Six tornadoes tore through New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana on Tuesday, injuring at least 20 people as the storm roared across highways and streets, leveling trees, power lines and homes.
Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency throughout Louisiana, while search and rescue teams scoured the landscape for survivors.
“The width of the devastation was unlike any that I have seen before,” Edwards told a news conference. “When you see it from the air you’re even more impressed that so few people were injured and that nobody’s life was lost.”
The Louisiana National Guard said it was conducting search-and-rescue operations, looking for injured people who may be stranded, and assessing damage.
The storm system battered New Orleans and suburban Baton Rouge, marking the fourth time in a year the state has been jolted by natural disasters.
A string of tornadoes struck in February 2016 and in March, four people died in widespread floods. Then Louisiana was devastated by major flooding in August, when more than 60,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in 20 parishes, marking the state’s worst disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters that one twister carved out a swath of destruction about two miles (3 km) long and about half a mile (1-km) wide, affecting area that holds 5,000 properties.
“It’s devastating and a lot of families have lost everything that they have,” Landrieu said.
Edwards estimated the number of injured at 20, some of them he termed “not life-threatening, but very serious.”
Nearly 50,000 customers were without power in Louisiana, with more than 10,000 of them in New Orleans, according to Entergy New Orleans Inc spokeswoman Kacee Kirschvink.
One person was injured and about 200 cars damaged at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration assembly building in New Orleans, but flight hardware for NASA’s new heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule appear to have escaped damage, associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said.
Nancy Malone, communications director for the Red Cross of Louisiana, said damage was reported in about six parishes, or territorial districts, where the Red Cross was assisting first responders.
“While this was not expected, communities in southeast Louisiana have been affected numerous times in the last 12 months,” Malone said. “Here we are again.”
(Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus, Mike Cooper and Irene Klotz; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and David Gregorio)
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."