1 killed, multiple injured after tornado hits U.S. New Orleans area
At least one person was killed and multiple injured after tornado moved into southern U.S. state Louisiana and struck parts of the state's biggest city New Orleans and its suburbs on Tuesday night, officials said on Wednesday.
The fatality occurred in hard-hit Arabi in St. Bernard Parish, which borders New Orleans proper, reported Xinhua.
"There's widespread damage from where it touched down," St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann told a news conference on Wednesday.
"There's heavy damage to multiple structures in the area, they have multiple injuries in the area." said the sheriff.
Pohlmann said rescue workers were searching through the area for more people in need of help.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said on Tuesday night the city was spared from the worst damage.
"As of now there have been no reports of casualties or significant damage to Orleans Parish," Cantrell said in a statement.
"Although the tornado has passed, we're still experiencing heavy rain & gusty winds in the New Orleans area," the mayor tweeted on Wednesday.
Another tornado was confirmed north of Lake Pontchartrain in the coastal state, according to local media reports.
It's rare that a tornado moves through New Orleans, the city pummeled by Hurricane Katrina 17 years ago, according to local media reports. A 2017 tornado caused widespread damage when it touched down in the eastern part of the city.
Homes were damaged in a dozen Mississippi counties as the storms moved through Tuesday, the state's emergency management agency tweeted on Wednesday. At least two people were injured in the state.
Some 14,000 customers were without power in Louisiana and Mississippi as of about 10:15 a.m. CDT, while more than 19,000 outages were reported in Texas, according to PowerOutage.us.
Weather.com meteorologists forecast that scattered severe storms will move into the southern Great Lakes on Wednesday and could potentially pack damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado threat.
On Monday, tornadoes tore through large areas of south central U.S. state Texas and Oklahoma, leaving one woman killed and more than two dozens injured while causing widespread damage before moving eastward into Louisiana and Mississippi. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued a disaster declaration for 16 counties.
A weather.com report said that a multi-day severe thunderstorm threat is a classic setup for spring, with a potent jet stream disturbance spreading into increasingly humid air over the southern United States, which will give rise to widespread rain and thunderstorms across the area.