PALMETTO, La. – At least two deaths and multiple injuries have been reported in Louisiana as a result of bad weather Friday night and Saturday morning.
One person was killed and seven injured after at least one tornado hit the parish of St. Landry. Separately, in Shreveport, a 48-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on his mobile home amid high winds, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said.
As of Saturday afternoon, more than 50,000 people were without power in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to PowerOutage.us.
The tornado struck St. Landry Parish at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday as severe weather conditions gripped the state, according to a statement from Parish Emergency Preparedness Director Van Reed.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the tornado was either an EF2 or an EF3 with winds of 130 mph. Investigators are still determining whether it was the same tornado or an additional tornado that struck a second location around 2:30 a.m.
Eight houses were destroyed and two damaged. Of the seven people injured, five were discharged from hospital while two remain hospitalized.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this storm,” St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to help these families.”
Bellard, who was assisting investigators at the scene, said the damage was extensive.
“It’s really unbelievable. You really have to see it to understand what happened here. Several houses have been moved from their foundations and others have had their roofs ripped off. A house has been moved and placed completely on the road, ”said Bellard.
According to Bellard, the person who died in the parish of St. Landry may have been evicted from his residence.
Bellard said the tornado touched down at two different locations in the northern part of St. Landry Parish.
Moses Celestine, 90, who was at home when the storm hit, called it “scary and frightening”.
“Suddenly I heard the house shake and move and I felt like it was 20 minutes,” he said.
Contributor: Joel Shannon, USA TODAY. Follow Ashley White on Twitter @AshleyyDi.