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Tornadoes leave a trail of destruction across Louisiana and the southeastern United States


There were at least 49 reports of tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Neighborhood in Louisiana is left in ruins after the passage of a tornado 0:41

(CNN) --

A severe weather system sweeping through the southern United States has left a trail of destruction in Louisiana, killing at least three people and injuring dozens more as violent tornadoes touched down, toppling homes, turning rubble into shells and cut off the power supply.

Deaths attributed to storm-related events include a 56-year-old woman who died after a tornado struck her home in the Killona area of ​​St. Charles Parish, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

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In addition, a boy and his mother were found dead after a tornado destroyed their home Tuesday in the northwest Louisiana community of Keithville, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office said.

The bodies of the mother and son were found hours apart, far from where their home once stood, authorities said.

Multiple communities across Louisiana reported destruction, with roofs torn off, homes splintered, debris strewn across roads, and cars overturned.

As fierce winds downed power lines, more than 50,000 customers were without power in Louisiana and Mississippi Wednesday night, according to

That number dropped to less than 15,000 early Thursday.

There were at least 49 reports of tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

More tornado reports are likely as surveyors continue to verify damage.

A damaged home is seen after a confirmed tornado hit Arabi, Louisiana on Wednesday.

And the threat is not over yet.

More than 15 million people could see severe weather Thursday across parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas as it moves east, according to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford.


More than 1.5 million people were under a tornado watch in southeast Alabama, northern Florida and southern Georgia as of 9 a.m. Thursday.

Strong tornadoes are still likely, as well as quarter-sized hail and powerful wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour.

The massive storm that tore through Louisiana and the entire Southeast is part of a massive system that has also brought snowstorms to the north-central US.

By Thursday, the storms are expected to weaken slightly, but severe weather is at risk for much of Florida, coastal Georgia and the coastal Carolinas.

Cities including Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston could experience damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes, Shackelford said.

'A long road of destruction'

In Louisiana, the damage has been widespread, affecting multiple communities, prompting Gov. John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency.

Some 5,000 structures were likely damaged when a tornado hit the city of Gretna, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, Mayor Belinda Constant said.

Farther north, at least 20 people were injured in the small Union Parish town of Farmerville when a tornado struck Tuesday night, demolishing parts of an apartment complex and a mobile home park, detective said. Farmerville police officer Cade Nolan.

Patsy Andrews was at home with her children in Farmerville when she heard "wind like a train" outside, she told CNN affiliate KNOE-TV.

His son told him not to open the door when he went to investigate, but it was too late.

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“Suddenly the wind was so strong it broke my back door,” Andrews said.

"The lights went out and all we could hear was glass breaking everywhere."

She said she and her daughter fell to the floor, crawling into a hallway when glass broke around them and water leaked through the ceiling.

They ended up taking refuge in her bathroom.

“We got into the bathtub and hugged each other.

We kept praying and I kept calling out to Jesus,” Andrews said.

His family survived the storm, but were left with damage to his home.

In the Algiers area of ​​New Orleans, four residents were taken to hospitals as the storm hit the area on the west bank of the Mississippi River, Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told CNN.

At least one house collapsed in the area and other residences and businesses were affected, Arnold added.

Storm damage in Blue Ridge, Texas on December 13, 2022.

St. Bernard Parish officials also reported “significant damage” in Arabi, where a tornado touched down, they said, leaving much of the area without power.

Crews in Arabi will conduct search and rescue efforts throughout the night, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Ten people have been rescued due to severe weather, but no serious injuries or deaths have been reported, Pohlmann added.

Cindy DeLucca Hernandez thought she could beat the storm as she drove home from picking up her 16-year-old son from school.

But on the trip, she found herself facing a tornado.

“It was extremely scary, I had never been through anything like this,” Hernandez said.

Video she shared with CNN shows her waiting at a red light as a tornado ripped through Arabi, kicking up debris and downing power lines.

“We started to see debris and it hit us a couple of times and that's when I put the car in reverse,” he said.

Hernández and his son arrived home safe and sound.

Jefferson Parish Councilman Scott Walker said he saw at least one debris path more than a mile long.

“Power lines down, houses severely damaged, roofs torn off,” he said in a video shared online describing the scene.

"It's a scene of extensive damage and a long road of destruction here."

Two schools in Jefferson Parish sustained storm damage and were expected to remain closed Thursday.

Iberia Medical Center "suffered a significant amount of damage," Police Capt. Leland Lasereter said on Facebook.

CNN has sought comment from the medical center.

The New Iberia Police Department reported on Facebook that two tornadoes touched down in the city, with several homes damaged and reports of people trapped in the Southport subdivision.

Tornadoes damage homes in Texas and Oklahoma

The storm also left damage in Texas and Oklahoma as it moved through the South earlier this week, spawning tornadoes.

In Texas, at least seven people were injured Tuesday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including at least five in the city of Grapevine.

Two tornado reports were made in Grapevine, where police said a shopping center and other businesses were damaged.

An EF2 tornado struck Wise County near the communities of Paradise and Decatur, damaging homes and businesses, authorities said.

Video showed houses splintered, with roofs torn off in Decatur.

In Wayne, Oklahoma, an EF2 tornado damaged homes, outbuildings and barns early Tuesday, authorities said.

No injuries were reported, but homes were leveled or roofs torn off, video from CNN affiliate KOCO shows.

CNN's Sharif Paget, Joe Sutton, Andy Rose, Amanda Musa, Maureen Chowdhury and Dave Hennen contributed to this report.


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-12-15

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