Welsh recovering from Hurricane Laura damage


WELSH, La. (KLFY) — All across Welsh tarps cover homes, laundry is hang drying, chainsaws and generators are the hot ticket items, and toppled trees are everywhere.

“We were already busy before. I’ve never been this busy in my life to tell you the truth,” admitted David Faul. He owns Ben There LLC., a local tree service, which has been clearing debris in his hometown.

Most streets are cleared almost a week after Hurricane Laura, but Faul said it would have been worse if Rita had not cleared out so many trees 15 years ago.

David Faul rode out the storm, and he said it was worse than Rita.

“I didn’t know a house could make that many different noises. It’s just amazing. Creaking and crackling and whistling and binging and banging. A different noise every time,” Faul remembered of the night Laura blew in.

Though the damage is widespread, he’s seen some homes hit worse than others.

In the worst cases, trees fall on homes.

Seven trees fell on Ryan Giggar’s property. Only two trees are left. As Faul stated, “It looks like spaghetti. It’s a mess.”

While most trees fell in his yard, two hit the home with one crashing through the corner of his house and into his daughter’s bedroom.
Cracks run through the roof and walls, so the homeowner believes it even broke his foundation.

Giggar said, “Whenever they (Faul and Ben There LLC.) came over to give me an estimate, his wife kind of clapped her hands and said, ‘You won the prize,”

He evacuated before the storm because of the trees around his home, and the worst outcome he foresaw was the one which came to pass.

“I don’t have a leaking roof. I have no roof. I have no walls. I have nothing back there,” Giggar said walking toward the corner of his home.

He’s thankful his family is safe, knowing he can replace a home but not a life. Though most of his neighbors were spared from their fallen trees, he can accept having the worst damage in town.

He said it’s the risk you take living in South Louisiana, “You just always wish for the best. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them.”

Faul said he hopes to remove Giggar’s trees Thursday, but the home won’t be assessed by insurance until September 10 Giggar was told. He’s also so far been denied FEMA aid.

Despite all the damage, Welsh is on the mend. Wednesday power was restored to some of the traffic lights which were not functioning earlier that day. Downtown had the lights on.

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