Tornado Inflicts Major Damage in New Orleans, Building Collapse Reported

Confirmed tornadoes and severe weather ripped through New Orleans and the surrounding area causing major damage to home and businesses.

A tornado warning remains in effect for areas in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and upper Plaquemines parishes until 12:45 p.m.

A tornado warning also remains in effect for east central Tangipahoa Parish, northwestern St. Tammany Parish and southwestern Washington Parish until 1:30 p.m.

Hail of approximately two inches was reported in the area.

At 12:57 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Independence, or 9 miles southeast of Amite, moving east at 30 mph.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a press conference about the tornado damage in New Orleans East.

According to initial reports, two people are said to have suffered serious injuries and about a dozen others suffered have minor injuries.

New Orleans Fire Department Chief Tim McConnell said the worst of the damage on Chef Menteur Hwy is in the 4700 block.

Crews are going door-to-door to check on people.

Entergy crews are also on scene responding to a number of gas leaks.

New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison says federal, state and local agencies have activated a coordinated effort with search patrols in the area.

A large tornado touched down in New Orleans east along Interstate 10 and Chef Menteur Highway.

Major damage is reported to homes and structures on Crowder Boulevard to Read Boulevard between Dwyer Road and Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East.

There are also reports that NASA Michoud Assembly Facility took a direct hit.

Over 10,000 customers are without power in several areas of the city and surrounding area.

At 10:52 a.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Metairie, moving east at 35 mph.

Delgado Community College students, faculty and staff are being ordered to remain in place until the severe weather passes.

There are reports of dime-sized hail in St. Charles Parish.

There were reports of 50 mph winds near Lakefront Airport.

A man in the area of White Street and Severn Avenue in Metairie reported trees down, trash cans and debris are scattered around the neighborhood.

The man also reported minor roof damage to some homes.

Locations impacted include New Orleans, East New Orleans, Metairie, Chalmette, Avondale, Jefferson, Harahan, Westwego, Elmwood, River Ridge, Waggaman, Bridge City, Arabi, New Orleans Armstrong Airport and Lakefront  Airport.

A tornado watch is in effect until 5 p.m. for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, St. James, St. John, Tangipahoa, Washington, and St. Charles are included in the watch.

Additional parishes include:

Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Helena, Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tensas, Terrebonne, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana.