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Avoyelles Parish residents share Hurricane Delta experience

People thank God for surviving
Published: Oct. 10, 2020 at 10:58 PM CDT
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AVOYELLES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Hurricane Delta caused damage to Mike’s Auto Sales and Towing. The overhang crumbled down onto a few cars still parked on the lot. Owner Mike Sarameh rode out Delta at home with his family. This year, Sarameh said, “We’ve had it pretty hard. You know we were just shaking back.”

He was grateful he took precaution before the storm.

“Thank God we moved a lot of the other vehicles out the way, but what you see caught a little damage. We were just getting back on our feet because of the Covid incident, and now we’re on phase two or three I’m not sure.”

He explained that the pandemic’s effects were just getting better, and then the storm arrived.

Sarameh felt bad for people in Lake Charles. “It’s been like 28 days that they haven’t had any electricity, and now that they’ve got it back, it’s like totally gone again.”

His brother and Mike’s Auto Sales' worker Ali Sarameh rode out Delta at the business. But, not only are they brothers and coworkers, Mike gave Ali a piece of him.

“Like last year around this time I was preparing myself to give my kidney to my little brother. And that went through well, he got it on Christmas morning,” Mike explained.

For eight months, he recuperated and sat back doing what he said were odd jobs. Even though Sarameh admits the damage set him back a little, he said he’s strong. “You know I got to keep faith in Allah, in God you know. Thank God for everything, the good the bad. Today everybody’s going through something so I can’t take the spotlight from everybody else so,” he said.

“It was a lot of wind and rain, I mean it was a catastrophe,” Ali said. “But I mean, I had to do what I had to do, I had to turn off the water and power. So, thank God nobody got hurt you know, that’s it.”

Ali said Delta hit throughout the whole night, and, “What I can say? I mean the picture speaks itself.”

Sarameh’s advice to other people experiencing hurricanes or going through something, “I advise you to clean up and be safe. Get with your insurance companies. I’m sure somebody will cover the damages. I mean it’s a natural disaster you can’t get away from it. But there’s always plans there’s always strategies to this. We’ll find our way we always do. You know we started from nothing and we’re steady moving up. So, it will be alright.”

At least 20 miles down the highway, a longtime Simmesport resident Elliott Laprairie Jr., cleaned limbs on Norwood Street.

“It was pretty scary,” Laprairie said. He and his family were at home when about three that morning, he said Delta got rough.

“It sounded like a tornado at one time. The wind was so powerful,” Laprairie said. “It was roaring and roaring and roaring, and we really got scared. Yeah, we made through to the good Lord.”

His Delta experience was different from Hurricane Laura. “We didn’t get nothing off Laura. We had very little wind. We didn’t get two inches of rain. Now last night I had a little water seeping in my house which I’m pretty low here,” Laprairie said.

Delta brought what he described as a good bit of water, at least a few inches to his yard. Saturday afternoon, Laprairie was using his ATV to haul branches to the levee. His neighbors had broken trees, some of which fell onto power lines. He said Delta was rough, but they came out well.

He mentioned how the linemen could take some time to get the lines up. He toured his community after the storm and said the old women’s prison on Martin Luther King Jr. Street had several downed large pecan trees, some on lines.

Following Hurricane Delta, Laprairie’s message to the community facing a natural disaster is, “When something’s coming like that to take care, take precautions, do what you got to do evacuate, and pray.”

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