St. Landry

Aug 5, 2013 11:41 PM by Chris Welty

Evacuees Return Home Only for Minutes

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office has suspended escorting residents into their homes.

Early Monday afternoon, residents were allowed to go home for less than 10 minutes to pick up prescription medications, pets, and clothes.

Not going home wasn't an option for the Wiltz family. Like many, they had only minutes to leave home Sunday night.

"I was hoping it wasn't that serious and we wouldn't have to stay overnight," said Paige Wiltz.

They didn't pack clothes, extra baby formula or any other essentials.

"I was hoping it was just a few hours and you could go back home."

The Champagne family took advantage of the sheriff's office escorts on Monday. They left with the clothes on their backs thinking they would be home in a few hours, but after more than 24 hours passed, they had to return home to pick up necessities and their animals.

"We have four dogs, chickens, geese and other animals we needed to feed since no one was home," said Lewis Champagne.

Going home even for a brief moment is also a reminder of how lucky their family is. Their son, Kobe was in the front yard playing as the rail cars fell off the tracks just feet away.

"I heard screeching and I just saw it rolling off the track one at a time," said Kobe Champagne.

Tuesday morning, a press conference is scheduled to update families on the situation and when they possibly will be able to return home.

If you need to file a claim or have questions, you can call Union Pacific at 877-877-2567.

Chris Welty


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