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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