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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Strong storms pounded parts of the Deep South on Sunday, damaging buildings and toppling trees in northern Louisiana.
The National Weather Service reported tornadoes over the northwest and north-central parts of Louisiana. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Utility companies reported thousands of power outages.
The city of Monroe, Louisiana, said the storm damaged commercial buildings and homes in multiple neighborhoods. Flights were canceled at Monroe Regional Airport, where siding was ripped off buildings and debris was scattered on runways. Airport director Ron Phillips told the News-Star the storm caused up to $30 million in damage to planes inside a hangar.
The weather service said the greatest risk for strong Easter Sunday storms ran from northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas, across wide swaths of Mississippi and Alabama and into western Georgia.
“This could be a very difficult day weatherwise,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves told residents in a live Facebook presentation. “Please be weather aware. Pay attention. I know that these storms that are coming through can be dangerous. We can see significant winds. We can also see significant tornadoes coming through Mississippi today.”
At midday, the weather service in Birmingham said radar showed strong storms moving into Alabama from Mississippi.
The weather service said a broader area, from east Texas to the East Coast was under at least a “marginal” risk of storms.