Newly engaged Laplace couple devastated after tornado destroys home

Published: Mar. 1, 2016 at 2:41 AM CST|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:57 PM CDT
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LAPLACE, LA (WVUE) - Some Laplace families spent yet another day Monday sifting through what's left of their belongings after a tornado ravaged a number of neighborhoods there. The struggle is especially hard on one couple just starting their lives together.

The home in the Palmetto Lakes subdivision represented Michelle Jamison's future.

"It was a three-bedroom house," she said. "We figured we'd get married, have kids."

Newly engaged, Michelle just moved into her fiancé's Laplace home, her life consumed with the excitement every soon-to-be bride relishes in.

"We've been planning our wedding, just started putting down payments on everything," Jamison said.

Last Tuesday, that came to a grinding halt.

"He called, calm as can be, and said our house has been hit by a tornado, all our windows are shattered, we're missing a wall, everything's destroyed," Jamison said. "I don't know what to do."

Anthony Ghirardi survived the EF2 tornado by squeezing his 6'4" frame into his bathtub.

"Pretty much just hugged him and said, 'I can't believe you're alive,'" Jamison said.

An insurance adjuster told the couple the house is uninhabitable, as walls are cracking and shifting.

"At that point, I broke down. I started crying because it was just so much, like this was our home," Jamison said.

The young couple knows, looking at their neighbors' homes, that things could've been worse. But they admit this entire experience, is incredibly emotionally draining.

"It's hard," Jamison said. "It's the question of, I just feel very in limbo."

With wedding plans on hold, Michelle's sister is now planning the couple's upcoming engagement party; it's one less thing for her to stress over.

"We're living in a hotel room and we don't know if our house is going to be totaled or what's going to happen next," Jamison said.

Michelle and Anthony know that, eventually, the sun will set on this difficult beginning chapter of their lives. They say then, they'll look back at the foundation their relationship was built on. It's one that couldn't be torn apart by a storm.

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