Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are among the states that were hit by severe tornadoes on Feb. 23, 2016. At least three people have been reported dead, with two of those deaths being in Louisiana. There are several people within these four states that have been injured and countless others that have yet to be accounted for. The National Weather Service’s forecasters have estimated that at least 20 million people in the Southeast should stay cautious during the severe storms, and could see tornadoes going into the next day.
In St. James Parish, La., a recreational vehicle park contained 160 trailers and motor homes, equaling about 300 residents. Numerous motor homes were blown apart and destroyed by the strong winds. Two of those deaths occurred at this residence while seven people were critically injured. Approximately 30 other residents were reported with minor injuries. About 17,500 residents lost power around 10:30 p.m. CST.
Near New Orleans, the suburb of Kenner suffered from small tornadoes. A few cars at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport were damaged. The airport has forced delays and cancellations early Tuesday afternoon and will most likely delay certain flights until Wednesday. So far, 15 tornadoes have hit Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Louisiana residents stated that they saw funnel clouds early Tuesday afternoon at the beginning of the storm.
One person was killed in Lamar County, Miss. when a severe storm consisting of strong winds hit a mobile home. According to CNN, tornadoes touched down in Marion County. Another mobile home was destroyed in the town of Purvis. Residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast reported golf ball-sized hail. The state’s governor, Phil Bryan, declared a state of emergency.
Tornadoes were confirmed in Pensacola, Fla. where The Moorings Apartments suffered from 24 units being destroyed. Numerous cars were disarrayed among the streets and flipped over. In Escambia County, six people were injured when severe storms hit three buildings. According to the National Weather Service, in Escambia County, a car was lifted from the strong winds off Interstate 10. Vehicles were overturned on nearby roads. Nearly 26 miles on I-10 was forced to be closed along Escambia and Okaloosa counties.
In Mobile, Ala., various trees are currently blocking roadways, resulting in the delay of rescue crews. Approximately 9,200 residents lost power at approximately 11:15 p.m. EST. The state is predicted to see tornadoes and hail storms through Wednesday. Near Midland City, one tornado was confirmed but there was minimal damage to the city.
While tornadoes have already hit Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, surrounding states are still at risk as well. Schools in all four of these states have announced either early dismissal or canceled classes these next few days, with other areas taking precaution. The severe storms, according to the National Weather Service will make its way from Florida to Georgia, North and South Carolina, and eastern Virginia. Coming into Wednesday, these states will most likely see strong, and damaging winds. The chances of tornadoes are low, but still a possibly.
By Tricia Manalansan
CNN: Storms slam Louisiana and Mississippi; three people dead
NBC News: Southeast Tornadoes, Storms Kill Three, Head for Atlantic Coast
Reuters: Tornadoes kill 3, injure dozens in Louisiana, Mississippi
Image Courtesy of Kent Kanouse’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License