Phil Robertson says he’s thankful his family is safe after severe tornadoes tore across the South over the weekend into Monday.
“Our area was hit pretty hard by tornados,” the former “Duck Dynasty” star told in a statement. “Thankfully, our family was spared any damage, but our hearts go out to those in our community that suffered loss. We do praise God that there were no fatalities here and pray for recovery and restoration as we pull together to help each other through this.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said it was “a miracle” that no serious injuries or deaths resulted from the Sunday tornadoes that damaged hundreds of homes around Monroe and in other parts of north Louisiana. But, he lamented that because of coronavirus-related mandates, he felt he had to keep his distance from victims whose properties were devastated.
The mayor of Monroe, La., Jamie Mayo, told KNOE-TV that the storm damaged 200 to 300 homes in and around the city. Flights were canceled at Monroe Regional Airport, where the siding was ripped off buildings and debris was scattered on runways. Airport director Ron Phillips told the News-Star the storm caused up to $30 million in damage to planes inside a hangar.
More than 30 people were killed in a two-day period as severe storms tore across the South, leaving more than 1 million homes without power. Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said there were reports of close to 80 tornadoes linked to the violent weather.
In a two-day period, storms stretched from Texas to Mississippi, and then further east to the Georgia coast and northward to Virginia. The National Weather Service (NWS) tallied hundreds of reports of trees down across the region, including many that punctured roofs and downed power lines.
“We had one reported tornado in Mississippi that tracked over 100 miles, so this was one for the record books in terms of how many tornadoes we had,” Dean said.
“This is going to be a trying time for our friends in the South,” Dean said Tuesday.
Robertson, who has spent most of his life living off of Louisiana’s bayou, previously told he was at ease living in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
When it comes to living a simpler life, Robertson told his faith has been essential.
“I found Jesus in the mid-’70’s,” he explained. “I have been self-quarantined from the world ever since. This is the lesson I have learned since I made that decision. The world and its desires pass away but the man who does the Will of God lives forever.”
“My ambition now is to live a quiet life, mind my own business, work with my hands as God told me, so that my daily life may win the respect of outsiders so that so that I will not be dependent on anybody,” he continued. “Peace of mind is the rarest of commodities and I am totally at peace in my life in the quarantine.”
Worldwide, more than 1.4 million people have been confirmed infected and over 80,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are almost certainly much higher, because of limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and deliberate underreporting by some governments.
For most, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and death. Over 300,000 people have recovered.