Winds destroy house, owner not badly hurt

Published 9:56 am Thursday, November 1, 2018

The home of Betty Adams on Louisiana Highway 439 was badly damaged in a Thursday morning tornado that touched down just west of Bogalusa, but the homeowner escaped without serious injury, family members said.

“She called the fire department about 3:50 this morning and told them the wall and roof had collapsed around her,” said Bent Bickham, Adams’ grandson. “They were able to come over and get her and take her to her son-in-law’s house.”

Family members on scene said that Adams, who is in her 80s, was in a back room of the house where the powerful winds badly damaged the roof of the building and caused several walls to collapse outward.

Despite the intense damage to the home, Bickham said that his grandmother was not badly hurt by the storm.

“No injuries that I know of, she was just very frightened, of course,” he said. “We’re very happy that she was OK.”

A storage building that covered a camper was also destroyed in the storm, but the camper itself did not appear to sustain any major damage.

A family member said that Adams had “good insurance” for the home, and would be all right.

Adams’ home was far from the only building that sustained damage in the parish, according to officials with the Washington Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (WPOHSEP)

Bobbi Jo Breland, assistant director with the WPOHSEP, told the Daily News that a tornado was first reported about 3:45 a.m. Two people were taken to a local hospital after a mobile home flipped over and entrapped them, near Mack Adams O’Berry Road, said Breland, adding that the extent of their injuries was unknown at the time.

“There was also damage reported on H.H. Williams Road, Military Road and Four Peters Road in Angie, which we believe was also the result of a tornado,” Breland said. “We had numerous reports of downed trees and power lines covering roadways and houses from Bogalusa to Varnado to Angie.”

Breland said that an estimated 1,338 customers lost power at some point during the storm.

She noted that the American Red Cross was contacted Thursday and began conducting damage assessment.

National Weather Service officials confirmed Thursday afternoon that the damage was caused by actual tornadoes — one near Bogalusa and the other near Angie.

The NWS reported that an EF-2 tornado touched along Louisiana Highway 60, then moved across Highway 439 before continuing north of Mack Adams O’Berry Road. Another EF-2 tornado touched down near Military Road, north of Brookedale Road, and continued to H.H. Williams Road, NWS officials said.

Each tornado was about 200 yards wide, according to reports.