Officials said a woman died Wednesday after a possible tornado tore through Killona, Louisiana. A mother and her 8-year-old son were killed when a powerful EF-2 tornado made landfall in Caddo Parish, Louisiana Tuesday night.
The severe weather outbreak, which began early Tuesday morning, is expected to sweep across the U.S. through Thursday on the warm side of a coast-to-coast storm that is expected to bring additional tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail.
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Parish of St. Charles
A potential tornado struck the community of St. Charles Wednesday afternoon. An official said search and rescue teams were going through Montz and Killona. The only confirmed fatality was the woman in Killona. Seven others were injured.
“She was outside the residence, so we don’t know exactly what happened,” Sheriff Greg Champagne said in a news conference. “All sorts of things could have happened anywhere in the rubble. You know, she could have been beaten. We don’t know exactly.”
St. Charles Parish posted on social media that the likely tornado made landfall near Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility.
Local residents reported damage to the sheriff’s office, including overturned trailers, downed power lines and roads blocked by debris. Champagne said he saw a trailer that had flown two properties away to end up in the front yard of another home.
“I know we have dozens of buildings that are damaged,” the officer continued. “And so I would say there are at least 15 to 20 families that have a need. We are still collecting this information.”
President Matthew Jewell of the St. Charles Parish declared a state of emergency.
Caddo Parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Division commander Robert Jump said most of the damage from the tornado stretched a mile-long path through the Pecan Farms subdivision in Keithville Tuesday night.
The tornado that the National Weather Service Winds of at least 130 miles per hour were estimated to have downed power lines and trees. He estimates around 50 to 60 properties were severely damaged and 10 to 15 were completely destroyed.
In a press release, the Caddo, Louisiana Township Sheriff’s Office said an 8-year-old boy was found dead in a wooded area of Pecan Farm where his home was vandalized. The body of the boy’s mother was found among storm debris early Wednesday on a street across from the family’s destroyed home, officials said.
FOX 8 New Orleans reported that 30-year-old Yoshiko Smith was found one street down from her home, while her 8-year-old son Nikolus Little was recovered a half-mile away.
The Louisiana Department of Health told FOX 8 that both died from blunt force trauma.
FOX Weather correspondent Robert Ray said emergency officials cordoned off the area where the boy and his mother were killed and residents are still not allowed to return.
“This is a city that’s not used to dealing with disasters and I think they’re trying to put the puzzle together this morning,” Ray said. “In the meantime, let’s try to be sensitive to the fact that a young boy and his mother lost their lives to this system last night.”
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At least two others injured were taken to a hospital after the storm in Caddo Parish, according to the sheriff’s report.
According to police, about two dozen people were injured in Farmerville, Louisiana, when the storm also swept through that area. They said they received calls well into the night from people affected by the storm.
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Roads and highways are slowly reopening after the storm, but before that happened, police said residents drove themselves to hospitals for treatment because emergency workers couldn’t reach those who needed help.
No one was reported missing as of Wednesday morning.