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Family rides out storm - but able to help neighbor

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 11:12 PM CDT
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WELSH, La. (WTVY/KPLC) - After riding out Hurricane Laura and being trapped inside their home hours after the storm passed, one Southwest Louisiana family says they are packing their bags the next time a hurricane heads their direction but they are thankful that they were home this time for a neighbor who needed them the most.

“A lot of the houses moving, the walls breathing, floors were rattling - it was really scary,” said Karen Garcia.

That’s what the Garcia family experienced in the hallway of their home near downtown Welsh the night Hurricane Laura roared through.

The family of nine – ranging in age from 9 to 81 - waited for eight hours until that roar was just a whistle.

The winds were still about 30-35 miles per hour - but light enough for them to survey the damage to their home.

They opened their front door to a tree on their vehicles and porch.

After a few hours they were able to remove it.

On the other side of the tree was a neighborhood they barely recognized.

The Garcias were fortunate to brave the storm together – unlike their elderly neighbor down the street, Susan Retzlaff.

“I was home by myself,” Retzlaff said. “I was thinking, well you know a few more hours and we’re going to get over this.”

It will a while to restore power to the town.

“The heat is very, very bad,” Retzlaff said.

She won’t have to sit in her home alone in unbearable conditions because the Garcias own a generator and have welcomed her into their home.

She describes the favor as the beauty after the disaster.

Copyright 2020 WTVY/KPLC. All rights reserved.

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