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New Orleans Pummeled by Multiple Tornados

What's next locusts?

Severe Thunderstorm Hits New Orleans

KENNER, La. -- A violent thunderstorm swept through neighborhoods hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, tearing off roofs, knocking down utility poles and collapsing at least one previously storm-damaged house early Thursday, authorities said.

No serious injuries were reported.

The storm ripped part of a roof off Louis Armstrong International Airport, then hit the suburb of Kenner and the hurricane-ravaged lakefront area of New Orleans where at least one house collapsed, police said.

Authorities said a state police communications tower also fell across a roadway.

At the airport, a piece of roof was torn off a concourse, and a jetway used to load passengers was torn off and slammed into another jetway, said airport spokeswoman Michelle Duffourc. The airport was left on emergency power, grounding passenger service.

Although ground equipment at the airport was turned over by the high winds, no airplanes were damaged, Duffourc said.

The National Weather Service had yet not determined whether a tornado had hit. The thunderstorm moved at more than 50 mph across the New Orleans region around 2:30 a.m.

OK, I accept we don't have ""official" word (yet) but you can take it to the bank we had multiple tornados. And not just in Kenner. The roof of the local Home Depot is missing. My wife passed cars flipped on their side 12 miles from Kenner. 50 mph winds don't flip cars.

Power is out in much of town... You know the parts which just got power back not that long ago. Downed power lines are everywhere from what we've heard this morning. Apparently all the roofs in a large hunk of Kenner and parts of Metairie were blown away.

And in a phenomenal bit of adding insult to injury, early reports have a waterspout coming ashore in the heavily damaged Lakeview area.

It is actually hard to determine how much of the damage was from last night. About 1/3 of the roofs in town are missing anyway, so the casual observer doesn't know if it is tornado damage or from Katrina.

Just what we needed in town... More crap to clean up and the Home Depot damaged.

Update: Part of Concourse C of the Airport collapsed and the Airport is closed. That police comm tower fell across a major roadway (Vets Hwy) adding even more traffic to the area.

There is another potentially big problem... At least one tornado apparently went thru a part of town where many people were living in FEMA trailers.

Update 2: Sounds more and more like a tornado... Major damage to a 1/2 mile wide line about 2-3 miles long. -- Concourse C was already havily damamged from Katrina this added ot that. -- And more grief... A staging area where they were getting FEMA trailers ready for Katrina vicitms was hit and flipped many of the trailers over. The hits just keep coming.

Update 3: Damage seems to be localized in 3 parts of town. (For those of you familar with the area.... )

1) Apparently a tornado type thing hit the airport and went NE to the Home Depot on Vets. 1/2 wide damge the whole way.

2) A waterspout (tornado?) in came in the West End area. (Like that area needed more damage!) That took out the comm tower at the old Troop B station closing Vets at West End.

3) Major damage around the parish line on the river. East of Oschner by River Road.

And 1 semi-serious injury reported in Lakeview.

Update 4: Local media is saying something "touched down" in area #3 above. First hand damage reports from that area tell me parts of FEMA trailers are tangled dozens of feet up in powerlines and some previously undamaged buildings collapsed.

Update 5: Local TV has an interview with a man who was left homeless by Katrina then had his FEMA trailer destroyed last night. He's been rendered homeless by weather twice in 6 months.

Update 6: AP is now calling them tornados also even though the weather service hasn't confirmed them yet.


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Comments (20)

It could have been straight... (Below threshold)

It could have been straight-line winds. The determination will depend if there is a rotation pattern in the damage or not. Take it from a guy that lives on the tornado bulls-eye (aka Oklahoma City), no rotation, no tornado.

Straight-line winds can actually do MORE damaage than a tornado. I was in Tulsa one year when 90 mph straight-lines knocked the power out for 3 days over most of the city. Hardly any rain associated with it, just lots of clouds and very fast wind.

I blame President Bush.... (Below threshold)
k:

I blame President Bush.

Maybe Dwaye... but they wer... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Maybe Dwaye... but they were waaay faster than 50 mph if that was the case.

