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Gov. Edwards tours Ruston, estimating 11M in damage

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Governor John Bel Edwards visits Ruston nearly a month after a deadly tornado barreled through the city. Leaving behind millions in damage.

The governor drove through miles of devastation and he says although the city of Ruston has come along way. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

“It took about 15 minutes to get all the stuff off of me. Then I saw one little hole that I crawled out of,” said Steve Thurmon, Displaced resident.

Steve Thurmon looks at what once was his bedroom. Now a pile of rubble. As he replays the moment he cheated death.

“A 70-foot tall tree fell in front of my bed and the wall. And then the ceiling started to fall on top of me,” said Thurmon.  

Thurmon later found out he survived an EF 3 tornado.”It took about 20-30 mins to get it all off. By the time I got it all off, I heard a crack again. Then another tree fell,” said Thurmon.

Many streets in Ruston look just like this one. On one side you’ll see a pile of limbs and tree roots. On the other, you’ll see homes with tarps covering holes.

“There’s still a lot of recoveries to take place here in Ruston and on campus, but I’m happy with the work that’s been done,” said Gov. John B. Edwards, Louisiana.

Governor John Bel Edwards surveying the damage. Estimated at more than 11 million dollars in Lincoln, Union, and Morehouse Parishes.

89 homes destroyed, Several hundred others damaged. The governor says help is coming.

“Today we will be requesting the federal assistance be given to these three parishes. Assistance from the federal government. They will pay 75-cents on the dollar towards repairing the damage and then we’ll be responsible for the other 25-cents. The request will also include a request for individual assistance,” said Edwards. 

As for Thurmon, he’s staying at a nearby hotel while his home is repaired.”I can’t wait for it to be over, but it’s going to take six months to a year,” said Thurmon.

The governor says it may take several years to completely clean up the mess.
 

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