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Tornadoes Strike Louisiana

Multiple Tornadoes hit Louisiana
Donna Pistilli Sauer,, April 24, 2000

A rash of tornadoes tore through the South on Easter Sunday, leaving dozens of homes in ruins and injuring several people.

Hardest-hit was the Shreveport, La., area, where numerous tornadoes struck in the early evening hours, according to Shreveport police Sgt. J. J. Roberts. One of the tornadoes hit the police station, causing the power to go out. Roberts reported that the building held up to the winds, but that other parts of town suffered "tremendous damage."

The tornadoes flattened several homes in the area and downed numerous trees and power poles, leaving residents in the dark for hours. At least five people suffered injuries from the storms. Four of the injuries were reportedly minor, but one woman suffered critical injuries when the tornado caused her house to collapse around her.

The tornadoes in northwestern Louisiana came with two separate lines of storms. The first line consisted of three intense supercell thunderstorms, all of which produced at least one tornado. Those storms originated in extreme eastern Texas during the late afternoon, where they also produced significant damage.

A tornado touchdown in Cass County, Texas, damaged the roofs of several homes and downed numerous trees and power lines in the towns of Linden and Douglassville, emergency officials reported. The storms blew an 18-wheeler over in Linden and caused power outages in the region. No injuries were reported.

The second line of storms that roared through Shreveport included a tornado that cut through the downtown area before heading south-eastward. This line of storms produced softball-sized hail and 80 mph wind gusts in Bossier Parish, according to storm spotter reports.

Severe weather also affected portions of eastern Oklahoma Sunday afternoon, including at least one tornado touchdown. Around 2 p.m. CDT, a tornado was reported on the ground near the town of McAlester. This tornado overturned one mobile home, damaged several buildings, uprooted trees and injured one person, local emergency managers reported.

The severe weather threat was forecast to shift into the Southeast Monday.