Over the past 24 hours, severe weather has wreaked havoc across Louisiana, killing at least three people and leaving more than a dozen more injured.
Wednesday at around 4 p.m. CT, a tornado was confirmed to have made landfall in New Orleans by the National Weather Service.
As the storm passed across the eastern part of the city, a tornado debris signature was clearly visible on the radar, and many power flashes were seen on tower cameras. Although damage has been recorded, the extent is now unknown.
Three tornado reports have been made in the past two hours in the New Orleans metro area. The heaviest impacted areas in Louisiana were from Gretna to Arabi, although the meteorological agency has not yet released a report with specifics on the tornado’s route.
Belinda Constant, mayor of Gretna, told CNN affiliate WDSU that the extreme weather on Wednesday is “worse than Hurricane Ida.” Last year, a hurricane struck the region.
According to a tweet from the Louisiana Department of Health, a 56-year-old lady “died after a tornado demolished her home” in Killona, roughly 30 miles west of New Orleans. The woman’s identity was not immediately made public, according to officials in St. Charles Parish on Wednesday.
“It ripped the shoes off my feet.” 13-yr-old sheltered in bathroom w grandparents as 🌪️ shredded parts of their home, shed, patio. Tornadoes popping up all across metro New Orlean right now. Live coverage at @wdsu pic.twitter.com/kO1rO7DcaD
— Jennifer Crockett (@CrockettWDSU) December 14, 2022
Injuries to eight additional parish residents are not life-threatening, Sheriff Greg Champagne announced during a news conference on Wednesday.
According to Champagne, the tornado was violent.
He added that this was the second time in two weeks a tornado had touched down in St. Charles Parish and that there was debris on the levee behind you that had come from our firing range, which was 1.7 miles away. “This one caused a lot of destruction.”
The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office said that a boy and his mother were discovered dead after a tornado demolished their home in Keithville, a town in northwest Louisiana, more than 300 miles to the north.
Sheriff Steve Prator told CNN affiliate KSLA that the boy’s body was discovered on Tuesday approximately a half-mile from the house.
On December 14, 2021, authorities searched rubble fields for tornado casualties in Dawson Springs, Kentucky.
According to the sheriff’s office, the mother was found dead early on Wednesday morning around a street away from the location of the residence. Two additional residents in the neighborhood also sustained injuries.
Additionally, 20 people were hurt in Farmerville, a small hamlet in Union Parish in northern Louisiana close to the Arkansas border, according to Farmerville Police Detective Cade Nolan.
Debris where homes once stood and upside-down cars were seen in devastated areas throughout the rest of the state, where several locals told CNN they hid in their bathtubs in dread as they weathered the storm.
According to PowerOutage.us, the storm system cut power to more than 9,000 consumers in Mississippi and over 45,000 customers in Louisiana.
According to an emergency proclamation, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in reaction to the storms on Wednesday.
This hurricane is still affecting us. Keep an eye on the weather and pay attention to local officials’ warnings, the governor tweeted.
Billy Nungesser, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that while the state had a favorable hurricane season, this storm “didn’t spare us at all.” And it affected the entire state.
A large system that has been bringing heavy snow and, in some places, blizzard conditions to northern parts of the central US is responsible for the extreme weather that is wreaking havoc across Louisiana and advancing across the Southeast.
Threats on Wednesday follow storms From Oklahoma and the Dallas-Fort Worth region to Mississippi and some areas of Louisiana, Tuesday’s storms produced tornadoes that tore apart houses and businesses.