Denham Springs — Christopher Watson was in his home, watching TV with his family Sunday evening when he heard the wind swell, and within minutes, a tornado was prying at his roof.
“We took off running,” he said.
Watson, his wife and their children took cover inside, waiting for the squall to pass.
“It was pretty bad. It didn’t last long, but it was pretty scary,” he said.
When the family emerged, the roof of their home was strewn across the backyard. Their fence was torn down, broken boughs scattered the ground and a wooden board had been flung high into a tree. Nearby, a neighbor’s trampoline had cartwheeled across the street.
Nearby homes escaped relatively unharmed, however.
Though residents reported seeing tornadoes across Livingston Parish on Sunday night, officials believe a single twister touched down at least three separate times, starting about 9 p.m.
First it landed around La. 16 and Griffin Lane, said Mark Harrell, director of Livingston’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The site is only a few miles from Watson’s home on Brown Road near Juban Parc Junior High School.
The tornado swept northwest and touched down again near the LIGO observatory, just north of the town of Livingston.
The twister last appeared near La. 442 by the St. Helena Parish line, Harrell said.
The tornado rated between a 0 and a 1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, according to National Weather Service teams who surveyed the damage. The ratings indicate gusts between 65 and 110 mph.
Harrell said the storm tore down branches and fences throughout its path, but only three or four homes had minor damage.
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