Two possible tornadoes touched down near New Orleans early Thursday morning, damaging several homes and ripping up an airport walkway.
According to a National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist, a storm system moved through the region in the early hours of Thursday morning. "It looks like there were two separate tornadoes or a tornado and a straight-line wind event," said Tim Destri of the NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge Forecast Office. "We're pretty sure the airport damage was caused by a tornado."
The other possible tornado peeled the roofs off several trailers at the edge of Jefferson Parish and the city of New Orleans. The same storm then damaged some homes on the lakefront near the canal in New Orleans - homes Destri said were already severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Destri said there are reports of one injury, but that has not yet been confirmed.
The damage at the New Orleans Armstrong International Airport was confined to one concourse. A large glass window was sucked out of its pane and windws damaged a temporary roof in a nearby area.
Destri added that tornadoes in the winter are not uncommon for the area. "In the South there seems to be two seasons where tornadoes mostly occur: in the late fall and then sometimes in the late winter into early spring," he explained. "We don't get as many down this close to the Gulf Coast as they do more inland, but it's not unheard of."
He also added that the early morning severe weather is yet another reminder of how important it is for the public to have weather radios or some type of alert system to wake them up in the event of severe weather.
"We do encourage people to get weather radios - or some other alert to wake you up when these things happen," said Destri. He said there was a tornado watch and warning in effect at the time the severe weather happened Thursday morning.
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