At least three people were killed and more than 30 wounded when a number of tornadoes struck southern Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday.
Two of these deaths reportedly occurred at a Louisiana recreational vehicle park. In addition, as many as 160 motor homes and trailers were severely damaged as a result of extreme weather. The strong winds also damaged several homes and businesses.
In a news conference, Colonel Mike Edmondson, Louisiana state police superintendent, said as much as 90 percent homes at the Sugar Hill Trailer Park in Louisiana were destroyed. “This is some of the worst damage that I’ve seen in my 36 years with the state police,” he said.
A tornado striking southern Marion County was confirmed by the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi. CNN reported that as many as 20 million people in southeast could be affected by extreme weather, storms and tornadoes. Tornadoes, strong winds and hail are expected to hit regions from Louisiana to Florida Panhandle and north to southern Tennessee.
A tornado that struck Pensacola on Tuesday night caused injuries to several people and flipped over cars, according to meteorologist Steve Miller of the National Weather Service. In Escambia County, six people were reportedly wounded and three buildings sustained damage. Thirty one people had been transported by Acadian ambulance services to hospitals around St. James Parish; most of these were from the trailer park, and five from nearby parishes.
Other victims were taken to the hospitals in private cars. Other ambulance services also arrived to transport people to medical facilities. The number of those injured was expected to increase. A state of emergency was declared by the governor in seven parishes affected deeply by the storms and extreme weather.
As the storms progressed towards the east throughout the night, across Mississippi into Alabama, the system posed a continued tornado threat, according to Mike Efferson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in New Orleans. Southwestern Georgia is expected to be affected by the storms, Reuters reports. The storms could also arrive in Atlanta and central Georgia before the morning rush hour begins, meteorologist Adam Baker said.
Entergy Louisiana said several customers in the state, tallying almost tens of thousands, were left without electricity as a result of the storms.