Girl Survives Tornado That Picked Up House, Dropped it on Street

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo credit should read Chase Miller/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Following the devastating tornado that tore through the New Orleans area, the mother of the little girl who survived the storm picked up their house and dropped it on a nearby street opens up about the whole ordeal.

At a Glance:

  • The tornado occurred on Tuesday (March 22nd) at 7:30 p.m. local time. 
  • The girl was on a breathing machine due to muscular dystrophy when the tornado struck.
  • Her family managed to get out of the tornado’s wreckage safely. However, they screamed for help when they couldn’t get her out.
  • The storm managed to toss the house about 30 feet from its lot. It crashed down in the middle of a street nearby. 

ABC News reports that the girl’s mother, Des Castellano heard the rain and wind before the storm ripped through the area. That’s when she felt the entire house start to spin. She then recalled feeling the house being whipped through a full rotation. That was when the storm tossed the one-story house about 30 feet from its lot into a middle of a street nearby. 

Neighbors Recall Seeing the Family Scramble to Find Help After Tornado

After Castellanos and her husband managed to get out of the house, they began to search for anyone that could help get their daughter out of her bedroom, which was still inside the rubble. One neighbor, Chuck Heirsch, revealed, “I saw the house and I saw my neighbor trying to get his daughter out of there. They were screaming. His wife was hysterical. They were already traumatized from taking that Wizard of Oz ride.”

Another neighbor, Nerissa Ledet, also shared, “All the men in the neighborhood ran to the house. The mother, they brought her to me. I just held her and I tried to console her. I said, ‘You know they’re going to get her out.’”

Luckily, firefighters quickly arrived on the scene and managed to carry the girl out in a blanket. An ambulance was also on the scene to take her to the hospital. She had surgery overnight. The girl is notably fine after the ordeal. 

Meanwhile, Castellanos said friends and family were able to help clean out what belongings could be saved from the destroyed home. This includes clothes and mementos. One of her pet birds was standing on the floor. She was thankful for everyone who came to help with the cleanup, bringing food, garbage bags, and work gloves. 

It was also reported that the city of Arabi, outside of New Orleans, took the worst of the tornado. Officials have confirmed one death related to the storm. The victim, Connor Lambert, died of “multiple blunt force injuries.”