Stormy weather spawned at least two possible tornadoes in the Baton Rouge area Saturday and knocked out power for thousands of residents, although damage appeared to be mostly minor and power was soon restored for most.
The storm did force cancelation of some major spring festivals in south Louisiana on Saturday — the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and French Quarter Festival. But clearing skies mean all three are back on track for Sunday.
The Baton Rouge area saw 2 to 4 inches of rain throughout the day Saturday while some areas to the east experienced closer to five inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Destri said.
The two possible tornadoes were in Baton Rouge and Tangipahoa Parish, according to NWS reports. But neither appeared to cause significant damage.
Festival organizers from the Blues Festival and Strawberry Festival tried to delay outdoor activities, hoping weather conditions might improve. But they eventually announced on social media that they had to stop them completely, promising to return the next day. The Blues Festival went forward with some indoor performances and interviews despite the storms.
The strawberry festival will reopen at 10 a.m. Sunday, organizers said on social media. The blues festival will start at noon Sunday. Organizers from the events continue to share updates on social media.
Clear skies and sunshine are both in the forecast for the area on Sunday, Destri said, but there temperatures will drop to a high of 63 degrees.
The National Weather Service reported one possible tornado swept through the area of Industriplex Boulevard and Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, not far from Woman's Hospital, at 8:13 a.m. Saturday.
Another is suspected to have hit the North Amite area of Tangipahoa Parish approximately 25 minutes later. More than 100 trees are estimated to have been been downed in the area of the second suspected tornado, accompanied by minor shingle damage, the NWS said.
Destri, who works in the NWS office in Slidell, said they will conduct surveys on the areas that may have been hit by tornadoes and determine if there was in fact a tornado on Saturday.
Storms ripped through much of Louisiana on Saturday, and forecasters indicated a tornado might have been the cause of damage in the Baton Roug…
There were also multiple reports of downed power lines, trees and street flooding in the morning, but all roads were cleared by early Saturday afternoon, according to the city-parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Twitter account.
A couple thousand Entergy customers were without power between Airline Highway and Interstate 10 by Bluebonnet Boulevard and Siegen Lane about 8 a.m., but much of it was restored by early evening. Officials estimated the rest would be fixed by 10 p.m. Saturday, according to the online outage map. There were additional outages throughout the Baton Rouge area affecting hundreds more.
While no weather-related injuries were reported in the Baton Rouge area, the storm turned deadly in Haughton after a tree fell on an RV, killing a 2-year-old girl, according to a news release from the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office. The girl and her family were sleeping in the RV in the Hill Crest Mobile Home and RV Park when the storm blew over the tree about 12:30 a.m. No one else was injured.
A 2-year-old girl in Haughton was killed Saturday morning when severe storms caused a tree to fall on her family's RV.