Tornado Blows Through Friday Night

RRPJ-Damage TOP1-18Apr11

 

Friday afternoon was capped with storms across a wide swath of East Texas, Louisiana and into Mississippi. There were numerous watches and warnings issued by the weather service office in Shreveport. The storms came to Red River Parish after dark amid rain, high winds and some reports of hail.

At 7:11 pm a Tornado Warning was issued for most of Red River Parish. A few minutes later, at 7:26 pm the Tornado Warning was posted for Hall Summit and areas north in the parish. At 7:41 pm the weather service updated its Tornado Warning to say that people in the Coushatta, Hana, Edgefield and Evelyn areas should Take Shelter now. The warning stated, “We have a debris signature.”

These pictures tell the story of an F2 tornado that swept along a path from the hills on US 371 west, missing the ADA plant, grazing the service station at Armistead, and destroying a couple of buildings at the concrete plant along US 84. The tornado then crossed through the Lester Farm, jumped the Red River and touched down along Clark Street. It then touched down on US 71 & 84 across from the Esperanza Road before moving through the Springville community.

There were a few anxious minutes Friday night. An elderly couple were trapped in their home in Springville. A tree uprooted by the tornado fell on their house. They were trapped inside until rescued by law enforcement officers. Coushatta Police Chief Stafford reported to the Town Council on Tuesday night that the tornado had been an F2 storm 4 miles wide, with winds of 129 miles an hour. Stafford and Mayor Johnny Cox thanked citizens who joined the effort to clear streets and neighborhoods of downed trees and debris after the storm passed.

A large number of trees were snapped and twisted. Many were uprooted. The Red Cross Executive Director for northwest Louisiana surveyed the damage on Saturday. Michelle Davison described the scene for The Journal. “There is an awful lot of damage. I have been with the Red Cross for 22 years and I don’t think I have seen a tornado that felled so many trees and missed so many structures. There were no injuries or loss of life,” said Davison.

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