At least three people were killed and dozens others injured after a massive winter storm spawned intense tornadoes across the US state of Louisiana, authorities confirmed on Thursday.
One person was killed, and eight others were injured on Wednesday when a tornado ripped through Killona, a small neighbourhood in St. Charles Parish, Xinhua news agency reported.
St. Charles Parish sheriff’s office tweeted that multiple residences were heavily damaged in Killona as police were checking residences for injured or trapped people.
Earlier on Wednesday, rescuers found the body of a 30-year-old woman under the debris one street away from her home destroyed by an EF-2 tornado hitting Keithville on Tuesday night, according to the Caddo Parish sheriff’s office.
The body of her eight-year-old son was also found in the forest about a half mile away from their home.
More than 30,000 homes and businesses in the area were left without power Wednesday afternoon after another tornado battered the New Orleans metro area including Gretna and Arabi, which were hit by an EF-3 tornado in March.
At least five people were injured in New Iberia on Wednesday when a tornado touched down. A hospital and several homes were damaged with people trapped.
In Farmerville, Louisiana, rescuers searched overnight for victims of a tornado that struck a neighbourhood on Tuesday evening, which injured nearly 25 people, some critically, local media outlet KNOE reported.
Farmerville Mayor John Crow said on Wednesday the tornado badly damaged an apartment complex where 50 families lived and wiped out a neighboring mobile home park with about 10 homes.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency.
“Unfortunately, this severe weather event is not yet out of our state as it now moves into Central and South Louisiana. Please stay weather aware and follow the directions of local officials,” the governor said.
At least 48 tornadoes have been reported since Tuesday from Oklahoma and Texas eastward to Louisiana and Mississippi, the National Weather Service tallied on Wednesday.
Nearly two dozen tornadoes have been confirmed as of Wednesday evening, including six rated EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale and at least one EF-3.
“A powerful system continues to produce heavy snow, blizzard conditions, and areas with a wintry mix across the north and central Plains,” the National Weather Service said.
“Severe storms with all hazards, including intense tornadoes, and heavy to excessive rain that could cause flash flooding can be expected across the Deep and Middle South,” it added.