A tornado touched down in New Orleans destroying some houses and resulting in nearly 30,000 reported power outages.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the tornado tore through a half-mile section of the city’s Tremé district – one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city – Thursday afternoon. A fire department spokesperson told the Times-Picayune that a home in the area underwent a “complete ‘pancake’ collapse”.
Only a few non-life-threatening injuries were reported.
The tornado struck the city as the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. The 2005 hurricane was one of the deadliest natural disasters in US history, as more than 1,200 people died in the heavy winds and ensuing flooding.
On Thursday, utility crews worked through the evening, responding to reports of downed power lines. Firefighters performed search and rescue operations through the six homes that were either damaged or destroyed. Only two victims emerged.
Onlookers captured staggering images of the storm and posted them to social media.
The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University forecasts 10 named storms, including hurricanes, for the remainder of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season – which runs from 1 June through 30 November – a “near-average” prediction.
“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” the TMP said in its report. “They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.