- A deadly tornado ripped through New Orleans.
- The twister was part of a severe weather outbreak in the South.
- Homes were destroyed and cars were sent back from Texas to Alabama.
Damage assessments and investigations continued across the south on Wednesday as residents began the long cleanup after homes were torn apart, cars overturned and at least two people were killed in an outbreak of severe weather which included several tornadoes.
The New Orleans metropolitan area and several Mississippi communities were among the most damaged areas.
One person was killed in Arabi in St. Bernard Parish, which borders New Orleans. The same line of storms was blamed for one death Monday in Texas, where multiple tornadoes were reported.
(CONTINUED: At least one dead after tornado swept through metro New Orleans)
Here are our live updates from Wednesday as the weather continued to head east. For Tuesday’s Live Updates page, click here.
Tornado Arabi victim identified
Authorities said the person killed Tuesday night in St. Bernard Parish was 25-year-old Connor Lambert, The Associated Press reported.
A neighbor told nola.com that Lambert had come home in his truck just as the storm was starting to hit. After the tornado passed, the neighbor saw the destruction and ran and started calling Lambert.
A press release from St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohmann said Lambert died of “multiple blunt injuries.”
State of emergency declared in four parishes
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in the parishes of St. Bernard, Orléans, Jefferson and St. Tammany.
“Unfortunately, our people have become too familiar with rebuilding after tragedy and loss, but it’s never easy,” Edwards said in a press release.
About 300 National Guard troops were activated.
Damage in the New Orleans area is consistent with at least one EF-3 tornado, according to NWS
Early surveys by the National Weather Service show that shame in Arabi was caused by at least one EF-3 tornado, which has winds between 158 mph and 206.
In the parish of Saint-Bernard, “It’s a disaster”
Louis Pomes, road site manager in the parish, described the scene as crews work to clear the way for first responders and residents to assess the damage Wednesday morning.
“There are so much debris. There are boats, there are houses, there are roofs…overturned cars,” Pomes said in a post on the parish’s Twitter feed. “It’s a disaster.”
Residents reminded to exercise caution when using generators
The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants people in areas affected by the storm to remember that generators may cause carbon monoxide poisoning or fires.
Generators should never be used inside or near a building, enclosed space or open windows.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission: “One generator produces as much CO as hundreds of cars. It can paralyze and kill users in minutes.
Six people in Louisiana died of carbon monoxide poisoning from generators in the days after Hurricane Ida in August, according to the state health department.
A full list of important safety tips for generators can be found here on the CSPC website.
Search and rescue teams continue to check Louisiana homes
A secondary search for the debris was underway this morning in St. Bernard Parish, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.
The agency has published several Pictures of destruction.
Wheelchair rescued girl from ‘Wizard of Oz’ house
One of seven people reported injured in Arabi, a community adjacent to New Orleans, was a girl in a wheelchair who was rescued from a home that the tornado tore off its foundation and dropped in the middle of the road, nola.com reported.
Neighbors who rushed to help compared it to a scene from The Wizard of Oz.
“I saw the house and I saw my neighbor trying to get his daughter out of there,” resident Chuck Heirsch, who called 911, told the newspaper. “They were screaming. His wife was hysterical. They were already traumatized from doing that “Wizard of Oz” trick.
First responders transported the girl to safety from the home.
Damage spreads to Alabama
Storms and flooding caused damage in Alabama on Tuesday evening. Officials in Hale County, south of Tuscaloosa, reported that at least 20 houses were damaged, according to WHNT-TV.
The video showed floodwaters flooding the streets of Birmingham, and the roads were also faded in several domains.
How to Help Victims in Louisiana
The United Way of Southeast Louisiana receives donations from the public for its Tornado Relief Fund, with all proceeds going towards immediate relief efforts and long-term reconstruction.
“Nearly two-thirds of households in the affected neighborhoods of the parishes of Saint-Bernard and Orléans don’t earn enough to save in the event of a disaster and many are still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Ida,” UWSELA President and CEO Michael Williamson said in a press release.
Cash donations as well as supplies including diapers, formula and toiletries are needed.
You will find details on how to contribute here.
Daylight gives a first glimpse of the extent of the damage
A house has moved from its foundations. The roofs have disappeared. Personal effects scattered on lawns and sidewalks.
These are some of the images that emerged as the sun rose this morning over Arabi in St. Bernard Parish.
Tornado path, overlapping destruction from Hurricane Ida
Some of the hardest-hit regions are still recovering from Hurricane Ida, which landed as a Category 4 storm and swept through southeast Louisiana seven months ago. The storm was responsible for 26 deaths and left some neighborhoods without power for weeks.
Residents of St. Bernard Parish and Arabi are among those still rebuilding.
Stacey Mancuso’s family home lost its roof to Ida and suffered extensive water damage. They just finished the repairs.
Tuesday’s tornado tore away part of their new roof as Mancuso, her husband and two children huddled in their laundry room.
“We are alive. That’s what I can say at this point,” Mancuso told The Associated Press. “We still have four walls and part of a roof. I consider myself lucky.”
It’s the third time they’ve suffered major weather damage to their home since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Damage reported in 12 Mississippi counties
The houses were damaged across a dozen Mississippi counties as storms moved in Tuesday, according to the state’s emergency management agency. At least two people were injured – one in Holmes County, north of Jackson, and one south in Copiah County.
The update says severe weather, tornadoes, hail, damaging winds and flash flooding affected all parts of the state, with multiple reports of trees falling on roads and power lines.
Dozens of tornado reports from Texas to Alabama
There have been more than five dozen reports of tornadoes from Texas and Oklahoma to Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, according to preliminary tallies from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center.
The number of reports does not indicate the actual number of tornadoes, as some may be reported more than once.
The official tally will not be finalized until the National Weather Service completes storm records. Some of these investigations are already underway and other teams are rolling out today.
Power outages persist in several regions
Some 14,000 homes and businesses are without power in Louisiana and Mississippi around 10:15 a.m. CDT, according to PowerOutage.us.
Most Louisiana blackouts occur in Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes. In Mississippi, most of them are in the central part of the state. More than 19,000 outages are reported in Texas.
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