Bayou Boogaloo bounces back after severe storm

(WVUE) - What a difference a day makes. Severe storms Friday afternoon left Bayou Boogaloo in shambles with tents ripped from the ground.and merchandise soaked. Saturday morning, you'd never know what hit them and how organizers scrambled to get the festival in tip-top shape before re-opening.

"I was just screaming, 'Jesus! Jesus! Help! Help!'" recalled Bayou Boogaloo vendor Marie St. Germaine-Louis.

Vendors are still reeling from the storm that almost shut them down.

"A lot of people didn't even come out today because they lost so much product," said artist and vendor Amy Harvie.

Howling winds and torrential rains toppled tents and destroyed merchandise.

"Nobody was ready for it," said food vendor Evelyn Vielman.

It's tough to believe it is the same site of so much destruction.

"They were here until 4 o'clock in the morning. They iced up our stuff. They plugged in our freezer," said Vielman.

Vendors say Bayou Boogaloo organizers worked through the night to salvage the annual event.

"I think it's a great turn out compared to, if you would've seen it yesterday. You would've thought it would never happen," said Harvie. "We didn't get here until, like, 1 o'clock and there were already all these people here. My shelf was by itself. We had just left it standing here. There were people eating on it when we got here."

Artists Harvie and Andrew Black thought they had lost everything.

"Tent mangled to pieces but she's literally laying on top of all the artwork," said Black.

"Holding the tent on top of myself with two other girls who have taken harbor under there," Harvie said.

Luckily, they hadn't unpacked all the breakables and most of their merchandise was still in tact.

The same can't be said for folks like St. Germaine-Louis who picked up and left as the storm worsened.

"A good amount of them I'm going to lose. Yeah well, it's either that or your life. I just left. I just took my van and left," said St. Germaine-Louis.

Yet, vendors say they believe the storm brought out even more visitors, eager to support those who lost months of hard work.

"Oh my God. I think more people came now," said Vielman.

"It's been absolutely fabulous. I'm so glad to see all the vendors back up and running," said guest Alan Fuller.

"It's amazing that the community can put this on for free so I definitely want to keep that going," guest Aaron Snow said.

Bayou Boogaloo continues Sunday.