The strongest tornado in New Orleans’ history destroyed 50% to 60% of Arabi, Louisiana, in March. Families and business owners were shocked at the incredible, sudden loss that the tornado caused. But even after seven months and the city still showing scars, the community is back in business and closer than ever.
In March, FOX Weather's Mitti Hicks talked to barber Nathan Chase while he was forced to cut hair on the sidewalk in front of his caved-in shop.
Seven months later, the piles of debris were gone, the roof and shopfront rebuilt, and neighbors waited to get their hair cut inside.
Chase credits those neighbors for his determination to rebuild.
"I learned when, you know, people stick together in this community," Chase said. "Everybody helps one another, you know, it is a beautiful community."
Survivors helped each other immediately after the storm and still do today.
"When the power went out, my daughter came running into our room. She curled up under my wife, my wife laid on top of her, and I laid on top of both of them," Arabi resident Timothy O’Neill recalled. "The sheetrock from the walls and ceiling fell on top of us. But we were able to get up afterwards, came out and checked the neighbors."
The New Orleans suburb, just 5 miles away from downtown, is no stranger to destruction.
Hurricane Katrina ravaged the region in 2005.
"The tornado is much worse than the hurricane. You don't get the (advanced) warning," said Chase. "And, you know, you don't know where in this country you can prepare."
One person died, and countless more were injured when the EF-3 multi-vortex tornado with winds of 165 mph blew through at 7:30 on a Tuesday night.
Satellite images show the 11-mile-long and 320-yard-wide path of the twister.
Compare the scene from November 2021 to the post-storm. What were homes just months before became scattered lumber, bricks and family possessions.
Kids are back in rebuilt schools, the barber shop is back indoors, and the neighbors are again defiant to Mother Nature's worst. But the community is still healing as scenes like this one of the March tornado screaming through the dark, seventeen minutes of terror continue to haunt survivors like Chase.