Graphic video documents Laplace tornado - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Graphic video documents Laplace tornado

Eight home surveillance cameras caught a tornado that ripped through LaPlace. (Source: Paul Giovingo | Facebook) Eight home surveillance cameras caught a tornado that ripped through LaPlace. (Source: Paul Giovingo | Facebook)
LAPLACE, LA (WVUE) -

A Laplace man has the most extensive documentation we've seen of the Feb. 23 tornado. But as he deals with a home that may be a total loss, he and his family struggle with an even  tougher battle.

On English Colony Drive, the view tells the story. All was quiet at around 4:30 p.m. Then the wind started swirling, causing roofs and fences, swing sets, and entire sections of wall sections to disappear.

"I heard the wind starting to rile up, and something told me to take this seriously," said homeowner Robert Griffin.

One camera shows Griffin opening blinds to check on the oncoming tornado just before he gathered up his wife and two kids.

"As we got into the tub, my ears stopped up and then we heard the tornado pass by," Griffin said.

The ordeal felt like it lasted a lot longer than the 40 seconds recorded by the cameras.

"At first it was silent, then sounded like the train was coming," said neighbor Robin Bailey.

After the storm passed, Griffin went outside to check the damage. He and his neighbors lost large chunks of their homes in the EF-2 tornado.

"I still question the structure of it," Griffin said.

His brick wall moves at the touch. As bad as this tornado was, Griffin says he and his family were already dealing with something that was far worse.

"I'm in between trying to concentrate on my daughter and keep my job," Griffin said.

Griffin's 6-year-old daughter Melody is dealing with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.

"She just started radiation this past Monday," said Griffin.

Griffin is getting support from neighbors who sustained very little damage with a trailer in the driveway across the street.

"We have to be strong for Robert and Tamika and Melody," said Bailey.

Melody's fight against cancer put the storm in perspective.

"My real worries are for my daughter and getting through this tough time," Griffin said.

With the help of insurance and friends, Robert Griffin said he will certainly have a place to stay, but his daughter's health will be his biggest challenge in the months ahead.

The Griffins set up a gofundme account for Melody. As for the future of their house, they are now talking with engineers to see if it can be rebuilt.

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