Tornado Rips Through Louisiana, Hits Downtown New Orleans

Image: Screenshot Twitter @Emmahoiris1

A large and violent tornado is passing through downtown New Orleans with reports of major damage. Residents have been warned to take shelter immediately.

WWNO has been updating the path of the tornado:

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: After a tornado touched down in the West Bank and moved across the Mississippi River to St. Bernard Parish, residents began sharing photos and videos of the tornadic activity and damage.

Entergy’s outage map also confirmed a significant number power outages across the area, with more than 20,000 customers without power in Jefferson Parish and another 9,000 in the dark in Orleans Parish as of 4:30 p.m.

New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish were also under a flash flood warning until 7:30 p.m., NWS said.

UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.: NWS issued a tornado warning for New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish, including Marrero and Harvey, until 4:30 p.m. Officials said to take cover until the warning is over.

Shortly after the warning was issued, NWS officials confirmed a tornado was spotted on radar in the West Bank in Jefferson Parish. The tornado then moved at about 35 mph over the Mississippi River toward Arabi and Chalmette, according to Jefferson Parish emergency officials on WWL-TV.

UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: A tornado was confirmed by NWS radar near Abita Springs around 3 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after the agency issued a tornado warning for parts of St. Tammany Parish. Parts of the north shore are also under a flash flood warning until 6 p.m.

The New Orleans metro area is under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. as a severe weather event moves across southeast Louisiana on Wednesday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn O’Neil said the New Orleans area is in a “very favorable environment” for tornado development heading into Wednesday evening, hours after multiple tornado warnings were issued in the Baton Rouge area and St. Tammany Parish. One tornado was confirmed to have hit a hospital in New Iberia, and another tornado killed two people in north Louisiana.

“We have had a lot of rotation on the radar and have had to issue tornado warnings because of that,” O’Neil said.

 

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