At least three dead and dozens injured as powerful tornadoes strike Louisiana
At least three people have been killed and dozened injured after a series of tornadoes struck New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.
State governor John Bel Edwards said as many as 21 tornadoes touched down in different parts of the state on Tuesday and Wedneday, leaving death and destruction in their wake. Thousands of people were left without power.
One fatality was reported in St Charles Parish, located about 20 miles north of New Orleans, the state’s largest city.
More than 300 miles to the north, a young boy and his mother were found dead after a tornado destroyed their home Tuesday in the northwestern Louisiana community of n Pecan Farms, close to Keithville.
Those fatalties were idenfied as Yoshiko Smith, 30, and her eight-year-old son, Nikolus Little, by Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator.
“It’s really a sad, sad situation,” Sheriff Prator told KSLA-TV. “And it’s one of the most unusual things I have ever seen.”
BREAKING: A large tornado is moving through Chalmette, Louisiana. #lawx pic.twitter.com/4DOmfWbTKN
— Dredre babb (@DredreBabb) December 14, 2022
“Crews continue this morning with secondary searches and clearing of homes after a devastating tornado touched down in the Pecan Farms neighborhood of southern Caddo Parish,” the Caddo Parish Fire District Number Four wrote on its Facebook page.
“Thank you to Shreveport Volunteer Network, Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police, Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport Fire Department and all the other agencies and citizens who assisted us without hesitaion last night.”
Mr Edwards visited the town of Farmerville, one of the places that suffered some of the worst damage, located 100 miles east of Shreveport. At least two people were being treated in hospital there.
Major destruction in the Four Forks Louisiana area #LAWX #tornado @LiveStormsMedia pic.twitter.com/jmtq9fxIPV
— Brian Emfinger (@brianemfinger) December 13, 2022
“The latest information we have is that in last 24 hours, we’ve had 21, tornadoes in Louisiana,” Mr Edwards told reporters on Wednesday evening.
“Not all of them produced significant damage. Not all of them caused any injuries or fatalities. But too many of them did.”
He added: “So with the three fatalities we have elsewhere, with the two people who are from this area who remain in the hospital, I'm asking everyone to lift them up in their prayers, and their families.”
He said there was never a good time for such powerful storms to strike but that it was particularly dispiriting that it was happening at Christmas.
Reports said the tornadoes in Louisiana were part of a huge severe weather outbreak that moved east across the United States, creating storms in the southern states and blizzard-like conditions from the Midwest to the northeast.
Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas, confirmed five tornadoes touched down across the northern part of the state. Up to five people were injured in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine after a possible tornado struck there.