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A tree down as Tropical Storm Barry arrives Saturday July 13, 2019 in Morgan City, LA

PATTERSON -- A guardian angel was watching over the Aucoin family Saturday morning when winds from Hurricane Barry split a large oak tree in their front yard.

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Jay Aoucin points to a tree that fell in his yard and across Hwy 182 from Tropical Storm Barry Saturday July 13, 2019 in Patterson, LA

“It broke three ways,” little Hanna Aucoin, dressed in her bathing suit, said.

Hanna Aucoin was riding out the storm at her grandparents’ house, which is tucked between La. 182 and Bayou Teche near Patterson, La.

“First we heard it hit the roof. Then it hit the highway,” Chandra Donati, whose brother owns the house, said. “We were scared.”

A third section of the tree fell in the yard. The eave of the house was damaged a little, homeowner Jackie Aucoin said, and the chimney is missing, but no one was hurt.

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Jay Aucoin, right, and Jackie Aucoin in their yard after a tree from Tropical Storm Barry Saturday July 13, 2019 in Patterson, LA

“My angel saved us,” she said, choking back tears.

Still standing in the middle of the broken tree, untouched despite the carnage around it, is an angel statue.

“When I put her there, I said, ‘You watch over us,’” Jackie Aucoin said. “That’s my guardian angel. It could’ve been a lot worse. That’s a big tree.”

Homeowner Jay Aucoin was in Morgan City, keeping pumps working so the city stays dry during Barry, when he got the call and rushed home.

He was surprised the old oak tree didn’t survive the storm.

“That tree withstood Hurricane Andrew,” Jay Aucoin said. “Andrew came right over the house.”


Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.