The National Weather Service retweeted a video of a tornado in eastern New Orleans that was visible in a darkened sky.
The tornado seemed to have started in the suburbs of New Orleans and then moved east across the Mississippi River to the lower 9th parish of New Orleans and part of St. Bernard Parish before moving northeast.
Guy McGuinness, president of St. Bernard Parish, told WWL-TV that the parish had caused “extensive damage” in parts of the parish bordering New Orleans to the east. Search and rescue teams went from house to house looking for people and answering at least two calls from people who said they were trapped in their homes in the bathrooms.
“No serious injuries have been reported so far,” McGuinness said. – It will be a long night.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. While the metropolitan area is often hit by severe weather and heavy rains, it is rare for a tornado to pass through the city.
Strong winds uprooted trees in Ridgeland, Mississippi, as a possible tornado passed by a town in the Jackson area on Tuesday afternoon, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage to buildings. Police on campus at the University of Mississippi in Starkville shared a photo of a large deciduous tree lying across the road.
Many schools closed early or canceled after-school activities Tuesday in some areas of Louisiana and Mississippi to allow students to return home before the weather worsened. Shelters have opened for residents who needed a place to live while the storms pass.
High water on Tuesday in Louisiana posed a threat to motorists on several roads, including on section of Interstate 20 and several state highways after night rains, authorities said. Deputies in Caddo Parish, which includes Shreveport, rescued three drivers from high water overnight, the sheriff’s office tweeted before dawn.
Thunderstorms are expected to intensify throughout the day with rising temperatures, increasing threat of tornadoes, hail and strong winds. Weather forecasters predicted strong tornadoes and devastating winds, some hurricane forces at 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) or more over most of the Mississippi, southern and eastern Louisiana and western Alabama. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi, were among the cities threatened by the storm.
The system dumped heavy rain, felled trees and caused several tornado warnings when it moved to Alabama on Tuesday night. The roofs of several homes were damaged in Tokyo, Alabama, after a storm that preceded tornado warnings passed through the area, the National Weather Service said on Twitter.
Federal and Louisiana authorities have reminded thousands of hurricane survivors living in government-provided mobile homes and holiday trailers to have an evacuation plan because the structures may not withstand the expected weather. According to officials, more than 8,000 households live in such temporary premises.
In Texas, several tornadoes were recorded along Interstate Corridor 35 on Monday, particularly in the suburbs of Austin Round Rock and Elgin, as well as in north and east Texas and southern Oklahoma.
In Elgin, broken trees lined rural roads and pieces of metal, torn by strong winds, hung from the branches. Residents walked carefully to avoid power outages as they worked to clean up the remains of broken ceilings, destroyed walls and damaged cars.
59-year-old J.D. Harkins said he saw two tornadoes pass by his home in Elgin.
“There used to be a barn there,” said Harkins, pointing to an empty plot of his uncle’s property littered with litter. He said the building was empty when the first tornado collapsed on Monday, and that his family was grateful that no one was hurt.
“It was crystal clear, well delineated,” Harkins said. “And then one went up and the other went down.”
The tornado took place on a day of wild weather in Texas – forest fires were burning in the west, and a warning of a blizzard was issued in the Texas Panhandle, where up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow fell.
“There is absolutely nothing unusual in terms of what we saw yesterday and see today,” said Victor Jensini, a professor of meteorology at the University of Northern Illinois who studies severe storms. It’s a time of year to expect tornadoes and storms, and usually more of them in the years from La Nino, a natural cooling of some parts of the Pacific that changes the weather around the globe, he said.
The biggest concern remains tornadoes that take at night, Jencini said.
At press conferences in Jacksboro and Crockett, two communities severely affected by the tornado, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the disaster for 16 heavily affected counties.
Abbott said 10 people were injured in a storm in the Crockett area, while more than a dozen were reportedly injured elsewhere.
The Grayson County Emergency Management Agency said a 73-year-old woman was killed in Sherwood Shores, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Dallas, but did not provide details.
According to reports from the Storm Forecast Center, homes and businesses in at least a dozen Texas counties were affected.
Officials reported damage throughout Jacksboro, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Fort Worth. Photographs posted on social media show that the storm tore off the wall and roof of parts of Jacksbour High School, including the gym.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” Starla Sanders School Principal told WFAA-TV in Dallas.
Blid reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. Associated Press reporters Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Kimberly Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama; Julie Walker in New York; Ken Miller in Oklahoma City; Terry Wallace in Dallas; and Janet McConaughey of New Orleans contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022, Associated Press. All rights reserved.