'Our Neighbor's House Is in the Middle of the Street'

2 are killed, multiple others injured after tornado system hits Texas, Okla., then La., Miss.
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 23, 2022 6:23 AM CDT
Updated Mar 23, 2022 6:35 AM CDT
Deadly Tornado Sweeps Through Neighborhoods Pummeled by Katrina
People look at the damage after a tornado hit a shopping center in Round Rock, Texas, on Monday. Multiple tornadoes ripped through parts of Texas and Oklahoma, killing at least one person and causing multiple injuries and widespread damage.   (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

A tornado tore through parts of New Orleans and its suburbs Tuesday night, flipping cars, ripping roofs off homes, and killing at least one person in a region that was pummeled by Hurricane Katrina 17 years ago. Parts of St. Bernard Parish, which borders New Orleans to the southeast, appeared to take the brunt of the weather's fury, and that's where the fatality occurred, per the AP. St. Bernard Parish officials gave no details on how the person died; they said multiple other people were injured. Rescue workers were searching through the suburban parish for more people in need of assistance, according to Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said the tornado caused widespread damage throughout the parish.

Other tornadoes spawned by the same storm system had hit parts of Texas and Oklahoma, killing one person Monday and causing multiple injuries and widespread damage. In New Orleans, local television stations broadcast live images of the storm as it barreled across the region. The tornado appeared to start in a suburb and then move east across the Mississippi River into the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and parts of St. Bernard Parish—both of which were badly damaged by Katrina—before moving northeast. Many residents also suffered damage just last year when Hurricane Ida—a Category 4 hurricane—swept through the region.

Stacey Mancuso's family had just completed repairs to their home in the suburb of Arabi after Ida had ripped off the roof and caused extensive water damage. Then the tornado Tuesday tore through their street. She huddled in the laundry room with her husband; two children, ages 16 and 11; and dogs as part of their new roof was lifted away by the wind. "We're alive. ... We still have four walls and part of a roof. I consider myself lucky," she said. Still, the twister was the third time they've had major weather damage since Katrina in 2005. "It just kept getting louder and louder," Michelle Malasovich, also of Arabi, said. After the tornado passed, her family emerged to survey the damage. "Our neighbor's house is in the middle of the street right now," she noted.

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted late Tuesday there were no reports of casualties or significant damage to the city, and that the power utility was working to restore electricity to 8,000 customers. While people in the metropolitan region are used to dealing with severe weather such as hurricanes or heavy rains, it's rare that a tornado moves through the city. Meanwhile, homes and businesses in at least a dozen Texas counties were damaged, Storm Prediction Center reports. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 10 people were injured by storms in the Crockett area, while more than a dozen were reportedly hurt elsewhere. The Grayson County Office of Emergency Management said a 73-year-old woman was killed in the community of Sherwood Shores, about 60 miles north of Dallas, but provided no details.

(More New Orleans stories.)

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