'Chainsaw nun' surprised she's now an online sensation

Helping, not fame from chainsaw video, brings true joy, says Carmelite

Helping, not fame from chainsaw video, brings true joy, says Carmelite

The Florida nun who became an internet sensation when video emerged of her - dressed in full habit - wielding a chain saw to clear downed trees after Hurricane Irma says she had to look up instructions on how to start the tool.

Sister Margaret Anne said the attention has been largely positive and that she thinks she's shattered some people's perceptions of what nuns do. "The students have told me everything is online, sister; just ask the question online".

Many people posted warnings online that the nun's loose habit could get caught in the saw.

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"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.

Sister Margaret Ann was spotted at work by an off-duty officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department, which posted video and images from the scene in the community of Kendall West Tuesday.

"I had the time, I had the chainsaw, and I figured I'd just do what I could to help out", she said. "She's a do-it-herselfer, holy helper, Sister Margaret Ann".

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The community needs every bit of levity it can find as it recovers from the damage wrought by Hurricane Irma, which led to the school's closing because a cooling tower needs to be fixed before students are allowed to return.

And that's what she was doing when she chose to clear the tree from the road when a police officer, armed with a phone, happened to drive by and filmed her. Via FaceTime, she has been talking to them, easing the concerns of her community in Los Angeles, she said.

"I had to go on YouTube" to figure it out, she said, "but growing up in Texas, I did a lot of yardwork and my dad taught me to figure things out".

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"The students are telling me, they are saying, 'Sister, you're no wimp". Wasting no time at all, Sister Margaret Ann grabbed the chainsaw and went to help out the first responders.

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