A tornado has ripped through New Orleans causing major damage with roofs ripped off buildings, debris building up in streets and reports of people having been trapped
People have been urged to take cover with a huge tornado ripping through New Orleans and images have shown cars flipped along with masses of debris flung about in scenes of devastation.
Roofs have been ripped off and people have been trapped, according to local media, a day after twisters destroyed homes and injured people elsewhere in the deep south of the United States.
Tornado warnings have been given for the south eastern part of Louisana where social images show petrified residents looking on at the storm and its trail of damage.
The National Weather Service (NWS) for New Orleans stated: “This is a particularly dangerous situation. Take cover now!
“Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible.”
Footage shows major damage with cars flipped and debris lying in New Orleans streets which have been blocked.
And a dramatic video has recorded the tornado as it moves across the city at night. The dark image of the twister can be picked out above the lights in residential areas.
Another tweet by New Orleans NWS said: “Damage in Gretna has been reported and an NWS employee reported a tornado on the ground with the storm moving just west of Arabi and moving northeast into NOLA east now.
“Take cover! Tornado is on the ground.”
Later it said that the tornado had passed but warned of rain in the area.
“New Orleans – you are cleared. The tornado and associated storm have moved to the east. There are still showers around but none are severe at this time,” it stated.
Tornado warnings remain in place for the cities in the region of Slidell, Picayune and Nicholson. There are also special marine warnings in place on the Mississippi River.
The storm front was bringing heavy rains of up to six inches and wind likes of 45 miles per hour to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as National Weather Service forecasters warned that some 5 million people in the region could see dangerous weather on Tuesday.
“This is the typical time of the year for these events to unfold. Spring-time is prime for severe weather,” said Roger Erickson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
School districts across the region canceled classes and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge closed its campus for the day due to inclement weather.
As of Tuesday afternoon, some 55,000 homes and businesses were without power in Texas and Louisiana, according to Poweroutages.com.
The rough weather comes a day after tornadoes ripped through north and central Texas.
Three people were injured when a reported tornado tore through two mobile homes in Houston, the National Weather Service said. Four other people suffered minor injuries in the storms in Upshur County in eastern Texas.
A family of three people was rescued from the rubble of their home in Bowie, Texas, after a tornado touched down there, the local NBC affiliate reported. One woman was hospitalized.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism