New Orleans tornado: Crews comb through devastated neighborhoods in the New Orleans area after deadly tornado



Search and rescue teams were combing through debris and damaged neighborhoods in the New Orleans area overnight after a tornado slammed the region Tuesday.

A tornado touched down in the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East communities just before 8 p.m., New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said in a statement.

One person was killed in the hard-hit Arabi neighborhood, St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis told CNN.

“We have some homes that were leveled. We have homes that were lifted up and put back down on the street,” McInnis said of his community, which borders Orleans Parish, home to New Orleans’ iconic French Quarter.

“The area that I’ve seen tonight, it’s totally devastated in a few of our neighborhoods,” McInnis told CNN’s Don Lemon.

McInnis said he didn’t yet have a firm number on injuries but there are reports of several residents seeking treatment.

“We’ve got a long night ahead of us and a long road to recovery, but I feel confident that we will get everything done here quickly for our citizens,” McInnis said.

Arabi Elementary School will be closed Wednesday, the St. Bernard Parish Public School System said. “All other public schools in St. Bernard Parish will be open and follow normal schedules,” the district said.

There were not yet any reports of casualties or significant damage in Orleans Parish, Cantrell said Tuesday night. New Orleans Police, Fire and EMS departments were staging to assist in St. Bernard Parish, she added.

“Residents should avoid all travel that isn’t essential, to provide an opportunity for the professionals to handle this situation,” Cantrell said in the statement.

According to, there were more than 4,000 customers without power in Orleans and St. Bernard Parish as of early Wednesday. Crews are working to restore power to those impacted, Cantrell said.

Debris is strewn across the ground in the Arabi neighborhood after a large tornado hit the New Orleans area Tuesday.

There have been no reports of injuries or major damage after a possible tornado struck in Jefferson Parish, according to a tweet from the parish government.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said state agencies are assisting local agencies as they assess the damage and impacts of the tornadoes.

“My prayers are with you in Southeast Louisiana tonight. Please be safe,” he said in a tweet.

The National Weather Service is sending survey teams out in the morning to assess damage in Arabi, Gretna and Lacombe, the agency’s New Orleans office said on Twitter.