State of emergency declared in Louisiana after tornadoes, storms hit Gulf Coast

By Doug G. Ware  |  Updated Feb. 7, 2017 at 4:54 PM
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Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Severe thunderstorms featuring tornadoes and large hail moved across the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, causing damage in parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans.

A twister was reported Tuesday morning in the town of Killian, La., forecasters said, and another about 35 miles away in Madisonville.

Strong winds from the storm inflicted damage in New Orleans, prompting an emergency response. Some residents posted photos online that showed some of the structural damage, including overturned vehicles.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported a tornado touched down in the east part of the city -- a strike confirmed by radar by the National Weather Service.

Officials said at least one person was injured and multiple structures were damaged when a twister touched down in Donaldsonville.

Tuesday afternoon, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency due to the storm.

"I am heartbroken to once again see Louisiana families suffering in the wake of devastating tornadoes today," he said in a statement. "We are working tirelessly to ensure that every citizen affected by this storm receives the resources they need as quickly as possible."

Quarter-sized hail was also reported near Little Rock, Ark., along with 60-plus mph winds in Tennessee.

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