Possible Tornado Strikes New Orleans Area Monday Morning
A reported tornado touched down near New Orleans, Louisiana and strong winds lashed the city as a powerful line of storms moved through the area on Monday morning.
Extremely strong winds led to a train derailment on the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans, one that was captured as it happened by New Orleans TV station WGNO. Several New Orleans public schools were forced to close on Monday due to the storms, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. As of mid-afternoon Monday, over 150,000 were without power in Louisiana and over 10,000 were in the dark in the New Orleans area.
A 70-mile-per-hour (MPH) wind gust was reported at New Orleans’ International Airport (west of downtown), while a weather station in nearby Kenner recorded an unverified 111 MPH gust.
A tornado reportedly touched down in Belle Chasse, on the southeast side of the New Orleans metro area, leading to downed power lines and damaging a building at the nearby Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base. New Orleans and virtually the entire metropolitan area was under a tornado warning as a result of the storms.
Not only did the Big Easy suffer through yet another round of strong storms – others also moved through the area on Friday and Saturday – but the city also saw more unnecessary rainfall, with nearly two inches of rain as of 3pm Central Time. Since April 1st, New Orleans has received over 11 inches of rainfall, far more than the typical four inches of rain the city usually sees over the same time period. Flooding is a concern for the area, although the rain from this latest storm is expected to wind down by nightfall.
More storms are possible on Tuesday and Wednesday, but a gradual drying trend should eventually win over, with the rest of the work week looking mostly sunny and pleasant. Highs are expected to remain below 80º Wednesday through Friday.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi