ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. - Heavy winds damaged houses, vehicles and utility lines on several streets in Meraux, Chalmette and Violet early Friday morning, according to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office.
While no injuries were reported, residents of St. Bernard Parish told stories of seeing what they believe were tornadoes, causing damage to their homes and vehicles between 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. According to the sheriff's office, the National Weather Service hasn’t confirmed whether the strong winds and rains that ripped through the parish contained tornadoes touching down.
Eric Blache, who lives on Judy Drive in Meraux, said a rear glassed-in room exploded from apparent pressure, breaking glass and pushing walls outward. He said he struggled to keep a door closed separating the rear room from the rest of the house, and his home suffered roof damage, said the sheriff's office.
A few blocks from Blache, Catherine Washington said she was awakened by the sound of her back patio cover blowing against a rear door and saw the cover blown to the ground in the 2400 block of Walkers Lane. “It totally took it off,’’ she said.
According to the sheriff's office, Ronnie Barattini and John Stroebel, two neighbors on Judy Drive, said they were awoken and saw from their homes the destruction that took place, believing it was a tornado.
Barattini's patio cover was blown away and its support posts pulled from the ground.
A carport on Judy Drive was torn from a home and knocked down. On Bayou Road in eastern St. Bernard, Shane Lulei, a sheriff’s deputy, had a tree fall on his private vehicle during heavy wind after 2 a.m. He said he saw a trampoline blown in the air about 50 feet, said the sheriff's office.