NEW ORLEANS – At least 30,000 people were without power after a tornado roared through the New Orleans area and other parts of Louisiana on Wednesday, authorities said.
A tornado touched down in Gretna during the afternoon and caused significant damage before the twister crossed the Mississippi River and struck Arabi, a suburb east of New Orleans, NOLA.com reported.
Updated 8:36 p.m. EST Dec. 14: At least people have been confirmed dead in the state due to the tornadoes. Authorities in St. Charles Parish west of New Orleans said eight people were hospitalized with injuries and one woman was found dead outdoors after a suspected tornado struck Killona along the Mississippi River, The Associated Press reported.
According to NOLA.com, Allison Raymond, 55, of Killona, was found dead beneath a pile of debris.
“She was just gone,” Audry Mitchell, a neighbor, told the news outlet.
“You go to search a house and the house isn’t even there, so where do you search?” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters as he toured a mile-long path of destruction in Keithville, according to the AP.
Original report: The extent of the damage was not immediately known, but more than 30,000 households across Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes were without power, WBRZ-TV reported.
The storm comes nine months after the same areas of southeastern Lousiana were destroyed by an EF-3 tornado on March 22, according to WDSU-TV reported.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency, WGNO-TV reported. The governor also confirmed that a 30-year-old woman and her 8-year-old son were killed on Tuesday when a tornado struck their home in Caddo Parish, according to the television station.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said he had received reports of damaged homes and said that the roof was ripped off the sheriff’s office’s training academy building in Harvey, NOLA.com reported.
Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson said there was damage in the area.
“We’ve got extensive damage on the north side of the [West Bank] expressway and through Old Gretna and the Garden Park subdivision,” Lawson told NOLA.com.
The tornado is the second confirmed to touch down in the New Orleans metro area on Wednesday as a line of strong storms moved through the area, the news outlet reported.