New Orleans Tornado Downs Power Lines And Flattens Buildings Around Treme

Tornado hits New Orleans

Although cleanup is now underway, the National Weather Service is saying that a tornado packing 80 mph winds cut a half-mile path through the New Orleans 7th Ward and Treme neighborhoods near the French Quarter on Thursday afternoon. As of the last count, there were only minor injuries, but trees and power lines were devastated throughout the area. The New Orleans buildings hit hardest were houses, many of which were abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.

Violent storms have done damage to the city of New Orleans, but the city’s residents still find a reason to take to the streets and celebrate for happenings like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, according to the Inquisitr. Despite the horrors of broken levees and a demolished city, New Orleans always seems to be able to recoup for a celebration involving good music and great food.

NOLA.com is reporting that the New Orleans neighborhood known as Treme was the target of the tornado that rocked the city on Thursday. The tornado touched down at approximately 3:30 p.m. at Marais and Annette streets and ended at North Claiborne Avenue, according to the National Weather Service. At this location, a two-story home had what the fire department calls “a complete pancake collapse.”

From the French Quarter of New Orleans, frightened visitors and locals photographed the funnel cloud as it touched down. On North Villere Street, a trampoline was blown so high it was found tangled in the power lines. Six buildings at last count were damaged in this latest New Orleans storm.

Within New Orleans, approximately 29,000 people were without power following the storm, due mostly to the 80 mph winds and downed power lines. Firefighters and utility crews from every corner of the city responded to downed trees and wires. Emergency personnel report that they rescued two people with minor injuries thought to be associated with a building collapse.

Several streets within New Orleans remain closed today until building inspectors can give the all-clear. Throughout the city of New Orleans, another cleanup day is underway to remove debris from the streets.

CBS News says that although the New Orleans tornado was brief, the debris in and around the Treme and French Quarter neighborhoods is vast. Aaron Miller, the director of the New Orleans Homeland Security office walked the city, commenting on the damage done by the tornado.

“Two individuals were walking down the street in the severe weather. They happened to be right near a building when it collapsed.”

The buildings that were leveled by the tornado were both reportedly slated for demolition, according to neighborhood sources.

“It was a dilapidated two-story structure. It had work done and then it was rotting and had work done again. It’d be waiting to fall down for years.”

WDSU says that the men trapped in the collapsed building had to be pulled out by rescuers following the most recent New Orleans tornado after a funnel cloud touched down. A total of three building collapsed, and area residents could hear voices coming out of the rubble of a downed building, according to New Orleans local Demichael Young.

“We helped pull him out. He was walking up the sidewalk. The building came down (and) he was right there lying next to the car buried under the debris. He was just hollering, ‘Help, help if anybody could help me, help.'”

Jim Farrell, who lives in the neighborhood, says that building debris got swept up in the swirling winds.

“When I looked up, I saw a whirling vortex with tree debris and shingles in it.”

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says that the city brought in dogs to walk the rubble to make sure that nobody else was trapped, and so far, New Orleans residents got lucky, and the injury count stands at two.

Are you surprised that a tornado touched down within the city of New Orleans?

[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]