Louisiana Flooding: EF-1 Tornado Confirmed By National Weather ServiceBy: Val Powell - May 29, 2014
Many residents across several parts of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi are dealing with the aftermath of Tuesday’s heavy rains, which triggered minor flooding in their area.
According to the National Weather Service, the large cluster of thunderstorms that caused more than one foot of rain to the aforementioned areas can be classified as an EF-1 tornado. The agency added that the tornado came with 105 mph winds that measured 150 yards wide.
The tornado headed toward metropolitan Houston around sunrise, causing even more flooding on the already drenched city. Apart from flooding and wind damage, power outages were also reported in the area. Some of the worst damage brought about by the tornado was felt by the Marathon Petroleum oil refinery in Garyville. Marathon Petroleum spokesperson Jamal Kheiry stated that one of the refinery’s cooling towers sustained damage, which caused its processing unit to close. Kheiry added that a couple of workers at the refinery were slightly injured and received first aid.
Heavy rains started as early as Memorial Day at the Hobby Airport in Houston, and lasted until Wednesday morning. The downpour then pushed through southern Louisiana’s Interstate 10 corridor. Multiple roads in the town of Duson were closed down due to the flooding, and rescue efforts were made in Scott. According to a local media report, a primary school in Lafayette was also flooded. Other areas like Lutcher and Lake Charles also picked up much more rain than their respective year-to-date precipitation deficit.
Officials of St. James Parish officially declared the calamity as a state of emergency and deployed sandbags to the residents of their area. A Flash Flood Watch is still in effect for the affected areas until Thursday evening as a new batch of thunderstorms are expected to push through. There has been five tornado warnings issued from 4am until 12 noon.
Image via NDN video