The residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are dealing with severe weather right now. A nasty tornado has already destroyed a local church and has caused significant damage to housing in the area. A large amount of hail has hit the city, with heavy wind storms resulting in some trees losing large branches and other trees falling down completely. Some balls of hail were reportedly as large as golf balls.
According to The Advocate, there have also been various power outages in neighboring Arkansas, after an uprooted tree knocked out a hydro pole. A total of 15,000 residents were left without power, including some in the state of Texas.
Several mobile homes in Arkansas were destroyed due to the Louisiana storm, which began on Friday night. Multiple other states in the south and midwest, including Alabama and Mississippi, are at risk for damage with residents being warned to stay inside their homes and be vigilant in taking cover until it passes. Unfortunately, say meteorologists, this will not be for at least another week.
The National Weather Service has confirmed the damaged caused by the Louisiana tornado, which destroyed the Ringgold Assembly of God Church, located in the city of the same name. The Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office has since issued a statement in which they assured locals that nobody had been harmed. Pictures posted of the aftermath showed the place of worship in pieces, an unfortunate sight for those who regularly attended. The pastor, Zenon J. Chanin, was in charge of the Pentecostal church for many years. This is the second tornado to have affected the state in less than two months, with New Orleans being heavily affected by damaging winds at the beginning of February.
ABC News reports that, come Sunday, residents in the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas could possibly see another round of storms stemming from that of the Louisiana tornado, which could cause even more severe damage. Central Oklahoma, as well as the northern tip of Texas, are said to be the most likely targets for the next round of storms. Those in the Oklahoma metro area are being warned that their location is particularly at risk.
Chief of Forecast Operations, Bill Bunting, who works at Norman, Oklahoma’s Storm Prediction Center, says that a “very active pattern” is unfolding across that part of the country. From this point on, the thunderstorms are expected to go eastward and with them will most likely come heavy amounts of hail, tornadoes, and damaging winds.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow
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