L.A. Tech students recall the moments they helped pick up the pieces in Ruston

Local News

RUSTON, LA (5/22/19) — Elizabeth Edie and Owen Belknap are one of the hundreds of L.A. Tech students that helped with the clean up efforts after the deadly tornado that moved through Ruston back in April.

Edie recalls the moments she went to the Tech tennis courts to help clean up the debris. She says she and a group of students and non-students alike showed up for “The Big Event”, which is a school sanctioned community event that usually involes only students. This time around, they let everyone join in. 

They quickly went to work on picking up downed fencing and moved poles, in addition to sweeping and picking up debris.

From there, she continued to help clean up other damages across campus. 

On the day of the tornado, Edie also went and helped a friend who had a large pine tree branch crash into their home. 

Owen Belknap is another student who helped with clean up, mainly outside of the campus. He also cleaned up there, to the hardest hit neighborhoods, the businesses along I-20 and other damaged property along highway 33. 

He said he climbed 30 to 40 feet up into trees and onto roof tops to clear debris. He even rescued a woman who was trapped in her home. 

He said he went to help first, and asked questions later. He was raised that way, and says he would do it again in a heartbeat.

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