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Deadly overnight tornado in New Orleans was 'at least' an EF-3; governor declares state of emergency

2 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, March 23 2022 Mar 23, 2022 March 23, 2022 6:46 AM March 23, 2022 in News
Source: WWL-TV

NEW ORLEANS - A "large and extremely dangerous" tornado ripped through the New Orleans area overnight, killing at least one person and destroying numerous homes.

Several videos posted across social media showed the massive twister rolling through parts of Orleans and St. Bernard parishes around 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

See more photos and video of the damage here

Officials in St. Bernard Parish said one victim, identified as 25-year-old Connor Lambert, was killed when the tornado hit Arabi. 

One video from WWL-TV capturing the aftermath in the area showed overturned cars, leveled home and debris scattered everywhere. On Wednesday, the National Weather Service said the damage was consistent with "at least" an EF-3 tornado.

"We have widespread damage from south Arabi to north Arabi," McInnis said. "We’re going through homes, search and rescue and clearing homes. We have some homes in south Arabi that we’re trying to get to, we’re getting calls from people saying they’re trapped."

Michelle Malasovich, who lives in the area, told WWL-TV that she was texting with her family living further north when her lights started flickering. 

“It just kept getting louder and louder,” Malasovich said. “Our neighbor’s house is in the middle of the street right now.”

During a press conference Tuesday night, McInnis said multiple crews of first responders, including the Louisiana National Guard, were dispatched to the area. An emergency response team with the Baton Rouge Fire Department is also assisting. 

Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in four parishes impacted by tornadoes TuesdaySt. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany—in order to free up resources to aid the affected areas. Edwards said he will also visit those areas Wednesday afternoon.

A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in St. Bernard Parish.

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