Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Chainsaw-Wielding Nun Cleaning Up After Hurricane

Chainsaw-Wielding Nun Cleaning Up After Hurricane

A Florida nun is pitching in on the cleanup efforts after Hurricane Irma by taking a chainsaw to downed trees while dressed in her full habit.

Sister Laechelin, of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart, told CNN that the school had chainsaws stored in a closet and, given the circumstances of the destruction, she put them to use.

Speaking with CTV News Channel on Thursday, Sister Margaret Anne explained the story behind the video.

After the local police department posted a video September 12 on Twitter of Carmelite Sister Margaret Ann Laechelin trimming branches off a fallen tree with a chainsaw, she became an instant hit and a symbol of sorts for the hurricane-ravaged Miami area.

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The nun with a chainsaw habit quickly drew interest beyond Miami.

"People are driving by and saying, 'Thank you, sister, thank you, '" she said.

Her school also had to face the wrath of Hurricane Irma as it took down the wall, a large number of trees, and the school's air conditioner. True to their teachings, she did her best to help the people of Florida.

"I had the time, I had the chainsaw, and I figured I'd just do what I could to help out", she said.

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She was so focused that she didn't notice when a police officer started shooting video on his phone. Via FaceTime, she has been talking to them, easing the concerns of her community in Los Angeles, she said.

Sister Ann says that "I don't see myself as the important one" and that "I had the chainsaw, and I was able to help out. That's what we do", she said.

Her family in Texas, however, was in "awe" when they saw her on TV, she said, and told her "I always thought you'd be famous, but not because of a chainsaw".

"The road was blocked and we couldn't get through, and I saw somebody spin in the mud and nearly go into a wall and off the road, and so there was a need, I had the means, I wanted to help out", Sister Laechelin explained to CNN Sept. 12 as a video played in the background showing her, wearing the Carmelites' brown tunic, chopping apart a tree with chainsaw.

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