A powerful tornado swept across Louisiana Tuesday night, causing major damage in parts of the historic city of New Orleans.
Video taken by a local television station showed a large dark funnel cloud hovering over parts of eastern New Orleans.
The storm tore the roofs off several damaged or destroyed homes and knocked out power in the city’s historic Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood before traveling east across the Mississippi River and causing similar havoc in the suburb of Arabi in neighboring St. Bernard Parish, where officials say one person was killed and several others injured. Authorities both in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish told reporters they received emergency calls of people trapped in their homes.
Both communities were devastated when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and surrounding areas in 2005. Many neighborhoods were flooded when the city’s levee system failed, forcing thousands of people to evacuate the region.
The tornado also caused major damage in the city of Gretna, located just eight kilometers south of New Orleans across the Mississippi River.
The tornado is part of a strong storm system that hit parts of the neighboring southwestern states of Oklahoma and Texas the day before. Authorities say a 73-year-old woman was killed in the community of Sherwood Shores, located about 95 kilometers north of Dallas. The town of nearby Jacksboro sustained heavy damage from Monday’s tornadoes, including the town’s elementary and high school buildings.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for 16 counties hit hard by the storms.
The storm system has left more than 54,000 people without power across Texas, Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi, according to the website poweroutage.us, which collects data from utilities across the United States.