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Spring storms cause havoc in New Orleans

March 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

NEW ORLEANS, March 30 (UPI) -- Thunderstorms accompanied by high winds, hail and tornadoes hit the New Orleans area Tuesday night, causing flooding, power outages and damage, officials said.

One twister touched down in St. Bernard Parish southeast of the city, hitting the old Delacroix Coastal Complex and leaving hundreds without electrical power, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

Another tornado blew off an awning at the Manhattan Place Shopping Center in Harvey and damaged several cars in the parking lot. Emergency managers in Jefferson Parish reported the roof of a Walmart store had been peeled off and utility lines in the area were down.

Wind gusts of up to 100 miles an hour were reported in parts of the city along with golf-ball sized hail in other areas.

New Orleans officials said scattered power outages left more than 2,500 people without electricity.

During the height of the storm, two planes attempting to land at the airport had to be diverted.

The National Weather Service said a cold front would arrive Wednesday evening, bringing more scattered showers and a few thunderstorms.

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