Tor­nado hits Louisiana town as Har­vey lands

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - STATE | METRO - BY CHEVEL JOHN­SON

NEW OR­LEANS — A tor­nado that spawned from Har­vey hit the Cameron Par­ish town of Hack­berry on Satur­day, caus­ing prop­erty dam­age but no in­juries or fa­tal­i­ties.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Ed­wards said the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice con­firmed the twister touched down about 12:25 p.m.

“There was sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty dam­age, but thank­fully no re­ports of in­juries or fa­tal­i­ties,” he said.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Jared Rack­ley said they have yet to sur­vey the area but pho­tos showed at least one over­turned camper and other struc­tural dam­age.

He said a tor­nado watch re­mained in place for parts of Louisiana un­til 2 a.m. Sunday. He urged res­i­dents to re­main on guard as a heavy amount of rain was ex­pected to fall on the state over the next sev­eral days.

“This is a large and pow­er­ful storm,” Ed­wards said. “We will see rain in Louisiana as well but it’s dif­fi­cult to pre­dict what will hap­pen next.”

The weather ser­vice does not believe the storm will re-en­ter the Gulf of Mex­ico and come to south­ern Louisiana, but Ed­wards said res­i­dents should re­main vig­i­lant.

“There’s great potential for flood­ing. Don’t be­come com­pla­cent,” he warned. “This storm will be around for a long time. We’re a long ways from be­ing out of the woods.”

Fore­cast­ers said south­west Louisiana could see be­tween 7 to 13 inches of rain over the next seven days, while south-cen­tral Louisiana could get be­tween about 6 to 11 inches. Cen­tral Louisiana could get any­where from 3 to about 8 inches.

Ed­wards said at least 18 parishes had de­clared a state of emer­gency. The state, he said, so far had dis­trib­uted 247,000 sand­bags and nearly 550 meals ready to eat.

The Coast Guard is search­ing for at least one per­son who re­port­edly fell off a boat in Cameron Par­ish, Ed­wards said. Cameron Par­ish had a manda­tory evac­u­a­tion or­der but it was changed to vol­un­tary on Satur­day.

In New Or­leans, po­lice staged bar­ri­ers at low-lying points through­out the city, which was caught by surprise by a storm Aug. 5 that left wide­spread flood­ing when sev­eral of the city’s pumps failed.

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