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Breaking News

Wild storm picks up house with family inside


There was a frenzied search for a disabled girl on a respirator who was still inside the house after her parents got out, according to local media.Neighbour Chuck Heirsch said he saw the father “trying to get his daughter out of there”.“They were screaming. His wife was hysterical. They were already traumatised from taking that Wizard of Oz ride,” he said.Other neighbours also rushed to help.“All the men in the neighbourhood ran to the house. The mother, they brought her to me. I just held her,” Nerissa Ledet said.Firefighters and first responders carried the girl out and she was reportedly hospitalised but “doing fine”.There has been one confirmed death of a 25-year-old man, according to the sheriff of St Bernard Parish.Louisiana’s governor has declared a state of emergency.Speaking on Good Morning America on Wednesday local time, St Bernard Parish president Guy McInnis said it was a “miracle” only seven people had been hospitalised with injuries.“We have houses that were lifted up and now they sit in the middle of the street. We have houses in an area that are totally levelled,” he said.“We did assessments last night, we did search and rescue all night long. We have no reports of anyone missing at this time,” he said, adding that when the sun came up another assessment would be done.The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes hit the region. The worst was in the suburb of Arabi where the most significant damage, injuries and the fatality occurred.The NWS New Orleans Twitter account issued a warning at 7.22pm on Tuesday local time for residents to “find an interior closet, room or hallway and take cover”.A local man in the Arabi area described the damage as “like something out of a movie” when speaking to local TV station WDSU.Confronting images show homes torn apart, with lamp posts, power lines and debris strewn across the streets.“State agencies are assisting local officials as needed as they assess the damage and impacts of these tornadoes,” tweeted Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.The tornado was produced by a line of storms working its way across the southern United States on Tuesday local time.Earlier in the day, Governor Greg Abbott of neighbouring Texas issued a severe weather disaster declaration after a series of tornadoes swept through the state on Monday, causing severe damage.– with AFP

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