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Tornado Rips Through Iberia Medical Center

Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 23:33:56-05

A catastrophic tornado ripped through New Iberia this morning, causing significant damage to Iberia Medical center, several homes and offices in the area.

Some patients visiting Iberia Medical Center said they knew a storm was coming but had no idea the damage would be so severe.

Lindsey Ronsonet said he lives in St. Martinville but was bringing a friend to Iberia Medical for Cancer treatment, when the weather forced him and everyone inside, to shelter in place.

"The patients were nervous, the ones that we saw," Ronsonet said. "After it was protocol, we all went down to the first floor where the stairwell was, and they had us stay there until we could move."

Ronsonet said wires are down inside the hospital, water was leaking inside of the building, and he discovered his Ford pick-up truck was damaged when he walked outside.

"I was parked straight, and the tornado moved me at least five feet," Ronsonet said. "When I came out, all of the windows were broken, and they had rain everywhere in there."

Ronsonet was not the only one with significant damage to his vehicle. More than two dozen vehicles in the Iberia Medical Center's parking lot were inoperative.

Anthony Thibeaux is a Mail Courier for the hospital. He said, he hasn't experienced a tornado like this ever, before.

"Where I work at, it's gone," Thibeaux said. "It's a total disaster."

New Iberia Mayor, Freddie DeCourt said he was pleased to see first responders come together and although it hasn't been a good day, it could've been worse.

"We have some injuries, but no major injuries and no fatalities," DeCourt said. "We've done the search and the secondary search, so we are certain that in those residential areas we didn't leave anybody behind, so in that way, we're blessed."

The Mayor encourages anyone still in need of assistance from a rescue crew, to call 9-1-1. In the meantime, police are assessing damage throughout the city and all entrances to the Main Campus of Iberia Medical Center are closed, except for emergencies.