Jefferson Parish has activated its Emergency Operations Center as a system of severe weather passes through the New Orleans area on Monday morning, Parish Council President Chris Roberts said about 11 a.m.
Government employees were sheltering in place at the Yenni Building in Elmwood, Roberts added. There was also a power outage at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, Roberts said.
Earlier, officials had issued a tornado warning affecting an area that included Marrero and Terrytown on the West Bank until at least 11 a.m.
Roberts had also said “confirmed rotation” was moving toward the lower part of Jefferson, “in particular the communities of Lafitte, Barataria and Crown Point.” Roberts cited local law enforcement as a source.
Several thousands Entergy customers were without power across the parish as a result of the storm system, according to the company’s outage map. In Kenner, 6,000 lost power — most were in the southwest part of the city, near the Westgate subdivision and in University City. Crews were waiting for the storm to pass in order to safely begin working on restoring power.
A power line is down in the 3500 block of Loyola Drive, Kenner officials said. Power lines are hanging low in the 2700 block of Florida Avenue.
WWL-TV reported that Kenner registered a wind gust of up to 111 miles per hour around Interstate 10 and Williams Boulevard.
In Gretna on the West Bank, only minor street flooding had been reported Monday morning, Mayor Belinda Constant said.
In Westwego, crews spent the morning clearing storm drains to minimize street flooding and collecting debris that could be picked up by heavy winds. There are still no reported power outages in the city, according to Mayor John Shaddinger.
Shaddinger said city hall is open to receive emergency calls at (504) 341-3424.
The Huey P. Long Bridge connecting Bridge City on the West Bank to Elmwood on the East Bank was closed due to the severe weather about 10:50 a.m. Likewise, the Causeway Bridge connecting Metairie to Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish had been closed around that time, too.
Numerous officials have urged residents to immediately take cover. They ask residents to keep an ear out for the freight train sound commonly heard ahead of tornadoes.
Check back for more details throughout the morning.