Assumption Parish officials estimated Wednesday that at least 15 to 20 homes were destroyed, and up to a hundred more "substantially" damaged in Tuesday's tornado, said John Boudreaux, head of parish emergency management.
However, no one has been reported dead or injured as a result of the storms, he said.
Residents are still being urged to boil their water as a precaution. Samples have been sent for testing, and Boudreaux expects the results to come in Thursday morning.
Several hundred homes are still without power. Companies are trying to restore power to the La. 1 area first, which Boudreaux hopes will be completed by Thursday. Customers in other areas may be in the dark into the weekend.
The parish opened a shelter at Belle Rose Middle School, though no one sought shelter and it closed Wednesday morning. People in need of assistance may call the parish at (985) 369-7386.
Various organizations are also distributing food, water and clothing at the Worship Center near the corner of La 70 and La 70 Spur in Belle Rose.
A confirmed tornado slashed northeast through the La. 70/La. 1 intersection at Bayou Lafourche tearing apart a hardware store and utterly flattening a concrete business and a farmer’s tractor shed near the intersection, Assumption Parish officials said.
Nearby an 18-wheeler, a tractor and a harvester were turned on their sides while a once bubblous water tower north of the intersection had collapsed and deflated into a mass of white and green metal torn like loose-leaf paper.
John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said about 15 to 20 homes were destroyed in the area and many more were damaged as residents in at least four homes were briefly trapped due to toppled trees or other damage.
Boudreaux said the parish was opening a shelter Tuesday night at Belle Rose Middle School gym for displaced residents.
Only minor injuries have been reported and the La. 70/La. 1 intersection remained closed Tuesday night.
Boudreaux said a minor gas leak occurred near the intersection, but it is not a threat while Atmos Energy makes repairs.
About a quarter mile as the crow flies from the La. 1/La. 70 intersection, the home of Ruth and Irvin Fleming looked less like a house Tuesday evening and more like a dollhouse with the roof torn off and one side of the home largely remove to expose the inside.
The Flemings’ home was among several smashed by the tornado that passed through the Paincourtville area and the nearby Daggs Street neighborhood.
The Flemings, who have lived along La. 308 and Bayou Lafourche since 1977, hid in their bathroom as the tornado rattled their house.
“We were in the bathroom, and we had the bathroom door half-closed. And when the roof came off, we saw nothing but light and we knew the roof was gone,” said Ruth Fleming, 74.
She said everything that went off her house went into Bayou Lafourche.
“The only one that survived was my Blessed Mother,” said Fleming, a converted Roman Catholic. Save for a little wet grass, the Flemings’ Virgin Mary statute stood tall and encased in a brick housing in their front yard.
Fleming and her husband, who were on hand with relatives Tuesday evening to collect a few thing before they went to stay with family, said they said a prayer of thanksgiving after the tornado had passed.