‘It’s been tough’: Lake Charles family still trying to recover after October tornado

Ryan Nettles said his home sustained about $300,000 in damage

LAKE CHARLES, La. – In the span of a year, people in Lake Charles have been dealt several body blows by Mother Nature.

Two hurricanes – Laura and Delta – tore through southwest Louisiana in 2020. In February 2021, a freeze left the region that was still in recovery mode without power for days. Just eight months later, a tornado touched down in the city.

Ryan Nettles, whose home was damaged by the hurricanes and the tornado, is still trying to repair the estimated $300,000-worth of damage his home sustained in the Oct. 27, 2021, twister.

"I expect that number to probably go up some," Nettles said Tuesday.

Nettles said that insurance adjusters were quick to respond after the tornado, but the process appears to have hit a wall.

"Still waiting on structural engineer reports, those are very slow to come," Nettles said. "They’re in very high demand in this area still from the two hurricanes, and so, just real slow to get things going."

With tarps still covering the damaged parts of Nettles’ home, his neighbor opted to raze their house and are trying to sell the lot.

Nettles said his family is renting a house from a friend while they await repairs to their home, which may still be at least a year away. He said the mental anguish of uncertainty has almost been too much to bear.

"Everything that happens seems to be magnified when you don’t have your house to come home to," Nettles said.

Forecasters are warning of the potential for severe storms across the South this week. Nettles said he’s going to be closely watching the forecast.