At least three tornados have touched down in the New Orleans area on Feb. 7. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)
Severe thunderstorms barreled through the Southeast on Tuesday, dropping multiple tornadoes in southern Louisiana, one of which did major damage to communities in east New Orleans — among the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
The large tornado was filmed by storm chasers and residents as it tracked from west to east across the populous New Orleans region. Multiple tornado warnings were issued as the storm evolved in which the National Weather Service used strong language to convey a tornado had been spotted on the ground.
The National Weather Service confirmed at least three tornadoes touched down.
New Orleans East Hospital confirmed five patients were admitted with storm-related injuries, WGNO reported. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said damage is “substantial” and dozens of people were injured, though most injuries were minor.
There have been no reports yet of fatalities or missing people. Officials are searching houses to make sure people aren’t trapped in debris, according to the Associated Press. Approximately 10,000 homes were without power and there have been multiple reports of gas leaks, the AP said.
The NASA assembly facility in Michoud, La., sustained damage as the tornado passed through and the campus lost power. A Lockheed Martin spokesman told The Washington Post all of their employees are accounted for but couldn’t speak for the NASA employees. The smell of natural gas was reported near the facility.
Storms continued into the afternoon in the area while affected communities in the New Orleans area began to assess the damage. Major damage to homes and businesses was reported on social media via photos and video.
The storms resulted in two minor injuries in Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge, the AP reported. No other injuries or fatalities have been reported.
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