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Officials recap severe Thursday evening weather

4 weeks 12 hours 38 minutes ago Saturday, May 18 2024 May 18, 2024 May 18, 2024 9:52 PM May 18, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Both Entergy and Demco are still working to restore power to about 6,000 customers around the state after a round of powerful storms Thursday night.

"Residents in this heat in South Louisiana with 80-90 degree days. It gets hot in the house," Eric Deroche, Director for St. James Emergency Preparedness, said.

Demco spokesperson David Latona said employees from around the state are being sent to assist with restoration efforts in severely damaged areas.

"We know that every member is important. We want every member to be restored to power and we definitely do not want folks to be without power," Latona said.

Some residents, like those near the Romeville area in St. James Parish, are not expected to receive power until Sunday evening. Latona explained why the process is so timely.

"It's not as widespread as a hurricane would be along a highway or a certain area. The damage in the areas are going to take a lot of manpower to make that restoration as efficient and safe as possible," Latona said.

On Friday, officials confirmed St. James Parish was hit by an EF-1 tornado which touched down in Romeville.

"A lot of room damages. We had some sheds that were destroyed. We had some structures which roof's blew off," Deroche said.

That tornado was on the ground for five miles shortly before 11 p.m. with winds maxed out at 105 mph. Several power lines and homes were damaged.

"Unfortunately, we had the tornado but this is a practice run for hurricane season," Deroche said.

The American Red Cross came to St. James' rescue and set-up a shelter for those in need. As of Saturday, only one family has utilized it. Deroche says this is not surprising.

"Our community takes care of each other so a lot of community members came in and helped their neighbors. There's a lot of that going on," Deroche said.

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