Ruston tornado victims get new trees planted thanks to Dallas based organization


RUSTON, La (02/10/20) — Ruston tornado victims are still dealing with the aftermath almost a year later, but after this weekend’s tree planting, things are looking up for the victims.

Lincoln Parish volunteers worked with a non-profit organization called Retreet to plant trees throughout the city and rebuild some of the landscape destroyed by the tornado.

This weekend, they planted 178 trees at over 60 home sites in Ruston and one family who received some trees says it’s finally feels like home again.

Almost a year ago the Giesse family sat in the bathtub in their house as the tornado ripped through their neighborhood.

“So then I got up and looked around the corner and I saw there was a tree that landed on top of our bed,” said Michael Giesse, Homeowner.

Their night turned upside down when part of their house and yard were destroyed.

“You couldn’t even see the yard. We had approximately 30 trees down. We had about 10 in the front so the whole front too. It just looked like a war zone,” said Giesse.

In October, Lincoln Parish members of the zoning commission worked with a company out of Dallas called Retreet in hopes to bring new landscape to the destroyed homes. Retreet specializes in providing disaster relief by fixing the landscape of destroyed communities.

“For me, it’s kinda just like a fresh start. It’s a reminder that hey we’re back, we’re back in the house and now we kinda get to start over,” said Giesse.

For the Gieese family, the trees aren’t the only thing reminding them of their fresh start.

“We had to move into a rental house for almost nine months so it took us a while and then transitioning back into here it’s been like a restart too. I have two little girls, so it’ll be neat to see them grow up as the trees grow up will be neat,” said Giesse.

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