A tornado struck Kenner early Tuesday morning, damaging at least four buildings around Reverend Richard Wilson Drive in the Rivertown section of Kenner. One building was completely demolished.
The National Weather Service has classified the tornado that hit Kenner as an EF-1, reaching about 110 miles per hour at a size of about 75 yards wide.
Officials declared the building at 2005 Reverend Richard Wilson Drive condemned after its facade crumbled and its roof was ripped off in the intense weather, WWL-TV reported. The building houses Southeast Telecom Inc., which installs telecommunications systems for clients around Louisiana.
Kenner Fire Department Station 36 at 2000 Richard Wilson Drive, the house on Wilson drive that used to belong to former longtime Jefferson Parish Sheriff Frank Clancy and the Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts on nearby Minor Street also sustained some damage, WWL-TV said.
No injuries were reported, but officials were restricting traffic in the area early Tuesday.
Preliminary information from the National Weather Service on Tuesday said there was “a possible visual sighting of a tornado” near the 1900 block of Daniel Street during a thunderstorm that prompted a tornado warning in between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Tuesday. The wind damage, initially described as minor, was said to have occurred “around” Daniel Street, according to a local storm report from the Weather Service.
About 13,070 Entergy customers in New Orleans and 4,360 in Jefferson Parish had lost their power by around 6:45 a.m., according to the company’s outage map. Another 2,250 Entergy customers in St. Bernard Parish were in the dark at that time.
This is the second tornado to hit Kenner in less than a month. A small tornado caused relatively minor damage to a pair of homes on Tulane Drive the late morning of April 27, when a series of storms hammered the New Orleans area.
Kenner Mayor Michael S. Yenni told reporters Tuesday that he was thankful there had been no injuries reported.
The tornado arrived after Kenner experienced severe weather last week that flooded a handful of homes, caused power outages and forced a professional volleyball tournament held in Laketown over the weekend to cancel play on Friday. The tournament concluded on Saturday and Sunday.
The New Orleans area was under a tornado watch Tuesday until after 5 a.m. and a flash flood watch until 8 a.m.
From about 4:15 a.m. to 4:55 a.m., officials had closed the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in both directions. The 24-mile bridge connecting Metairie to Mandeville also closed for a brief time Monday afternoon during a bout of strong weather.
Forecasters expect storms for the New Orleans area through Tuesday evening.