Huge storm system brings deadly tornadoes to the South, blizzard-like conditions across Great Plains

A massive and unstable storm system is spreading across the US At least three people died in LouisianaSwirling tornadoes battered the state from north to south, including the New Orleans area where memories of 2021 hurricane ida And a tornado in march long lasting.

Elsewhere, the massive system caused blizzard-like conditions across the Great Plains.

Several people were reported injured around Louisiana by officials. According to, the number of power outages across the state, which topped 40,000 on Wednesday night, was down to about 10,000 on Thursday morning.

Punishing storm moves east after Wednesday A mother and son were killed in the north-western part of the state one day before. The system spawned a suspected tornado that killed a woman in St. Charles Parish in southeast Louisiana on Wednesday and another that tore through parts of New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes — including the March tornadoes. Badly damaged areas included.

A tornado struck New Iberia, Louisiana, slightly injuring five people and shattering windows in a multi-story building at the Iberia Medical Center, the hospital said. As the night wore on, the tornado threat in Mississippi decreased, although some counties in Florida and Alabama remained under threat of severe weather.

winter weather louisiana
14, 2022, in Gretna, La., in Jefferson Parish neighboring New Orleans. Tornado damage in a vehicle blew out all of its windows.

Matthew Hinton / AP

New Orleans emergency director Colin Arnold said the city suffered significant wind damage to businesses and homes on the west bank of the Mississippi River. A house collapsed. Four people were injured there, he said, adding that “the last word we had was that they were stable.”

Similar damage was reported nearby.

“Many homes and businesses have suffered catastrophic damage,” the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement from that large suburb west of New Orleans. Among the heavily damaged buildings was the Sheriff’s Office’s training academy building.

In downtown Gretna, the parish seat of Jefferson Parish, Michael Willis was sitting in his SUV when, he says, the tornado lifted him, according to CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV.

Willis said, “It happened fast. I’ve never been inside a tornado before.” “I’m seeing wood, buildings, all in one whirl, like it’s spinning with me and then it just throws me out.”

Willis says he immediately started praying and didn’t know if he was safe. “I thought it was coming back on. Power lines, everything was everywhere and then it started raining heavily,” Willis said.

Looking at the loss, he knows how lucky he is. “I tried to hit hard for a second and then I balled up like ‘Nava, God I’m not ready to go yet,'” Willis said.

Debris hit his windshield and his passenger window was shattered. He says that the tinting on the glass stopped anything from hitting him.

“This tint saved my life,” Willis said, holding his broken passenger window.

A tornado crosses a highway in New Iberia, Louisiana, US on December 14, 2022

Mike Ebert/via Reuters

In St. Bernard Parish – where the March twister caused havoc – Sheriff Jimmy Pohlman said the latest tornado damage covered a distance of about 2 miles. Parish president Guy McInnis said damage was less than in the March tornado, although several roofs were blown off or damaged.

Charles Parish, west of New Orleans, said a woman was found dead in the Mississippi River community of Kelowna on Wednesday after a suspected tornado damaged homes there. He said that eight people were taken to the hospital in an injured condition.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said of the woman who was killed, “She was outside the residence, so we don’t know exactly what happened.” “There was debris everywhere. He could have been killed. We don’t know for sure. But it was a terrible and very violent tornado.”

It took hours for authorities to find the bodies of a mother and child who went missing after a tornado struck Tuesday in Keithville, south of Shreveport, about 280 miles away in northern Louisiana.

“You go to search a house and the house isn’t even there, so where do you search?” Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters noting the challenge facing emergency responders while touring a mile-long path of destruction in rural Keithville. He had issued an emergency declaration earlier in the day.

The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office said the body of 8-year-old Nicholas Little was found late Tuesday in some woods and his mother, 30-year-old Yoshiko A. Smith’s body was found under the debris of the storm early Wednesday.

Caddo Parish Sheriff Sgt. Casey Jones said the boy’s father had gone out to get groceries before the storm. “He just went shopping for his family, came home and went home,” Jones said.

The storm battered Louisiana from north to south. In Union Parish, near the Arkansas line, Farmerville Mayor John Crowe said a tornado Tuesday night badly damaged an apartment complex where 50 families lived, along with about 10 homes adjacent to a neighboring trailer park. eliminated. “It happened fast,” Crowe said Wednesday. About 30 houses were also damaged near Lake D’Arbonne, he said.

A suspected tornado on Wednesday in New Iberia in southwest Louisiana damaged several buildings at the New Iberia Medical Center, leaving five people with minor injuries, hospital officials said.

In neighboring Rankin County, Mississippi, a suspected tornado destroyed four large chicken houses, one of which held 5,000 chickens, Sheriff Brian Bailey said. Mobile homes turned into shredded debris in a park in Sharkey County, Mississippi.

The storm began its cross-country journey by dropping heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. The damage occurred on Tuesday when severe thunderstorms moved through Texas. Police spokeswoman Amanda McNew said at least five people were injured in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine.

Forecasters now expect the massive system to blanket the upper Midwest with snow, rain and ice for several days, and move into the central Appalachians and Northeast as well. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch from Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, depending on the timing of the storm. Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were told to watch for a potentially significant mix of snow, ice and sleet.

“This system is notable for the fact that it’s affecting areas all the way from California to eventually the Northeast,” said Frank Pereira, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

In the Black Hills of western South Dakota, snow accumulated up to nearly 2 feet in some snowpack. “They shovel for hours on end,” said Vicki Weekly, who manages a historic hotel in the tourist and gambling town of Deadwood. where some visitors still go to the casino.

About 320 miles of Interstate 90 in South Dakota was closed Wednesday, and state officials warned drivers to stay off most of the highway.

In northern Minnesota, wet, heavy snow loosened tree limbs and made driving risky Wednesday. Ketzel Levens, a meteorologist at the Met Office in Duluth, said some areas had accumulated six to eight inches of snow. The Star Tribune said a blizzard warning was in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday and up to 30 inches of snow is possible through the weekend.

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