La. firefighters extricate woman from mobile home flipped by tornado
At least three people were hospitalized after the storm hit Iberia Parish
By Katie Gagliano
NEW IBERIA, La. — Latrella McCoy was lying in her stepchildren’s bedroom when suddenly her world turned upside down Wednesday.
McCoy’s mobile home on Bradley Lane in New Iberia was one of several residences in the Southport Subdivision destroyed by a tornado Wednesday. The mobile home was flipped on its side, leaving McCoy battered and trapped under a pile of furniture.
In the living room, her fiancé, Thomas Cormier, was dazed.
Cormier said he was playing Madden NFL on his PlayStation 5 when suddenly the wind picked up. Plates and glasses began falling to the floor, and by the time he realized what was happening, Cormier said he was already falling.
McCoy said she could hear her partner shouting for her — “Babe! Answer me!”
Cormier was able to escape by knocking out a front kitchen window and crawling out the home, and McCoy told him she would be OK while he left to find help. The 37-year-old ran several blocks to McCoy’s parents’ home to seek help. Emergency responders were already entering the neighborhood, and he flagged down firefighters to pull his fiancée from the wreckage.
Several firefighters entered the home, breaking down the wall between the children’s bedroom and the living room to extract McCoy. She was trapped for about 20 minutes, she estimated.
“I was scared. Like, ‘Lord, just get me out,’ ” she said. “When I heard them hitting on that wall I was at ease.”
At least three people were hospitalized after at least one tornado hit Iberia Parish, but authorities said none of the injuries were life-threatening. In addition to Southport Subdivision, Iberia Parish Medical Center sustained significant damage.
Approximately 60 families have been displaced across the parish, not just Southport Subdivision, although it was the hardest hit, according to a spokesperson from New Iberia Police.
Earlier in the day, a mother and a young boy were killed after a tornado hit their rural community in north Louisiana. About 20 people were hospitalized in Union Parish.
Cormier and McCoy’s cousin Duke spent over an hour Wednesday afternoon trying to salvage clothes and other belongings from the home. McCoy said she rented the mobile home and didn’t have insurance on her belongings; she said she and her fiancé plan to stay with relatives while they figure out new permanent housing and how to pull their lives back together.
Both said they’re grateful to be alive, and noted after their home initially flipped, the wind attempted to pick it up.
“I’m glad I’m here. I could’ve been gone. That trailer right there really saved us,” Cormier said, gesturing to a neighboring trailer their home came to rest against. “If that trailer wasn’t there, it would’ve been over.”
The couple was also grateful Cormier’s four children were not present when the storm struck. The children had asked to stay over Tuesday night after school was canceled, but the couple told them no.
“I would have lost my mind if the children had been in there,” McCoy said.
While she and Cormier escaped with minor cuts, bumps and bruises, one of the couple’s dogs was still missing hours after the tornado passed through. McCoy said their three-month-old pitbull puppy, Rocky, was found trembling on the steps to the house as she waited for her owners in the aftermath, but their older pitbull, Draco, was nowhere to be found.
The 41-year-old said she’s fearful he was picked up in the storm and killed.
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