I'm assuming tornados because the damage is so spotty and localized. There is MAJOR damage to structures just a few miles to my east and to my west, yet I had a satellite dish on a tripod that did not move a centimeter.

-That and there are visual reports of a waterspout.

No one is blaming Bush, un... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

No one is blaming Bush, unles it's one of his closest advisors who said "Green issues are killing us" Karen Hughes
Global Warming theorists predict more severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes in the coming decades..particularly if we don't do something to reduce our carbon emissions. Bush as always in denial, didn't even mention global warming or climate warming in his state of the Union address, though he did speak of America's 'addiction to oil'.

No one is blaming Bush..... (Below threshold)

No one is blaming Bush...

Give 'em a minute.

It's all Bush fault. If he ... (Below threshold)
Timothy:

It's all Bush fault. If he never became President we would never have all these damn disaters natural disaters in America.

i dont know what im doing i... (Below threshold)
Edgar:

i dont know what im doing im just an idiot with a keyboard. Fuck bush

Well, in case you haven't p... (Below threshold)

Well, in case you haven't plugged in your brain-Bush has no control over the weather-perhaps mother nature is trying to get our attention.

Well, in case you haven't p... (Below threshold)

Well, in case you haven't plugged in your brain-Bush has no control over the weather-perhaps mother nature is trying to get our attention.

Paul, how could anyone be s... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

Paul, how could anyone be stupid enough to live in a place that has weather?!? You should all move to the moon where I hear that there are no hurricanes, tornados or floods.

It's all Nagin's fault gues... (Below threshold)
Jenna:

It's all Nagin's fault guess God didn't like his chocolate comment

>Paul, how could anyone be ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Paul, how could anyone be stupid enough to live in a place that has weather?!?

Yeah- We're just so stupid down here. ;-)

Just out of curiousity, are... (Below threshold)

Just out of curiousity, are tornados common in Louisiana?

It's clearly FEMA's fault..... (Below threshold)

It's clearly FEMA's fault...just think about it for a moment, people. Who brought in the trailers? And what's the best bait to attract a tornado? This is an easy link to make. FEMA --> trailers

By the by, you guys are really due for a few months of nice weather, Paul. Say 36 or so.

guess some of the symbols I... (Below threshold)

guess some of the symbols I used made the comments unhappy...that's why the end of my comment doesn't make a lick of sense...sorry about that.

A waterspout is a variety o... (Below threshold)

A waterspout is a variety of tornado.

I'd vote for earthquake next. God seems to be dishing out inanimate disasters.

>Just out of curiousity, ar... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Just out of curiousity, are tornados common in Louisiana?

Not really... especailly not south of the lake (Which at 26 miles high and 50 miles wide makes a big difference in the micro climate)

I'm nearly 40 years old and this is the worst tornatic event I can recall in local history. And I was on the North Shore in the late 90's when that big tornado blew thru. (and some of my pictures made CNN ;-)

That this happened on the heels of Katrina is bizzare.

Lakeview -which was absolutly nailed in Katrina- is a freaking mess. It took me 40 minutes to drive 3 miles.

I was here at Ochsner last ... (Below threshold)

I was here at Ochsner last night. The tornado hit just east of us, where the train tracks cross Jefferson highway. I couldn't hear squat, but then the tech office is deep in the bowels of the building. Got knocked onto our back-up generators here, which kept me busy with all the folks who don't know how to work the power switch on a PC... I saw the damage on my way out this morning. (I go Jefferson/Claibourne to Carrolton to I-10) Very narrow damage profile, and one of the damaged buildings was only busted up on the lee side. I'm inclined to say tornado as opposed to straight winds.

The same storm system dropp... (Below threshold)
Palmateer:

The same storm system dropped over ONE FOOT of rain in parts of the Tampa Bay area yesterday.

I live on Panola between Da... (Below threshold)
Veleja:

I live on Panola between Dante and Dublin. My son watched the tornado from our raised porch as it tore down Sycamore Street and hit Palmer Park. Trees are down everywhere in this area and there is still no power.

One neighbor, a police officer, had flooding and roof damage from Katrina, recently was robbed and now has lost his roof again and several windows are blown out.

It was definitely a tornado, we had an eyewitness.




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