LAFAYETTE — Outside of a few homes near River Ranch in Lafayette sat a debris pile that reminded me of snow banks in my home state of Pennsylvania.
"This is all from my yard," said Patty Prather, who lives nearby.
The pile stood 7, even 9 feet tall in spots. She asked me to take a picture of her standing by it as shadowed her. The pile stretching nearly 100 feet already and growing. Most of it her's, some of it her neighbor's.
Patty and her husband were at home Friday night when Hurricane Delta's winds slammed Lafayette. It toppled two trees in her driveway and gave her quite the fright.
"The house was expanding and breathing," she recalled. "It blew open the two doors that our AC, our inside AC units are in, and blew out the pilot lights and scared the life out of us."
Patty was one of the lucky ones. Her home suffered little damage. Her neighbors were less fortunate. On one side of her a tree crashed through the roof, on the other side a glancing blow.
"We actually had five trees come down from this area," said Tim Osborn. "Two of the trees were so big they reached from behind me, to the corner of the house, which you can see."
Tim actually works for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and said what Patty described were the remnants of Delta's eyewall passing through Lafayette.
"You could actually feel the wind and barometric pressure just pulsating with these storms as the bands were going through," he said. It was pretty astonishing."
Crew began removing trees and debris from Patty's and Tim's homes Saturday morning. Hours later much of it was clear, and the pile along the street served as a reminder of how hard Acadiana works at putting itself back together.
"We called them last night when the first tree went down, and they were here first thing this morning," said Patty. "People who worked in our yard and helped us along the way, angels have come out, angels, and I want to thank each of them."
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