A massive tornado storm hit East New Orleans on Tuesday, leaving destruction and devastation in its wake. The tornadoes have been rated F4–just one level below the most powerful type of tornado. The current condition of East New Orleans bears witness to what “F4” means.
Among many of the areas affected by the tornadoes, some were sites that also suffered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Although Katrina hit New Orleans nearly 12 years ago, it is still remembered as one of the most destructive natural events in U.S. history, and many are sending their thoughts and prayer to New Orleans today.
Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and said that he hates seeing citizens of New Orleans suffering again, US News reports. According to CNN, he explained the situation briefly in a public statement that accompanied his state emergency declaration.
“The storm system brought strong winds and at least six tornadoes, which caused severe damage, including multiple injuries, dozens of damaged homes and businesses, and thousands left without power.”
The group of tornadoes touched down between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The Washington Post reported that the storm quickly developed into a serious threat, and the on-screen weather services worked hard to emphasize the danger.
“The large tornado was filmed by storm chasers and residents as it tracked from west to east across the populous New Orleans region. Multiple tornado warnings were issued as the storm evolved in which the National Weather Service used strong language to convey a tornado had been spotted on the ground.”
Many have posted videos and images of tornadoes in New Orleans, which depict the powerful winds and widespread devastation that the brought. In many photos, downed power lines, topless trees, and roofless homes can be seen. In one video, a storm chaser follows the path of a huge tornado as it whips debris around and drags a car across a parking lot.
US News said that one man was trapped in his car after downed power lines got wrapped around the cab. The news source further noted that a local resident, James Thomas, is the only one in his neighborhood whose house was not affected by the tornado. When Thomas saw it coming he put on his motorcycle helmet and ran to his bathroom. He claimed that the damage is terrible, and that he’s never seen it “this bad.”
Another video reveals just how powerful the tornadoes were–even from a distance. The video below caught one of the tornadoes literally ripping the roof off of a nearby building.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has announced that around dozens have been injured as a result of the tornadoes. Estimates suggest that over 10,000 people are left without power due to damaged houses and downed power lines, according to The Times-Picayune, who also reported that numerous shelters have been set up throughout the city for those in need.
Even NASA was affected by the storm. While the facility was, for the most part, spared, their Michoud Facility suffered from the tornadoes. While NASA has yet to release a final assessment of the damage, they announced via Twitter that only minor injuries have been reported and that all personnel are accounted for. US News said that, while Michoud does not contain any special deep-space equipment, it holds an extensive amount of important craft.
“Michoud supports several projects that are part of NASA’s next generation of space exploration including the Space Launch System — a heavy-lift rocket — and the Orion spacecraft.”
[Featured Image by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]