New Orleans tornado kills one and leaves thousands without power

Louisiana faced the fury of Hurricane Katrina 17 years ago

A tornado hit New Orleans and its suburbs on Tuesday, killing at least one person in a region that bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina 17 years ago.

The fatality was in the south-east of the city, where weather’s fury was focused.

Many people were injured, AP reported.

Rescue workers searched suburban St Bernard Parish for people in need of assistance.

Other tornadoes spawned by the same storm system hit parts of Texas and Oklahoma, killing one person on Monday and causing injuries and widespread damage to homes and other properties.

In New Orleans, television stations broadcast live images of the storm as it crossed the region.

The tornado appeared to start in a suburb and then move east across the Mississippi River into the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans and parts of St Bernard Parish – both of which were badly damaged by Katrina – before turning north-east.

Many residents also suffered damage to their property last year when Ida, a Category 4 hurricane, swept in.

Smell of gas

In Arabi, there was a strong smell of natural gas in the air as residents and rescue personnel stood in the street to check the tornado damage.

Some houses were destroyed and debris hung from power cables and trees.

On Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted that there were no reports of casualties or significant damage to the city and that power companies were working to restore electricity to 8,000 customers.

About 13,000 homes and businesses were reported to be without power in the three parishes around New Orleans after the storm.

While people in the metropolitan region are used to dealing with severe weather such as hurricanes or heavy rains, it is unusual for a tornado to move through the city.

In 2017, a tornado caused widespread damage when it touched down in the eastern part of the city.

After leaving the New Orleans area on Tuesday, the system dumped heavy rain, downed trees and prompted tornado warnings as it moved into Alabama.

Updated: March 23, 2022, 2:54 PM
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