Tuesday, June 18, 2024

System That Spawned Deadly Tornadoes in Texas and Louisiana Threatens More Severe Weather As it Moves East

New Orleans Severe Weather1 (Reuters)
Debris is strewn across the ground in Arabi, Louisiana, after a large tornado hit the New Orleans area on March 22. / Reuters

*(CNN) — The storm system that spawned deadly tornadoes across Texas and Louisiana this week will continue to push east Wednesday, leaving a large swath of the country under the threat of more severe weather.

About 50 million people from Florida to Michigan and east to the Virginia coast are at risk of severe weather Wednesday, including the possibility of large hail, gusty winds and tornadoes.

Cities in the threat area include Columbus, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Savannah, Georgia; and Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro in North Carolina.

The system already cut a path of destruction in Texas, where 31 tornadoes were reported Monday, including two that damaged about 1,000 homes in Williamson County, near Austin, officials said. A 73-year-old woman was killed in Grayson County, north of Dallas, when her home was destroyed in the storm, local officials said.

OTHER NEWS ON EURWEB: Chicago Police Department Lowers Hiring Standards Due to Staffing Shortages | VIDEOs

On Tuesday, a deadly tornado tore through the New Orleans area, killing at least one person, officials said. Widespread destruction was reported in the area.

The greatest risk for tornadoes Wednesday is in the Florida panhandle, southeastern Georgia and the Carolinas, Shackelford said. There’s also an increased chance for damaging winds and hail across eastern Indiana and central Ohio.

More than 3 million people in Alabama and the Florida panhandle were under a tornado watch until 6 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, including those in Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama, and Panama City, Florida.

The system racked up more than 175 storm reports in a 48-hour period, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said. It also brought widespread rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches across parts of the South, with some areas of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama seeing 4 to 8 inches.

Deadly tornado rips through New Orleans area

As forecasters track the system’s eastward movement, crews in the New Orleans area are assessing the damage left behind.

The Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans east were hit by a tornado just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said, and rescue crews were digging through the destruction overnight.

One person was killed in the Arabi neighborhood of St. Bernard Parish, parish President Guy McInnis told CNN late Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, McInnis added that seven people were taken to the hospital and released with minor injuries.

“Once the daylight hits this damage, you’re going to see that that was a miracle,” he said.

Residents knew when the storm was coming and “hunkered down” thanks to “spot on” local weather warnings, he said.

The tornado left widespread damage for two miles, McInnis said. Houses had been ripped from their foundations and left in the middle of the street.

“We have stretches of streets where there are no homes where there were homes,” McInnis said.

Officials worked overnight to search every home that was believed to be impacted, McInnis said. That work will continue Wednesday.

“We’re going to manage all that this morning, see what the needs of our citizens are, and get to work and recover,” he said. “We are a resilient people. We’ve been through this, it seems like, a gazillion times. But we are good at it and we’re going to get started this morning. ”

New Orleans Severe Weather-2022 (Reuters)
A car lies overturned among debris in Arabi, Louisiana, after a large tornado struck the New Orleans area on March 22. The storm system that spawned deadly tornadoes across Texas and Louisiana is moving east. / Reuters

Dozens of tornadoes touched down in Texas

The storm system menaced Texas on Monday with tornadoes reported across the state, which was already dealing with dozens of active wildfires.

Two tornadoes in Williamson County, near Austin, cut a path of damage 20 miles long, according to the county’s top executive. “We believe there is somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand homes that have been damaged or completely destroyed,” County Judge Bill Gravell said at a news conference.

“I think we’re going to be absolutely amazed by the sheer number of homes that have been wrecked,” state Rep. Terry Wilson said.

In Jack County — northwest of the Fort Worth area — 60 to 80 homes were destroyed, local officials said. The National Weather Service determined a tornado there was an EF-3, with winds between 140 and 150 mph.

“Many of our homes have been totally demolished and families have been removed from their places of residence,” Jack County Judge Keith Umphress said.

It was a miracle more people weren’t injured — especially at Jacksboro Elementary School, which was sheltering a large number of students as a storm badly damaged the gymnasium, Jacksboro Fire Chief Jeremy Jennings said.

The children were about to be released for the day when officials decided to have everyone go back inside, Jacksboro Police Chief Scott Haynes said.

The gym at Jacksboro High School was also badly damaged and the facilities will be unusable “for some time,” Jennings said.

“We’re just very blessed to have facilities that were designed to sustain a storm, the storm damage that we received,” Jacksboro Independent School District Superintendent Brad Burnett told CNN affiliate WFAA.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We Publish News 24/7. Don’t Miss A Story. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to Our Newsletter Now!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


- Advertisement -