Deadly tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park, ripping off roofs from buildings and killing at least three people in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said.
Authorities are warning residents in other Southern states to be cautious as the storms move towards them.
In Alabama and Georgia, forecasters issued flash flood watches ahead of the storm system, which was expected to drop 1 to 2 inches of rain. The warnings were expected to be in effect through Wednesday afternoon.
One of the most hard-hit areas on Tuesday appeared to be a recreational vehicle park in the town of Convent, in southern Louisiana. Two people were killed there, said St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin, speaking on local television. Authorities were still looking for people possibly trapped under the debris, Martin said.
Thirty-one people were taken to area hospitals, and seven of them were in critical condition, he said.
“We never had anything like this; we never had this many people injured in one event, and so much destruction in one event,” Martin told WVUE news. “We won’t stop searching until we’re satisfied we’ve searched every pile.”
Martin said three people were still believed to be missing but efforts to account for them were hampered because authorities didn’t know how many people were at the park when the storm hit or how many people were taken to hospitals in private vehicles.
Jerome Picou, who lives near the park, said just before the tornado hit that it was raining and the skies grew dark. Then he heard what sounded like a freight train.
“The wind was blowing a little bit, but then it stopped. Then all of a sudden all kinds of wind and rain started. It was so bad, I had to go inside the house or I would have been blown away with it,” Picou said.
In Mississippi, officials are still sorting through reports of damage to some buildings, but Vann Byrd of the Lamar County Emergency Management Agency said one person died in a mobile home west of Purvis. Lamar County Coroner Cody Creel said that Dale Purvis, 73, died of blunt-force trauma.
The reported tornadoes are part of a line of severe weather and storms that ripped through the region.
At least seven tornadoes hit southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, said Ken Graham, the meteorologist in charge for the National Weather Service’s southeast Louisiana office.
That number includes the one in Convent and near Purvis, Mississippi, he said. Teams will be sent out in the morning to document the damage and rate the tornadoes, he said.
The harsh weather even affected the National Weather Service, Graham said. At one point the staff in the Slidell office took shelter because a tornado was nearby, and lightning took out the office’s radar, forcing them to use backups, he said.
“We felt the shockwave go through the building,” Graham said.
Reported tornadoes and severe weather caused damage in other parts of both states.
A reported tornado caused some damage but no injuries near New Orleans’ main airport, while high winds ripped off roofs and downed trees around the greater New Orleans area. Other suspected tornadoes were reported north of Lake Pontchartrain and west of the city in St. Charles and Ascension parishes and in Prairieville, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, heavy damage was reported to some buildings, including a fitness gym.
In Mississippi, at least nine homes across Pearl River County were reported to be so heavily damaged as to be uninhabitable, said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Smithson. The damage was widespread, so it was unclear whether it was a tornado or severe weather. A barn was destroyed near Avera in Greene County, said National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Miller in what forecasters believe was a tornado.
Wind damage was also reported in Yazoo, Forrest, Jones and Carroll counties.
In Florida, the National Weather Service said a tornado hit Pensacola, Florida. Meteorologist Steve Miller said the service has had many reports of property damage and people injured in storms Tuesday night.
Ronald Myers lives across the street from New Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Kenner, Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans. He recalled the sky darkening and high winds — he believes it was a tornado. He and his wife came outside when they heard the church’s alarm go off. High winds sheared the brick and mortar from the rear wall of the church.
“My wife came over to turn the alarm off and she came back home and said, ‘Baby, the wall behind the church has done fell down,'” said Myers. He said he struggled to keep his footing in the wind, and it nearly knocked his wife down.
Governors in both Louisiana and Mississippi declared states of emergency.
Speaking at the RV park in Convent, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards described the scene as a “jumbled mess.”
“We all need to be prayerful and mindful and take those tornado warnings when we see them very seriously,” Edwards said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Donald (Alfred) Hill says
God is telling this nation to repent and turn back to Godly principles on which our country was founded — Are we listening? Don Hill in California—- Are we next?
