Louisiana News

Louisiana reports significant damage but no deaths from Sunday's severe weather

Severe weather on Sunday and early Monday killed at least 20 people across the South, reports indicate.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards reported power outages, flash flooding and tornado damage across north Louisiana, particularly in Ouachita parish, but no weather-related deaths.
“When you see how significant the damage was,” he said Monday after surveying the aftermath, “the fact that they’re reporting here in Ouachita Parish three minor injuries and no fatalities or serious injuries is a miracle.”
Edwards on Sunday declared a state emergency. On Monday, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Louisiana Republican, asked President Donald Trump to make federal resources available for north Louisiana. His letter says more than 400 homes in the area were damaged or destroyed and cites damage to Monroe Regional Airport and other public infrastructure.
Edwards said a pump station in West Monroe now is inoperable, and about 8,000 structures in Ouachita Parish are without electricity. He said it likely would take “a couple days” until power to most of those buildings is restored.
Edwards said two confirmed tornadoes hit DeSoto Parish, while officials also are assessing possible tornado damage in Bienville, Bossier, Red River and Webster parishes.
“Louisiana is one of the states hardest hit by the Coronavirus, and our state resources are stretched thin by efforts to combat its spread and treat those who are sick,” Abraham’s letter to the president says. “I humbly ask that you work with Governor Edwards and make all federal resources available to help our state respond to this natural disaster.”
Louisiana’s eligibility for federal help will depend on how much damage was suffered. While noting safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Edwards said FEMA officials seemed receptive to the idea of doing damage assessments remotely with pictures instead of in person.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry urged residents who suspect disaster-related fraud to contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.
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