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NWS shares details of the deadly five mile path of Killona EF-2 tornado

An EF-2 tornado has wind speeds between 111 and 135 miles per hour, according to the Enhanced Fujita scale.

KILLONA, La. — The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado with estimated peak winds of 120 miles per hour touched down in St. Charles Parish on Wednesday, causing significant damage and one death.

According to damage surveys, the tornado touched down near the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office and the Nelson Coleman Correctional facility around 2:21 p.m. where it tore off metal roofing sheets and tossed them across a nearby field. It then moved northwest across highways 3141 and 3127, snapping trees and large branches.

The tornado crossed Railroad Drive and Schoolhouse Road where forecasters say it strengthened and destroyed two mobile homes and flipped another mobile home into a nearby house. It also ripped off roofs of nearby homes and caused others to lose their exterior walls. 

Family members told the Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate that 56-year-old Allison Alexander was killed after a tornado tore apart her Killona, La. home on Wednesday afternoon. 

“She was outside the residence, so we don’t know exactly what happened,” St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said Wednesday. “There was debris everywhere. She could have been struck. We don’t know for sure. But this was a horrific and a very violent tornado.

At least eight others were hospitalized with injuries caused by the tornado.

The twister continued northwest, crossing River Road and then the Mississippi River before reaching Etienne Street. There, the tornado tore off another roof near the levee and shifted a mobile home off its foundation. It continued across Vickers Lane where it snapped a large oak tree and tore the porch off a house. It also damaged vehicles at Cembell Industries, Inc. 

The tornado continued northwest parallel to CC Road before lifting before Airline Highway at 2:26 PM.

In New Orleans, a home collapsed injuring four people, and five people were injured in New Iberia, Louisiana, where a possible tornado smashed the windows of Iberia Medical Center, authorities said. The NWS said preliminary data shows that the tornado was also an EF-2, though more information would be released later in the day.

A storm system that spawned dozens of reported tornadoes from Texas to the Florida Panhandle was all but done with the South on Thursday after killing at least three people and uprooting families across Louisiana, where some homes were blown into pieces.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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