, lying dead from a tree that had fallen on top of her home. Underneath her, her child lay, scared, but alive. She had survived the tornado’s rampage through Rayne, thanks to her selfless mother. Ms Granger’s instictive need to protect her child – even at the expense of her own life – tugs at the heartstrings. Her daughter now has nothing left – her home is completely destroyed – but she is still alive.
More than 100 other homes were damaged in Saturday’s tornado, many of them completely destroyed, authorities have said, and approximately 1,500 people were evacuated overnight because of natural gas leaks. Now the task of cleaning up lies ahead in Rayne, where there are damaged trees, bits of car and houses and rubble lying everywhere.
A temporary shelter has been set up at a fire station — proving very popular to those without homes now, and forming a lifeline for those with nothing. May our thoughts be with those people struggling through this terrible natural disaster.
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