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50 Years Ago: tornadoes cut through Capital City, much of Louisiana

2 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Monday, December 04 2023 Dec 4, 2023 December 04, 2023 9:06 PM December 04, 2023 in Weather news
Source: The Storm Station

BATON ROUGE - 50 years ago Monday, a strong tornado touched down in the Capital City before tracking 39 miles to Amite City, injuring 3 and causing over $2 million in damage. The twister was one of several to touch down across the state.

On December 3, 1973, a tornado initially touched down around 1:30am in East Baton Rouge Parish before finally lifting in Tangipahoa Parish at 2:45am. According to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, about 15-20 homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the narrow tornado.

Photo: Advertisement from "The Morning Advocate" on December 15, 1973 referencing severe weather from just over one week prior

Across Louisiana, tornadoes were also reported in De Ridder, Minden and Rayville. Damages in De Ridder rivaled what occurred in Amite checking in at over $1.5 million with over 200 homes and businesses damaged. More than 20 people were injured by the tornado that hit Rayville.

The same cold front responsible for the tornadoes also produced severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts in the southwest and northwest corners of the state. A gas pipeline was dislodged at the Texaco Refinery in Lake Arthur. In Monroe, a supply of Christmas trees was picked up and blown around a neighborhood and radio station KNOE was knocked off air.

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