AMITE — A tornado ripped through a rural area east of Amite on Tuesday afternoon, downing trees and power lines and damaging about 20 homes, including the home of Amite Fire Chief Bruce Cutrer.
The storm touched down near the intersection of La. 16 and La. 1054, just east of the Tangipahoa River, National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Ansorge said. At least one roof was ripped off and several mobile homes were damaged or destroyed, but there were no reports of injuries as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Ansorge said.
Cutrer said his family and neighbors along Leander Lane, just east of La. 1054 on La. 16, reported heavy damage to seven structures. The storm significantly damaged the roof on Cutrer’s home and destroyed a 60-by-40-foot shed on his property, he said.
State Police closed portions of both La. 16 and La. 1054 for several hours Tuesday afternoon, while crews worked to remove felled trees and downed power lines.
More than 500 Entergy customers in the vicinity remained without power at 7 p.m. due to a broken utility pole, according to the company’s website. The high winds wiped out power to more than 2,000 customers in the Amite area and nearby areas of Livingston and St. Helena parishes.
Ansorge said meteorologists will know more about the storm’s wind speeds and other characteristics after they conduct a survey at the scene Wednesday.
In a news release Tuesday night, Gov. Bobby Jindal said officials with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will continue to be on the ground as the area is cleaned up. The GOHSEP Crisis Action Team was activated to monitor the conditions throughout Tuesday night and will continue to respond to the impact of the storm, the news release says.
According to GOHSEP, there have been no requests for state assistance at this time by parish governments.
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