UPDATE: NWS upgrades one Easter Sunday tornado to an EF-3


Courtesy: NOAA Damage Survey Viewer

UPDATE: OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The National Weather Service Office in Shreveport has upgraded one of the Ouachita Parish Easter Sunday tornadoes to an EF-3.

According to the NWS, the tornado that touched down southwest of Sterlington has been upgraded from an EF-2 to an EF-3. This change was made after reviewing drone footage of a forested area near End of Line Road

The National Weather Service offered this summary of that tornado:

“The tornado first touched down in a forested area near Horseshoe Lake Rd, uprooting hundreds of trees.  Winds increased and tree damage became more widespread as trees were uprooted, snapped, and several trees debarked in a forested area before the tornado reached End of Line Rd.  This widespread tree damage was confirmed from drone video from Ouachita Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) and photos from the University of Louisiana Monroe.  This forested area is where the tornado is believed to be strongest based off tree damage and radar imagery, however there were not sufficient damage indicators available to rate winds speeds any higher than 140 mph (EF-3).  

After passing through the forested area, the tornado took the roof off of two single family homes and destroyed an outbuilding along End of Line Rd.  It then damaged shingles as approximately ten houses as it tracked along Lonewa Lane and Rose Plantation Lane.  Along Lonewa Lane, the tornado again had EF-3 damage as it snapped four concrete poles before lifting just before it crossed Keystone Rd.”

UPDATE: OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service show that three tornadoes hit Ouachita Parish and one hit Bienville Parish on Easter Sunday

All of the reports are preliminary and are subject to change.

In Bienville Parish, an EF-1 tornado touched down just west of Arcadia, Louisiana at 10:39 AM on Sunday. The reports say that the tornado moved to the east-northeast, uprooting and snapping both trees and power lines along the way. A small building on Sapp Street was completely destroyed, a small family home lost nearly a quarter of its roof, and a mobile home was rolled off of its foundation on Crawford Road. The tornado crossed the interstate and uprooted several more trees before dissipating just north of I-20. This tornado lasted for approximately 5 minutes and covered .8 miles. It is estimated that peak winds reached 112 MPH with this tornado.

According to the reports, an EF-3 tornado touched down on the corner of Fern Street and Brown Street in Bawcomville at 11:36 AM. It moved through surrounding neighborhoods, knocking trees onto homes and damaging several trailers before it tipped over a trailer near Jonesboro Road. The tornado broke metal trusses and brought down a wood chip conveyor belt onto a train at the paper mill. The report says that the tornado crossed the Ouachita River twice before its intensity increased along Riverbend Drive.

The tornado partially damaged the roof of the Masur Museum of Art and then crossed South Grand Street where it ripped the roof off of a two story home, damaged the roofs of several more homes, and continued downing trees until it crossed the intersection of Highway 165 and I-20. The report says the tornado damaged a metal building and snapped both a wooden power pole and a steel street light assembly as it crossed Millhaven Road.

They say the worst damage from the first tornado was along Orchid Drive where the roofs of three homes were ripped off. One of those same homes had extensive damage to the exterior walls. The National Weather Service believes that a mesovortex within the tornado led to the intense damage of Orchid Drive.

After the tornado moved out of the subdivision, reports say that damage became sporadic as the tornado touched several times before destroying a metal hangar at the Monroe Regional Airport. Several airplanes were being housed in the hangar at that time. The tornado then lifted as it crossed one of the runways.

The first Ouachita Parish tornado lasted for approximately 9 minutes and covered 8.03 miles. It is estimated that winds reached 140 MPH at its peak.

While the first tornado was making its way through West Monroe and Monroe, a second tornado touched down southwest of Sterlington. At 11:39 AM, an EF-2 tornado touched down in a forested area near Horseshoe Lake Road, uprooting hundreds of trees. Reports say the tornado took the roof off of two homes and destroyed an outbuilding along Line Road. It also damaged the roofs of ten homes along Lonewa Lane and Rose Plantation Lane. The tornado snapped four concrete poles along Lonewa Lane before lifting.

The second Ouachita Parish tornado lasted for approximately 4 minutes and covered 2.71 miles. Winds reached an estimated peak of 130 MPH with this tornado.

A few minutes after the first two tornadoes lifted, a third appeared in Fairbanks. The EF-1 tornado touched down along the corner of John Turner Road and Highway 134 at 11:46 AM. Reports say the tornado crossed Highway 134 and Curtis Road before lifting. Thirty trees were uprooted and snapped along the tornado’s path.

The third Ouachita Parish tornado lasted for approximately two minutes, covered 1.1 miles, and peak wind speeds are estimated at 105 MPH.

Initial estimates from the Ouachita Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness indicate that 458 homes across the parish were impacted by the three tornadoes. 23 were destroyed, 108 had major damage, 243 had minor damage, and another 84 homes were affected.

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