At least two killed as severe weather sweeps through Gulf Coast
At least two people have died, several have been hospitalized and multiple homes and businesses have been destroyed following severe storms in parts of the Gulf Coast.
Jose Higareda, 28, was killed in Palmetto, Louisiana, where a tornado destroyed at least six homes and two trailers Saturday morning, CBS News affiliate KSLA-TV reports. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF3 tornado with estimated peak winds of 140 mph had touched down in the area.
St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard said seven others were injured, five of whom have been released from the hospital and are in the process of returning home.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this storm,” Bellard said in a press release. “We’re doing everything we can to help those families.”
In Shreveport, Louisiana, a 48-year-old man was killed Friday after a tree fell onto his mobile home where there were strong winds reported in the area at the time, according to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. The city is was under a river flood warning as of Saturday evening and residents were advised to avoid driving vehicles through flooded areas or near riverbanks.
Severe weather warnings of flooding, hail and thunderstorms have also been issued in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, affecting nearly 6 million residents.
Tens of thousands in the region have also reported power outages since Friday evening.
“It’s going to be a while before they get it back,” Bellard said. He said that St. Landry Parish power companies are currently in the process of restoring outages and clearing debris.
Conditions in Northwest and West Central Arkansas as well as eastern Oklahoma are expected to improve by early Saturday evening, according to the National Weather Service.