Search and rescue continues in Covent

Photo Credit: MGN

COVENT, La. — A morning after a violent line of storms ripped through the Sugar Hill RV Park, emergency officials were still conducting search and rescue efforts Wednesday.
The park, which had around 100 trailers and recreation vehicles, was nearly completely devastated when the suspected tornado hit the park Tuesday afternoon, leaving two people dead and injuring 30 others. Seven of those injured remain in critical condition.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said it was a miracle that there was only two fatalities with the extreme level devastation.

Most of the RVs were turned into piles of rubble in the wake of the storm, cars and trucks were overturned, and leaves and branches were ripped from the trees that surround the park.

Rescue dogs and search teams combed the park late Tuesday, and St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin said that effort would continue Wednesday.  “We continued to search throughout the night. We did not come up with any other victims,” said Martin. “What we are going to do this morning is once we have good daylight we are going to get a State Police helicopter to give us a good aerial search.”

Martin said the teams will continue searching the debris piles and the wooded area by the park. Three people remain unaccounted for from the RV park. “We just need to determine that everybody is accounted for,” said Martin.

“This is very much a search and rescue; it’s going to an active scene, well into tomorrow,” said Gov. Edwards, who came to the park Tuesday evening.

Downed power lines at the park and along River Road are preventing residents from returning to the park to assess the damage and begin the clean up.

Parish officials asked that anyone who lives in Sugar Hill and is okay, please call the dispatch center at 225-562-2200.

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