Susan Hallum says
I so agree:)
Kathleen Klamert says
Amen to that Don. People need to start listening before it’s too late. God Bless us all and God Bless America.
I agree with all of you. First we have to repent. Then ask GOD to help us and lastly He will Bless us.
I believe you are correct. Those who are determined to propel the world in new directions, are accomplishing their goal!
You are so very Correct…
Ray Downen says
People everywhere need to realize that God is in control of weather and every aspect of human life. We do well to love and serve God and be prepared to meet Him any day.
Donna Pressley says
Amen .. No man knows the hour nor the day..
CJ Farris says
The Bible tells us that Satan is the Prince and the Power of this world so I would blame him not Got for the weather and other Catastrophes.
Satan is only allowed to do what God permits. Job chapter 1 and 2 show us that.God is allowing satan to chasten the USA because it influences the western world via its media unlike any other nation in the world.
And as Christian we must always remember that God in in Control….And Satan is already Defeated….Satan’s Destiny along with all of his Fallen Angels will be an Eternity in the Lake of Fire in HELL….We as Individuals…as a Nation and as a World…MUST RETURN TO What Jesus the God of the Bible is telling us to do….
Donna D. says
I agree. That’s why I’m not afraid to die. Still going to do the Lord’s work while I’m still alive. Just glad I’m in Arizona where the weather is better. You couldn’t pay me to live in “Tornado Alley”. All we can do is pray for the ones that suffered losses to loved ones and their home/possessions.
PATRICIA NEEDHAM says
You are right on Donald. As the Bible states, all prophecies are slowly coming true. War, pestilence, hunger. Pray that the Lord gives us a President who starts us on the path of recovery, not only for America, but the rest of the countries as well. We all need to unite, and work together, rid ourselves of the enemy and Satin’s followers. Will that happen? I don’t know.
I strongly believe that God has given us that Person in Donald Trump. Many people…Myself Included…believe that God has placed Donald Trump there for a Reason…..His candidacy did not happen by Accident…..I believe that he gave us the Present Occupant of the White House…To get our Attention….Just as he did many times to the Israelites to get their Attention…Many times God Allowed them to be placed in Captivity by their Enemies….But he also gave them the Chance to Repent as he did with Jonah…if we choose to repent…god will Spare us for a Time….
William Anderson says
All of the crazy weather and destruction IS being done by Satan.
BUT, THIS IS BEING ALLOWED BY GOD ALMIGHTY!!
This nation Must take measures to return to HIM NOW!!
Our junk MUST STOP NOW, or HE HAS NO CHOICE but to
cause or make AMERICA past into history like all of the other
nations that transgressed against HIM!!!
Very well said by all, We have the power to help restore this great nation this 2016. Drill it into everyone’s head that is legal to vote that you know just how important it is this election to take our country back. Together we can make a difference God Bless Us All.
We are witnessing Revelation in action. We are given a chance to bring this country back to God. The weather is a strong indication that times are very close and the things that the leaders of our country will see the wrath of God. Share your love and belief with everyone. We have this chance. LET’S DO OUR BEST.
Yes, we all need to get right with GOD. The book ???? of Revelation is so true and time is winding up. We need to pray ???? more vigilant and stop trying to out do GOD. HE is in Control. Amen!
Well stated Don, we know, but we ignore, how much longer can we ignore,we each have to be accountable for our actions.
Make time for God…….make him first in our lives. We seem to have forgotten our principles, lost our direction.
Lois Wenk says
I hope those people are ok and no one died.
Edie Neil says
You are all right, go to Jer. 29:11-12, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to Me., and I will listen to you. Yes, Revelation is the future, you don’t have to be a part of it, if we can endure to the end.
God is merciful.
