Tornadoes touch down in neighboring Donaldsonville, tear through Louisiana parishes

Andrew Green
Sheet metal hangs in a tree above a devastated home on St. Patrick Street in the Historic Donaldsonville area.

Severe weather and tornadoes devastated an area of Donaldsonville in neighboring Ascension Parish on Tuesday.

A tornado reportedly touched down just past 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 and caused severe damage to CF Industries Holdings, Inc. Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex.  Ark Veterinary Clinic in Donaldsonville was also destroyed, according to a report by The Donaldsonville Chief, surrounded by pieces of sheet metal torn like aluminum foil.

The Ascension Parish School Board building reportedly took damage to its roof, and tornadoes swept through parts of the Historic Donaldsonville area and caused severe damage to nearby city homes, ripping them from their foundations and shedding them of their roofs.

There were no reported fatalities.  There was one reported injury, however, as a woman suffered a contusion on her forehead, according to the Chief report.  She was taken to a nearby hospital.

“It’s a lot,” Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan said.  “We’re still doing an assessment.  We have Red Cross coming.”

Sullivan also stated that the City Council needs to have a special meeting to declare Donaldsonville a disaster area to ensure the people in the area will get all the help they need.

The National Weather Service issued several tornado warning for much of Southeast Louisiana beginning around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.  Ascension and Iberville Parishes were issued warnings around 9 a.m.  The warnings were eventually lifted then reissued to both parishes and extended through the early afternoon.

Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi reported no injuries or severe damage done in Iberville Parish as the storm swept through parts of Plaquemine, White Castle and St. Gabriel.

As the storm pushed east, tornadoes ripped through buildings and homes in New Orleans East and parts of Killian in Livingston Parish.  Over 10,000 homes were left without power and prompted Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency.

“I am heartbroken to once again see Louisiana families suffering in the wake of devastating tornadoes today,” Edwards said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.  “We are working tirelessly to ensure that every citizen affected by this storm receives the resources they need as quickly as possible.”

Shown are photos courtesy of Greg Fischer of The Donaldsonville Chief.