Girl survives after tornado lifts house in air, drops it in street

The parents reportedly crawled out of the structure screaming for help for their daughter, who was still inside the home on a breathing machine


Associated Press

ARABI, La. — The tornado that ripped through a New Orleans suburb lifted one house into the air and dropped it onto the middle of a street with a family inside.

Neighbors said the parents of a girl climbed out of the wreckage screaming frantically for help. Their daughter was on a breathing machine, and now was stuck inside.

Destroyed homes, illuminated by fire engine lights, are seen after a tornado struck the area in Arabi, La., Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Destroyed homes, illuminated by fire engine lights, are seen after a tornado struck the area in Arabi, La., Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Chuck Heirsch told The Times-Picayune / New Orleans Advocate that he called 911 as he saw his neighbor on Prosperity Street trying to reach his daughter.

"They were screaming. His wife was hysterical. They were already traumatized from taking that 'Wizard of Oz' ride," Heirsch said.

"All the men in the neighborhood ran to the house. The mother, they brought her to me. I just held her," Nerissa Ledet told the newspaper. "I tried to console her. I said, 'You know they're going to get her out.'"

Firefighters quickly arrived and carried her out in a blanket. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis described the rescue, saying she's in a hospital and "doing fine."

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