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NWS Confirms Tornado In New Orleans, Nearly 2,000 Still Without Power

Patrick Madden
A fallen tree limb on a car in Uptown, New Orleans after a possible Tornado swept through the neighborhood on May 12, 2021.

It’s official – a tornado tore through New Orleans on Wednesday morning.

According to meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS), a tornado with max winds of 85 miles per hour touched down around 2 a.m. near Carrollton and Claiborne avenues before crossing through the Central Business District and jumping the Mississippi River to Algiers Point.

Tornadoes are ranked on what's called an Enhanced Fujita Scale from 0 to 5 based on the type of damage they caused. This was the weakest possible — an EF0 — but still ripped up trees, tore off tree limbs, and tore a tin roof off of the Amtrak terminal as it passed across the city.

Nearly 2,000 residents remain without power as of 4 p.m. Wednesday

During an afternoon press conference, Ramsey Green, deputy director of infrastructure, said cleanup is ongoing. Traffic lights are being repaired. Entergy has deployed about 150 staff to fix power lines. The Department of Public Works has already moved six dumpster trucks full of debris.

Neighborhoods continue to clean up debris, especially in Uptown and Algiers. Green asked residents to avoid driving in those areas.

Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said the city continues to assess the damage. Ten homes were moderately damaged and about two dozen had minor damage.

NWS coordination meteorologist Lauren Nash said it’s the tenth tornado to touch down in the city since 2000. She spent the day on the ground assessing damage to determine the size of the tornado.

“It was a really strong storm,” she said.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and local listeners.

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