A mother is being credited for sacrificing her own life to save the life of her child during a tornado that ripped through her hometown of Rayne, Louisiana.
Jalisa Granger, 21, was found dead on Saturday by a relative after the EF2 level tornado touched down in the small town of approximately 8,500 people, leveling homes, injuring at least 12 people, and killing Granger after a tree fell on top of her home, according to the Associated Press.
A spokeswoman for the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office told the AP that “Granger was protecting her child when the tornado hit,” adding that “the child was OK.”
1,500 people were evacuated from Rayne due to natural gas leaks caused by the storm, which moved east through New Orleans, disrupting Mardi Gras festivities.
According to KPLC-7 News, the tornado knocked down at least 25 utility poles, and authorities went door to door after the storm looking for injured persons.
Authorities have also implemented a curfew to discourage looting, and have made the storm damaged areas restricted. Those violating that order will be subject to arrest.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency over the weekend.