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Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
Email: kmoore@wwltv.com | Twitter: @katiecmoore

NEWORLEANS-- Louisiana is no stranger to tornadoes. Two hit just Jefferson Parish a few weeks ago and a meterologist with the National Weather Service says one of the most deadly in history happened in Amite.

Hurricanes take the tornado threat to a whole different level.

The fast-moving storm that swept through Jefferson Parish in April left damage from two small tornadoes in its path.

'The whole front half of the house is gone,' said Clay Ledet, a Kenner resident who had the roof ripped off with the rafters exposed in the front room of his home. He still can't live in his house a month later, but it is a work in progress.

'I surveyed those [tornadoes]. Even though they were weak, they did a lot of damage,' said Ken Graham, chief meterologist with the National Weather Service-New Orleans.

Last month's tornadoes started from an average afternoon thunderstorm and the damage was significant. Experts say hurricanes can often spin off multiple tornadoes as they make landfall.

'About 90 percent of them are on the right front quadrant of a hurricane about 100 miles away from the center. So, you can look at a hurricane and see if you're in the danger zone,' Graham said.

Some of the area's emergency managers gathered Tuesday at the Sam's Club on Airline Highway to urge residents to make sure they have an plan in place to handle severe weather as hurricane season starts in three weeks.

'There's is no such thing as 'just a tropical storm.' there is no such thing as 'just a category one hurricane'. It is all about the impacts, not necessarily the category,' Graham said.

At least with hurricanes, unlike tornadoes, they can be predicted several days out.

'Hurricanes we often time have a period of time to make decisions,' said Pat Santos, deputy director of the La. Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Many times, residents are already evacuated when any hurricane-related tornadoes may hit, and emergency leaders say that's the key.

'The only thing you can do is you can be prepared with a plan,' said Kay Wilkins, regional CEO of the American Red Cross.

That plan should make residents ready in case they have to evacuate this hurricane season or have a plan of where to go inside their home if tornadoes hit while you're sheltering in place.

The state's emergency management director said many parishes don't have tornado sirens. But Graham says he doesn't think they're as important as getting warnings through technology these days, because often times, it's raining or hailing so hard you can't hear the sirens.

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