Progress in New Iberia 1 month after twin tornadoes hit

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NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – It has been exactly one month since two tornadoes wreaked havoc in New Iberia.

Southport Subdivision, the New Iberia Medical Center and Estate Drive were a few of the locations that had the most damage.

One location in New Iberia where the tornadoes landed and destroyed anything in their path was down Estate Drive. Some of the residents impacted by the storm there spoke with News 10 about the progress they are making since the storm.

The dentist’s office on Estate Drive, owned by Dr. Mark Derouen, was one of the main buildings on the street impacted by the storm. Workers and patients were inside when the tornado destroyed the building.

A month after the devastation, Dr. Derouen said his office will likely need to be torn down.

“Nothing has really been finalized yet,” Derouen said. “We are still waiting on an adjuster to finalize things with that.”

Dr. Derouen will still be able to see patients at a new location on 600 Vicnaire St. thanks to a friend and fellow doctor Joshua Reaves.

Derouen and his wife Sandra sid without family and friends supporting them along the way, they would not have been able to get through everything.

“Everybody has been more than helpful. Any time we needed something, they have been there for us,” Derouen said.

Franny’s School of Dance was another location on Estate Drive severely damaged by the tornado.

Owner, Franny Bobbitt, said when the storm hit, the ceiling came down with insulation all over the place as well as water lines getting damaged.

Bobbitt’s son, Michael Munnerlyn, is a commercial contractor. He said when he heard of what happened to his mother’s studio, he knew what he needed to do.

“When mom calls, we jump,” Munnerlyn said.

After a month of hard work, Franny’s School of Dance will be opening up its doors once again.

“We are going to be open on Monday,” Munnerlyn said. “Most people won’t be back this fast, but it is the business I am in. I have the connections to go ahead and make things happen when they need to happen.”

News 10 was in New Iberia on the day of the tornadoes and saw firsthand the damage done by the storm. Seeing the progress not just on Estate Drive but all over the city goes to show how the spirit of New Iberia is alive and well.

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