A disabled elderly woman had to be rescued from her trailer Sunday morning in St. Rose after a tornado blew it off its moorings and ripped open part of the roof, according to a St. Charles Parish official.
Ron Perry, director of the St. Charles Parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Department, said the tornado touched down twice in St. Rose about 10:30 a.m.
The woman “appeared to be shaken but unharmed physically,” Perry said. “She was confined to a wheelchair, and that contributed to her inability to get out of the residence.”
The tornado was part of a rash of bad weather that gusted through southeast Louisiana throughout Sunday as remnants of Hurricane Patricia brought heavy rain, flash flood warnings and threats of coastal flooding.
The flooding threat was expected to continue until early Monday afternoon.
As of 4 p.m., a daily record of more than 5 inches of rain had fallen at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, according to the National Weather Service. It broke the old record for the day of 2.84 inches, set in 2002.
The St. Rose Volunteer Fire Department, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and St. Charles EMS all helped with rescuing the St. Rose woman, Perry said.
He said the National Weather Service conducted an on-scene assessment and estimated that the tornado had winds of 75 to 80 mph when it touched down twice, about a mile apart. The first time, it caused damage to houses and cars, he added, but no one was hurt.
As the weather brought widespread street flooding to St. Charles Parish, officials set up a sandbag station for residents in Destrehan.
The parish was under a flash flood watch Sunday that was expected to continue through Monday afternoon, with up to 5 inches of additional rainfall possible in the area.
The sandbag station, which was set up at the East Bank Bridge Park at 13244 River Road, was available for residents seeking to protect their homes, St. Charles Parish spokeswoman Renee Simpson said.
According to the National Weather Service, a few severe thunderstorms and tornadoes were possible south of Interstate 10 through Sunday evening.
On Sunday afternoon, Simpson and Perry said, there was some street flooding throughout the parish, but breaks in the rain had given the area’s pumps a chance to catch up.
“There were no rescues or anything of that nature,” Perry said. “It’s been of minor impact. It’s made some roadways impassible.”
Officials in St. John the Baptist Parish also warned of street flooding as the low pressure system threatened to dump a total of 7 inches of rain.
“With already saturated grounds, excessive rainfall is producing street flooding in low-lying areas and roadways,” a parish news release read. “The break in rainfall should allow functioning to return to normal; however, there is the potential for additional street flooding in some areas throughout the day.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Gavin Phillips said other parts of the New Orleans area had received up to 6 inches of rain by midafternoon Sunday. Another 1 to 2 inches were expected in parts of southeast Louisiana by Monday.
“It’s going to be pretty slow moving out of the area,” he said.
Several neighborhoods in New Orleans and other area parishes lost power Sunday morning as the storm blew through.
In Orleans Parish, a total of 19 outages affected more than 6,000 customers. The biggest problem was in Uptown, where nine outages affected more than 5,600 customers in the Irish Channel, Central City, Garden District and Touro area.
Outages also were reported in Jefferson and several other parishes.
A coastal flood warning for the New Orleans area was extended to 7 a.m. Monday. Low-lying areas outside of levee protection were at risk of minor flooding following hours of heavy rainfall on Sunday, according to a National Weather Service alert.
The warning included areas in Orleans, St. Tammany, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.
Water levels were expected to be highest Sunday afternoon and evening.
“Tides could rise 1 to 3 feet above normal this evening and tonight, resulting in minor coastal flooding of low-lying areas outside of levee protection,” the alert read. “Coastal residents in the warned area should be alert for rising water and take appropriate action to protect life and property.”