A Girl Survived A Tornado That Lifted Up Her House & It Was Like A 'Wizard Of Oz' Ride

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Global Editorial Fellow
​The tornado that ripped through Arabi, Louisiana. Right: The aftermath of the tornado in Arabi, Louisiana.

The tornado that ripped through Arabi, Louisiana. Right: The aftermath of the tornado in Arabi, Louisiana.

A girl survived a terrifying Wizard of Oz-like close call with a tornado late Tuesday in Arabi, Louisiana. A twister picked up her family's house while she was still inside, and dropped it in the street.

The Castellanos family was at home when they heard the storm suddenly intensify outside their window, the girl's mother, Dea Castellanos, told the Associated Press.

Dea Castellanos was in the living room when a tornado swept over the house, while her daughter, who has muscular dystrophy, was in her own bedroom.

The mother said she suddenly felt the whole house start to spin, and was thrown into one of the bedrooms. She says she couldn't tell what happened in the following moments but remembers the aftermath. She says she climbed out of the wreckage of her home only to notice that it was not where it was supposed to be.

The large tornado had picked up the Castellanos' bungalow and dropped it 30 feet away into the street, Dea told the Associated Press.

Both Dea Castellanos and her husband immediately called out for help. This is the moment they heard their daughter trying to do the same thing from inside the wreckage of the house.

According to the Associated Press, neighbor Chuck Heirsch called 9-1-1 while witnessing the Castellanos realize the disaster that had happened.

Heirsch described the Castellanos' experience as a "Wizard of Oz ride" in an interview with the Associated Press, adding that Dea Castellanos was "screaming" and seemed "hysterical" at the scene.

Emergency services quickly arrived and were able to rescue the daughter from the ruined house. She was quickly taken to the hospital. Despite her needing surgery, officials said she was "doing fine."

One person was killed by the same tornado that night, as it cut a path of destruction through Arabi.

Drone Shots of the Arabi tornado from 40 Arpent to Judge PerezSt. Bernard Parish Television | YouTube

St. Bernard Parish released a drone video on Thursday morning, showing debris scattered across the neighborhood, with roofs torn up and, in some cases, houses no longer on their respective lots.

Thousands of people were reportedly affected by power outages and the tornado itself.

Andrew Mrozowski
Global Editorial Fellow