Tornado winds push house in St. Helena Parish off foundation - - The News for South Mississippi

Powerful winds from tornado move 2-story house


Officials confirmed a tornado touched down in southeast Louisiana early Wednesday morning, causing extensive damage to at least one home. Fortunately, the family survived the ordeal.

A line of severe storms moved across St. Helena Parish, spawning a tornado around 3 a.m that pushed a two-story house about 15 feet off its foundation.

The house is located near the parish line for St. Helena and Tangipahoa, just southwest of the town of Tangipahoa.

"Like a big gust of wind, like something I've never heard before," Stephanie Blauvelt said. "I can't believe I even knew to do this, but I ran into the shower."

Her boyfriend made a mad dash through the house with her to the bathroom.

"So, we're all panicking and I feel, never felt it before, but I feel myself get lifted and we're spinning and I'm screaming for him and finally, about a minute later. It didn't last long at all. I get out and we walk out. The lights are out and we can't see anything," Blauvelt explained.

Her boyfriend's parents own the home. They were asleep, too. However, they were upstairs, which was a far worse place to be.

"Heard great big balls of ice, hail, falling on the roof," Mrs. Tate said. "And, then everything just started tearing up, just started blowing."

Mr. Tate drives a semi-truck, which was parked away from the home. The strong winds shoved it into the home, as if it were just a toy.

"I think it was like a roller coaster. I was in there and it's shaking and I don't know what to think. The only tornadoes I've seen were on TV or something," Blauvelt added.

The family's dog, Honey, also walked away alive. Her kennel was under the house. She took off running for higher ground when the tornado hit, ending up under a car at a neighbor's house.

She did receive a gash on her head, but is expected to be okay.

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