Tornado victim: ‘She got blown in through the back doors’

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:46 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A tornado left its mark on homes and vehicles in Lafourche Parish this week. Some tornado victims were still working on their Hurricane Ida-related repairs.

The twister was hard on Benson Toup’s property.

“Took a good bit of the roof off the house, dropped our shop, it’s a two-story shop it’s now about half a story shop, and put it on top of the boat,” said Toups.

He lives in the Bayou Bend Subdivision. And says the strong winds lift up his wife.

“Blew our back doors open, my wife actually was out watching the weather when it happened and she got blown in through the back doors and it was probably the scariest thing that happened to me in my entire life,” said Toups.

In the same neighborhood, Troy Naquin recalls the harrowing experience he and his wife endured.

“I ran downstairs, we were running to the bathrooms with our dogs, we’ve got to Labs and as we were running to the bathroom, we could see the windows on the side of my house blowing out, and then it lasted about 15 seconds. We come outside and found all this damage,” said Naquin.

His chimney, roof, and other parts of his house reflect the tornado’s toll.

“And I’ve got some structural damage also, you can see the bricks where it’s cracking and every morning when I wake up the crack is just a little bit larger, I’m just waiting for it to fall,” said Naquin.

And his huge camper was tossed over by the winds.

“I just got it flipped back over,” said Naquin.

Great weather on Friday (Jan. 27) allowed some tornado victims to do cleanup outside and further assess the damage.

“[The] Boat’s about a hundred-thousand-dollar boat, it’s an offshore boat, the shop I don’t know, probably $50,000 that’s gone, the roof we had probably 20% of the roof gone but I’ve been blessed, my company, Grand Isle Shipyard sent an entire crew out and had our roof back up and on the house watertight within 24 hours,” said Toups.

And despite the damage, the twister did miraculously Toups’ wife was not injured.

“She’s good, luckily she was not injured, it was tough, we were lucky, we were blessed,” he said.

Naquin said he and his wife are staying with their daughter because their home is so damaged. He described the sound of the powerful twister.

“Just like they always say a freight train but it only lasted about 15 seconds,” said Naquin.

Now he, Toups, and others have more repairs following Hurricane Ida.

“We were working to get it back up and back in the shape, it wasn’t quite there yet but now we get to start over,” Toups said referring to his shop.

Naquin said, “All I had left from Ida was to put my gutters up.”

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