Ragley resident can only watch from truck as storm rips awning from home

Jan. 24 tornado aftermath in Ragley, Louisiana.
Jan. 24 tornado aftermath in Ragley, Louisiana.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:59 PM CST
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Ragley, LA (KPLC) - Southwest Louisiana continues to recover from Tuesday’s severe weather.

Staci Duplechin was arriving home when her house was hit.

“It was very emotional,” Duplechin said. “This is my first home, and I just purchased it.”

Duplechin, like many residents in Ragley, is devastated following a tornado that tore through the community.

It happened all within minutes of Duplechin receiving the weather alert on her phone.

“I just drove up, parked on the awning and then the alert went off,” Duplechin said. “I had time to reach over, pick up my phone and look at the alert. Then, by that time, it just sounded like a train coming through. I just remember ducking my head covering. I just remember it being dark and then it was just like a bright light was cut on, and that’s when I realized my awning was gone.”

After finding a phone signal in the midst of the chaos Duplchin called her mother and father.

”I picked up the phone, and she was just screaming, saying ‘Everything’s gone, mom. Everything’s gone,’” said Decia Trahan, Staci’s mother.

Trahan said driving out of there was difficult with downed trees and power lines blocking the roads.

“I was concerned that my child was safe,” Trahan said. “I wasn’t worried about the property damage, because I know all of that can be replaced.”

Despite all the damage, Duplechin said she is just thankful to be alive.