Jul 3, 2011 11:16 PM by Chris Welty

Firework Stand Hit

A fireworks stand was blown apart Saturday along Highway 90 in Iberia Parish.

It was a big hit for a business typically booming this time of year.

"The rain was coming down so hard that it was just a complete white out as far as the rain, and you could feel hail, little pieces of gravel, and dust getting you in the face," said Ron Kumpik with Hale Fireworks stand.

In just a matter of minutes, Hale Fireworks Tent was ripped to shreds. Storms moving through New Iberia caused the stand to collapse while four customers were inside.

"Things were flying everywhere in all directions," said Kumpik.

Everyone did make it out ok. Witnesses believe a funnel cloud was moving through the area, but Meteorologist Natalie Noah says there were no signs of that.

"There were no reports from the National Weather Service in Lake Charles of any twisters, and throughout all of the afternoon, there were no severe thunderstorm warnings or tornado warnings put out," said Noah.

During this time of year, it isn't out of the norm to have storms capable of producing strong winds, hail, and even flooding.

"Throughout the past couple of days, we've had these pop up storms that are nearly stationary that move very, very slowly."

Whether it was strong winds or a twister, the storm was an inconvenience for the stand.

The stand started out with about 25,000 dollars worth of product, but due to the severe weather, they lost about 12,000 dollars worth of merchandise.

"Other product was just fine, some of the stuff was just in case pack wrapped in plastic," said Kumpik.

The stand is open and ready for business. This experience is one that Ron Kumpik says was wild, and worth it all for one thing.

"I've always wanted to come to Louisiana and try the food. I love cajun food and I got to try boudain. It's been a crazy ride, but the food was worth it."

Chris Welty



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