Destructive Tornadoes Rip Across Louisiana

March 6, 2011; 12:42 PM ET
Share |

Severe storms, some of which were spawning destructive tornadoes, ripped through Louisiana on Saturday.

An EF0 tornado touch down was confirmed 2 miles NNW of Crowley, located in Acadia Parish, around 10 a.m. CST. The twister was 25 yards wide, and caused a two-mile path of extensive damage.

The storm that produced the tornado continued to moved northeastward, where it pummeled Rayne. This storm was a confirmed EF2 tornado that passed through. The twister was 300 yards wide and caused a 5 mile path of damage.

A dozen people were injured and one woman was killed in Rayne, while many houses and other buildings suffered severe damage in the path of the tornado. A car wash building collapsed as the twister tore through the area.

The damage included two ruptured gas lines which led to hundreds of evacuations. According to KATC, the Sheriff's Office in northwest Rayne was among the places being evacuated.

Severe Weather Reports on Saturday March 3, 2011, courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center. The red dots indicate tornado reports, while the blue dots indicate severe thunderstorm wind damage.

Another rain-wrapped tornado was observed 4 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, a few hours later.

Damage that may have also been caused by a tornado occurred in Schriever. Power lines were downed in this community.

In Lafitte, trailers were severely damaged and destroyed and trees were snapped. Small tree branches were downed by 55 mph winds in Terrytown, as the storms spread farther east.

Meanwhile, some of the most violent thunderstorms were producing pea-to-penny-sized hail.

Very heavy rain also poured down from the thunderstorms, causing localized flash flooding. Some communities, including Lake Charles, were inundated by over 3 inches of rain.

An overturned vehicle lies next to damaged trailer in Rayne, La., Sunday, March 6, 2011, a day after a tornado moved through the area. Officials worked Sunday to get people back into their homes after the tornado ripped through this southwestern Louisiana town, killing a mother shielding her child from the fierce winds and leaving 12 injured. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Meteorologist Bill Deger warned of the severe weather threat for the I-10 corridor of the central Gulf Coast early Saturday morning. He noted that those celebrating Mardis Gras in New Orleans were at risk for getting hit by the nasty thunderstorms.

Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued for New Orleans during the afternoon hours as violent storms rolled through. The storms sent people running for cover, while umbrellas were no help in protecting from the drenching downpours as the gusty winds blew them inside out.

Over two inches over rain doused the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport in 45 minutes.

The Endymion parade in New Orleans was postponed until Sunday, according to the Times-Picayune.

The severe thunderstorms will shift east through Sunday, targeting the Southeast Coast.


Comments left here should adhere to the Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A


This Day In Weather History

Astoria, Or (1998)
5.56 inches of rain fell, setting a new all-time record. the previous rainfall record was 4.53 inches from January 9, 1966.

Northeast (1950)
Great Appalachian Storm (24th-26th) developed greatest wind force, deepest snow, most severe early-season cold in history of the Northeast: 18.8 inches of snow at Akron, OH; Youngstown, OH, had a maximum 24-hour snowfall of 20.7 inches and a maximum single storm total of 28.7 inches; Steubenville, OH, had a maximum single storm total of 36.3 inches; Pittsburgh, PA, had a maximum 24-hour snowfall of 20.1 inches and a maximum single storm total of 27.7 inches; and Charleston, WV had a maximum 24-hour snowfall of 15.1 inches and a maximum single storm total of 25.6 inches. At coastal stations such as Newark and Boston single-minute wind speeds in excess of 80 mph were registered. There was a 108 mph gust at Newark. Peak gusts of 110 were noticed at Concord, NH; 108 mph at Newark, NJ; and 100 mph at Hartford, CT. Atop Mt. Washington, a wind gust of 160 mph hit from the southeast early on the 26th. Central Park, in the heart of sheltered Manhattan Island, set an 80-year record of 70 mph.

Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton (1971)
Heavy snowfall in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. It started to snow the night before, and by about noon Thanksgiving Day 11/25/71, 20.5 inches of snow was reported on the ground at the Avoca, PA airport. Some of the surrounding areas had even more snow. Dallas, PA, had 27 inches and parts of the Poconos had as much as 30 inches. Barn roofs collapsed, power lines were downed, and tree branches were broken. The majority of the snow fell within 12 hours.

Rough Weather