Tornadoes touch down, wreak havoc in southern Louisiana

Gregory Rugon looks for his glasses at the spot where he took cover in his home after a tornado hit his Warren Drive home, in the New Orleans East section of New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tornadoes touched down in southern Louisiana Tuesday, wiping houses from their foundations and downing power lines as severe weather moved across the region.

At least three tornados have touched down — one in the eastern part of New Orleans, another near the town of Donaldsonville and another in the town of Killian, said Danielle Manning, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

They have heard reports of injuries but nothing that has been confirmed yet, she said.

Local media showed images of some severely damaged buildings in eastern New Orleans with power lines strewn across the road.

At least seven homes have been damaged in Livingston Parish, northwest of New Orleans, said Brandi Janes, the deputy emergency preparedness director.

“Two of them are completely gone… all the way to the ground,” she said.

Janes said she knows of two injuries in the parish, both minor. She didn’t immediately have any information on whether the homes that were destroyed were occupied when the storm struck.

They are working to get trees out of roadways and with the Red Cross to get help to damaged areas, she said.

The tornadoes are part of a wall of bad weather moving across the Deep South that lit up radar monitors and prompting multiple tornado warnings from Louisiana to Alabama as severe storms brought hail, high winds and twisters to the New Orleans area.

One of the warnings described a “large, extremely dangerous and potentially deadly” twister south of Hammond, Louisiana.

The national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said 2.7 million people in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama would be at the highest risk of severe weather on Tuesday. In Louisiana, tornado watches covered New Orleans and Baton Rouge. In Mississippi, a tornado watch covered the southern half of the state. In Alabama, the city of Mobile was in the storm’s path.

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