I think the word you need to look up is H.A.A.R.P. that’s when the weather patterns started to change, now that other countries have them we can have weather wars. Mind Control, plasma shields and tornadoes are part of the machine we all worked for to build. That’s right your working to support there agenda, and whatever machines they want to build to destroy us or control us as they see fit.
Gillyanne Baker says
It’s a good thing this “forum” exists and that it’s relatively CONFIDENtIAL. I was always acutely aware that Obama was HATED (but tolerated silently) – but I didn’t really realize HOW MUCH hatred he actually sparked. I believe America NEEDS Donald Trump desperately, and for relatively the very same reasons we needed Ronald Reagan. Both men LOVE and RESPECT America, they’re FOR America. Reagan was a leader, and Donald Trump is BOTH a leader AND a tough businessman who understands the numbers and deals from the common sense of how those numbers add up. We need America to run like a CORPORATION for awhile with the BEST DEALS coming to America, not to every other country. MY GOD – no corporation I know which has ever been interested in being and staying solvent would EVER tolerate the ridiculous and wasteful pending on other countries which Washington has tolerated for so long for its own “under the table” self- interests. These practices make me so ILL I feel sick on a daily basis. Folks, the following facts remain sure and true: There have always been THREE kinds of people in our world: –1) Those who CONTRIBUTE to society (the wealthy and the “industrialists”) who actually take care of themselves and provide jobs to others; 2) Those who TAKE from society (most of the welfare-ridden self-appointed “victims” who feel entitled to constantly get something for nothing and bleed their country); and finally 3) Those who “pit” and “use” the first group against the second for THEIR own benefit. To preserve our Supply and Demand world (incidentally, still the best system), we ALL need to be contributors for the good of ourselves and our country — as best we can. We should never opt to be takers or users/manipulators. Man should first live for his own happiness and well-being, and let his contributions trickle down to the rest of society. He CANNOT be his brothers’ keepers – at least not ALL of them. Just ask yourselves: How in HELL can we (as individuals or as a country) give EVERYTHING to EVERY BROTHER ON THE PLANET (if they haven’t earned it) AND STILL EXPECT TO SURVIVE – EITHER AS INDIVIDUALS OR AS A COUNTRY. We MUST put America first – so at least we stay strong if we choose to help other countries? We cannot survive – it’s that simple. America has a situation where millions of Americans think they’re owed a free meal every five minutes and milk the system for all they can get? What we have here is that the “suckers” or takers from society, coupled with the users or manipulators, have ALWAYS existed – but not in the MILLIONS as they do today. So what’s the answer? I think it’s simply this: We who are able to give to society through our own hard work and efforts, we job-providers, we industrialists, we hard-workers – we must rise and persevere no matter what. GOD – I’m sorry – I know this must sound like an old Ayn Rand novel – but I’m truly serious. Because that’s EXACTLY where we are – like it or not. So my fellow Voters – LET’S TRY TRUMP. Heck – I don’t know WHY these tornadoes are so devastating. I’m not religious, and I’ve even thought maybe it’s a sign for MAN on some level or other. We’ve already tried “politically correct” and electing milque toast establishment candidates – SO PUL-EEZE – let’s give something else a try. If this man is serious and can cope and can get America the best of any deal, AND he understands the numbers — then he’s not only the BEST shot this country’s got – HE, at this point, is the ONLY shot we’ve got. I’m done now – and thanks for listening.,
Donna D. says
You missed one other kind of people in this world, and that is criminals. They come to kill, steal and destroy people and possessions for their lazy, selfish lifestyle. They take and cost society so much money to prosecute and incarcerate them. They contribute nothing good to society and if we get rid of the most evil and ones that are beyond redemption and rehabilitation, we taxpayers can save some money and keep alive the productive members of society by ridding our society of criminals.
What Rubbish. Its little wonder that America is what it is today. Totally evil and totally corrupt. If you believe in idiots like trump, then all I can say is “God save America” Wake up to yourselves