3 hurt in La. as more storms batter Southeast
Published 11:47 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009
A tornado injured three people and damaged nearly two dozen homes Monday in southern Louisiana, a day after severe thunderstorms across the Southeast killed one person.
A woman was treated for a broken leg after the twister ripped through part of the rural community of Catahoula, La., around 6 a.m., said Major Ginny Higgins of the St. Martin Parish sheriff’s department. The woman, in her early 30s, was struck by flying debris as she ran from her mobile home to her mother’s home, according to Higgins.
Higgins said two other people had minor injuries.
The National Weather Service said the tornado was 50 to 100 yards wide when it tore through the area about 140 miles northwest of New Orleans.
Heavy rain caused flooding Monday in areas including West Virginia, where nearly 2 inches of rain in western parts of the state made roads impassable, washed out bridges, shut down schools, flooded basements and knocked out power to thousands. No injuries were reported in West Virginia, emergency officials said.
Flooding closed every road in West Virginia’s Roane County except westbound U.S. 33, said paramedic supervisor Danny Cronan.
“At the ambulance station in Spencer, the whole parking lot is flooded,” Newton Fire Chief Sean McCarty said.
Appalachian Power and Allegheny Power said the storm knocked out power to about 9,600 customers.
Sunday’s storms spawned possible tornados from Mississippi to Georgia and killed a 46-year-old woman in Laurel, Miss., who was hit by a tree while she stood outside her home. Another person in the county was injured and at least 100 homes and businesses had some damage in the state, emergency officials said.
The weather service said several funnel clouds were reported in Alabama, along with structural damage, downed trees and power lines south and southwest of the Birmingham area. No injuries were reported.
Police in northwest Georgia said at least four funnel clouds were spotted but caused no significant damage or injuries.
The weather service in Birmingham said much of the damage there was caused by a weather phenomenon called a derecho (duh-RAY’-choh), a long-lived straight line wind storm that sweeps over a large area at high speed.
The storm front had wind over 58 mph that knocked down thousands of trees south of Interstate 20 in Alabama.