Morgan City area double-punched -- Power outage followed by severe storm

MORGAN CITY, La. — Wednesday’s storm brought strong winds and lots of rain causing moderate property damage, but no injuries were reported in Morgan City, according to Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi.

The wind from the storm peeled back the roof on Sharon’s Tastee Freeze in Morgan City about noon near the front of the building, said owner Sharon Sweetser.

“Somebody stopped by and told us ‘y’alls roof is off.’ I said ‘what?’ ... and it didn’t take but maybe three seconds, it started gushing in here,” Sweetser said. At first she thought the person was joking, Sweetser said.

Sweetser was in the kitchen when a section of metal roof was blown back, she said.

“We were more concerned about electricity flowing through here with the water, so we just shut everything down. I told everybody we had to close for safety,” Sweetser said.

Winds also tossed two campers at Lake End Parkway, Grizzaffi said. Firefighters responded to the report of the campers flipping over, Fire Chief Morris Price said. The occupants of the campers refused transportation by Acadian Ambulance to the hospital, Price said.

The roof partially coming off Sharon’s Tastee Freeze, and the campers being blown over at Lake End Park were the biggest cases of property damage in Morgan City, Grizzaffi said.

As soon as the city got reports of tornadoes, police officers and firefighters responded to make sure people and property were secure, Grizzaffi said. The reports of tornadoes may actually have been straight-line winds, Grizzaffi added.

The public works department also helped in the cleanup process, Grizzaffi said. There were garbage cans turned over in addition to trash thrown around in the streets from the storm, he said. There was also some damage to awnings, he said.

The fire department responded to 13 different locations, including reports of fallen trees and power lines down during the storm but confirmed no injuries were reported, Price said.

“Every department pulled together to get through it,” Grizzaffi said.

Though some trees and tree limbs fell during the storm, no major property damage was reported, Price said.

Sweetser said she has not had anything like Wednesday’s rain and wind event happen in the three and a half years she has owned the restaurant. The sign in front of the storm probably kept the entire roof from blowing off the building, Sweetser said.

During the June 2012 power outage that occurred after the transformer fire, Sharon’s Tastee Freeze lost everything though, Sweetser said.

During the Wednesday storm, Sweetser said she did not hear or see a tornado. “We heard a lot of wind,” she said. “Rain doesn’t stop people from coming here, but it did today,” Sweetser said. The restaurant was open when the roof was partially blown off, she said.

Sweetser is hoping to reopen soon, but was not sure when as of Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t like being closed,” she said. She was planning to have the roof and ceiling repaired today as well as restocking food.

At Mata and Don Tellman’s home on Hilda Street in Morgan City, their roughly 40-foot bamboo plant uprooted during Wednesday’s storm and fell over in their yard.

Mata Tellman said she did not see anything in the sky when the plant fell over, just that the sky was black.

Don Tellman said the bamboo plant had been in their backyard for about 10 years and survived several hurricanes though another bamboo plant had fallen in their yard in a storm several years ago.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

Morgan City Daily Review
P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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