NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Latest on severe weather in the Deep South (all times local):
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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu reports substantial damage in eastern New Orleans after an apparent tornado touched down in the area.
He says there are initial reports of dozens of minor injuries and two more serious injuries. A spokesman for the Emergency Medical Service described most of those injured Tuesday as “walking wounded,” with minor cuts and scrapes.
City officials say about 10,000 homes are without power and there are reports of gas leaks in the area.
Police Chief Michael Harrison says they’ve closed Interstate 10 eastbound from Downman to Interstate 510 and westbound from I-510 to the Downman exit. That covers most exits that would go into the affected areas. He urged people to stay off the roads and out of the affected areas.
Harrison says patrols are doing house-by-house searches in the neighborhoods to make sure no one’s trapped by falling debris or other damage.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the White House is monitoring the severe weather going through Louisiana. He says President Donald Trump is aware of the situation and is going to be reaching out to local and state officials throughout the day.
Spicer says Trump also concurred with the FEMA administrator’s recommendation to approve Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s request to add public assistance to the previously issued major disaster declaration for his state.
Spicer says that in accordance with Bryant’s request, public assistance will be added for three counties; Forrest, Lamar and Perry.
Officials say at least seven homes have been damaged in Livingston Parish, Louisiana.
Deputy Emergency Management Director Brandi Janes says two of the houses were completely destroyed.
Janes said she knows of two injuries in the parish, both minor. She didn’t immediately have any information on whether the homes that were destroyed were occupied when the storm struck.
She says they are working to get trees out of roadways and with the Red Cross to get help to damaged areas.
Mike Saia, who works at a marina on the Tchefuncte (te-FUNK-ta) River near Lake Pontchartrain, evacuated his office during one of numerous tornado warnings.
Saia watched the storm through a surveillance camera that feeds an app on his iPhone. He said it passed right over the marina but he saw no sign of any funnels or any damage to the marina. He did say there is debris from trees littering the roadways in the area.
Not far from the marina, a possible tornado was reported in the town of Madisonville, according to reports from the National Weather Service.
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The National Weather Service says it has confirmed three tornadoes that have touched down in southern Louisiana.
Danielle Manning, a meteorologist with the weather service, says one touched down in the eastern part of New Orleans, another touched down near the town of Donaldsonville and another in the town of Killian.
She said they have heard reports of injuries but nothing that has been confirmed yet.
Local media showed images of some severely damaged buildings in eastern New Orleans with downed power lines strewn across the road.
The tornadoes are part of a wall of bad weather moving across the Deep South.
Tornado watches cover large parts of Louisiana and Mississippi as a line of severe storms moves across the region.
In Louisiana, the watches covered the metro areas of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
In Mississippi, a tornado watch covered the southern half of the state and included the Jackson, Hattiesburg and Biloxi areas.
The National Weather Service reports that storm spotters reported a funnel cloud near Baker, Louisiana, around 9 a.m. There were no immediate reports of any damage from that storm.
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