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'I was hoping to get out of there alive' - Gretna man describes the moment his house was destroyed

The tornado hit Trent Theriot's house all while he was praying for safety inside his closet.

GRETNA, La. — The clean up after Wednesday's tornado continues into Thursday as residents across some parts of the West Bank are still without power and without a home.

The EF 2 tornado did not spare the Winn Dixie in Marrero, taking with it, the supermarket’s roof, leaving behind a mess of debris and an extensive clean up.

The tornado ripping through the center of the store, aerials showing the damage. The storm reached speeds of 125 miles per hour.

From Marrero it moved onto Gretna, in its path stood Trent Theriot’s house.

Speaking after the storm, Theriot said, “I took the dog, we got in the closet and maybe no later than two or three minutes the wind picked up and it came through across the street, come through the front door of my house.”

He went on to say, “It was like a freight train a loud noise, like a dynamite blew up in the house, it was real, real loud.”

He was listening to the weather updates when he realized it was coming straight towards him, saying, “That’s where I sitting watching TV when the beam came through.”

A beam off someone’s house hitting the very spot he was sitting moments before he took shelter, “I was hoping to get out of there alive, and thank god I did, I thank Jesus for that. I never what to experience that again.”

He couched inside this closet, praying he’d survive, saying, “Me and the dog was trapped in, the furniture was against the closet doors and I was smelling gas and the lights were still on. My neighbors across the street kinda saved me and kicked the door in to get me outta there.”

The aftermath, worse than anything he imagined while inside the very closet which saved his life. The storm so powerful, his entire house was lifted off the pillars.

Stosh Kozlowski from Benton Tree Service using his machinery and manpower to help, free of charge.

Kozlowski said, “It always just hurts a little bit more than it did before, when you se the destruction in your own city.”

He went on to say, “I think this is a good way to give back especially during Christmas and the sentimentality of that whole thing, it just seems like the right thing to do.”

As for Theriot, in the midst of chaos, he and his neighbors held each other and prayed. The angel sitting on his front porch was the very one which stood by his mother’s gravesite. It was untouched by the storm.

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