New Orleans residents can’t seem to get a break from natural disasters. Just over a year after being beaten by Hurricane Ida, the beautiful city was hit by a powerful tornado. The twister, which had wind speeds of 160 mph, did landfall shortly before 8:00 p.m. local time on March 22, 2022.
Since most houses have no basement, residents had to look for other places to shelter when night fell, sinister clouds began to appear. Some families weathered the storm huddled in closets, while others spent the heart touching 17 minutes squatting in the toilet.
The tornado is gone widespread destruction along its 11.5 mile long path. Arabi, a suburb of New Orleans — which has suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Ida (2021) – were the hardest hit. The tornado downed trees and utility poles, overturned cars and school buses, and ripped roofs and walls off homes and buildings. Early estimates indicate that over 300 buildings and homes were damaged. Of these, 41 were completely shaved, and 92 will require important repair. Miraculously, few people were injured and only one is believed to have died.
Residents of the suburbs were initially shocked by the devastation. But as the day progressed, the resilient The community banded together, helping friends and neighbors chop down tree branches, gather up whatever was left and haul away debris.
The National Weather Service classified the recent twister as EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. With winds of 160 mph, it is the strongest tornado on record in New Orleans. The previous record holder was an EF3 tornado that hit the city with winds of 150mph in 2017.
The New Orleans tornado is believed to have originated from the same storm responsible for the 10 tornadoes that ripped through parts of Texas and Mississippi on March 21, 2021. The tornadoes, which ranged in strength from EF-0 to EF-3 , left behind a trail of destruction, injured dozens and killed at least one person. More than 90,000 homes and businesses were left without power.
We wish people in all affected areas a speedy recovery!
Resources: NPR.com, accuweahther.com, Nola.com, WashingtonPost.com