Reports of people trapped by debris in St. Bernard Parish after tornado | Weather


Following a tornado that plowed across the Arabi area of St. Bernard Parish Tuesday night, parish officials said there were multiple injuries and several reports of people trapped in their homes.

They also confirmed that one person had died.

“We have reports of people that are trapped,” St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said. “We’re in the area doing assessments now.”

Parish President Guy McInnis said there were reports of people trapped inside bathrooms in their homes.

Pohlmann later told WWL-Tv that there was a multi-agency response for “first, a hasty search and then we’re going to start on a grid search.”

Pohlmann said he expected the search to stretch into the early-morning hours.

The tornado struck Arabi, in a south-to-north direction, McInnis said. Asked about damage, McIinnis said a this point it appears to be extensive.

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“We’ll get more of an assessment tomorrow,” he said.

Pohlmann said the damage stretched from old Arabi into Carolyn Park.

McInnis and Pohlmann said the extent of injuries is unknown at this time. Pohlmann said there are “multiple” injuries and some people had been taken to hospitals.

At a news conference later Tuesday night, McInnis said a shelter for displaced residents was being set up at the Val Riess Park sports complex in Chalmette. 

McInnis and Pohlmann declined to provide details about the person who had died.

More assessments of damage and injuries were expected Wednesday, McInnis said.

“This is going to be a long haul,” he said.