New Orleans residents were out digging for and assessing the damage caused by tornadoes Wednesday. They were flipping cars, ripping down roofs, and placing a house with a family in it in the middle their street.
Another tornado that was triggered by the same system also caused such severe damage in Texas that the governor declared a state of emergency in 16 counties. Alabama was the worst affected, with torrential rains being recorded.
As the storm front blew across South, two people were killed and many others were injured. A woman from Dallas was killed along with a person from St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans. Authorities have yet to provide details about how they died.
Governor. John Bel Edwards declared an immediate emergency in the St. Bernard, Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Catrell stated Wednesday that there were no injuries, casualties, or significant damage in Orleans Parish. However, tornadoes struck in Arabi just east of the city and in Lacombe across Lake Pontchartrain.
Arabi saw debris hanging from trees and electrical wires amid the destruction of houses. Emergency workers had to slow down and walk through darkened neighborhoods looking for signs of damage in order to locate power poles.
Amy Sims said that she was not mentally ready to see the things she saw. She jumped in her car at the sound of the tornado warning and drove to Arabi Heights to check on family members. She claimed that emergency medical personnel, many of them crying, were trying to avoid live wires while they went door-to–door in shattered houses.
She said that it looked like a bomb had been set off, and that her cousin’s house and family were okay, but that all the houses around them were destroyed.
According to the National Weather Service, the Arabi tornado caused damage at least EF-3. This means it had winds between 158-206 mph (254-332km/h) and the Lacombe-area twister, which was an EF-1 with winds up to 90 mph (135 km/h).
Television stations broadcast live images of the storm affecting an area approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) in length and a half mile (0.8 km) in width in St. Bernard Parish. Ochsner Health reported that eight patients were treated at an emergency department.
Collin Arnold, director for homeland security and emergency preparedness, in New Orleans, described the “incredible destruction” in Arabi. He said that a team of state officials, including firefighters, EMS, and police officers, was conducting damage assessments and searching for evidence.
Louisiana activated 300 National Guard troops to help clear roads and provide support. John Rahaim Jr., parish’s homeland security director, stated that they joined firefighters and other searchers going door-to-door to ensure no one was left behind.
Arabi residents who had their homes severely damaged or destroyed swept up the broken glass and attempted to salvage their possessions. The Lower 9th Ward, located next to the city’s Lower 9th Ward, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina 2005. It was again hit hard last year when Hurricane Ida struck.
Stacey Mancuso and her family were just finishing repairing the damage caused by Ida. The roof was torn off and extensive water damage had occurred. They all survived the tornado that tore off a portion of their roof.
“We’re alive. Mancuso said, “That’s all I can say at the moment.” The twister was still the third major weather-related damage they suffered since Katrina.
Entergy reported Wednesday that approximately 3,700 customers were still without power. There was a strong smell of natural gas in the air. Downed power lines caused emergency workers to slow down and walk through the debris.
Michelle Malasovich was texting her family from Arabi when the lights suddenly flickered. Her husband saw the twister approaching.
Malasovich stated that “it just kept getting louder” They saw that some columns had been blown from their porch and that her Jeep’s windows had also been blown out. Other residents were worse: “Our neighbor is right in the middle street right now.”
According to neighbors and authorities, the couple found their way out of the rubble seeking help to rescue their daughter who was trapped in a breathing tube.
Guy McInnis, president of St. Bernard Parish, stated that a young girl was being placed on a ventilator and her father was looking to hire firefighters. “And they were already there taking care the young lady, and she’s doing well.”
Gene Katz claimed that Gene, his wife, and their two children, hid in a closet when the tornado tore down their home and made it collapse in the area where they sought shelter.
He said, “By the moment we closed the door the roof fell off and that was it.”
An apparent twister, which moved eastward with the storm front, ripped a building made of metal and shatter windows east of Mobile Bay. Overnight, Sylacauga in central Alabama received more than 8 inches (20 cm) of rain. Numerous homes had their roofs damaged in Toxey (Alabama), where tornado warnings were issued.
According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, damage to homes was reported in 12 counties and there were two injuries.
On Monday, severe weather hit Texas with numerous tornadoes being reported along the Interstate 35 corridor. Broken trees littered Elgin’s rural roads, and metal pieces hung from branches as Elgin residents navigated the chaos.
J.D. Harkins, 59, claimed that he witnessed two tornadoes pass his Elgin house.
Harkins stated, “There used to have a barn there,” pointing out an empty plot on his uncle’s property that was covered in debris.
Texas Governor. Greg Abbott stated that 10 people were hurt in storms in Crockett, while over a dozen were reported to have been injured elsewhere. Grayson County Emergency Management Office stated that a 73 year-old woman was shot and killed in Sherwood Shores. This is about 60 miles (95 km) north of Dallas. However, they did not provide any details.