LIVINGSTON – Residents in mobile homes and travel trailers should evacuate as a slow-moving, powerful storm system works its way into southeast Louisiana, state and local officials urged Sunday night.
No active warnings had been issued as of 10:15 p.m. Sunday, but residents in manufactured homes and RVs should take cover due to the possibility of tornadoes or straight-line winds in upwards of 120 mph, said Mark Harrell, Director of the Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
“For those residents in homes like that, it would be best for them to stay with a friend or a family member because of the possibility of tornadoes,” he said. “People in the western part of the state got hit by this storm, so we know what’s coming.”
The brunt of the storm should reach southeast Louisiana between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The storm system brought hail, lightning and flash flooding through parts of southwest and central Louisiana.
“This is a very significant storm event,” Gov. Bel Edwards said Sunday afternoon. “It’s one of very few times in our history when we’ve dealt with a storm system which will affect the entire state.”
A 3-year-old girl and her mother died Sunday morning from injuries they suffered when straight-line winds routed their mobile home in Breaux Bridge, according to The Associated Press.
Gov. Edwards in a news conference Sunday afternoon made the same warning about evacuation from homes. He also urged residents to keep their cellphones charged in the event of emergencies.
Cellphones made a phenomenal difference during a storm system which spawned Ef3 storm tornadoes in Orleans and Livingston parishes Feb. 7.
“Nobody was killed in that storm, and the cellphones made a phenomenal difference,” Gov. Edwards said. “I urge residents to keep them charged and close by.”
A modified State Unified Command Group comprised of several state agencies will meet with Gov. Edwards at 8 a.m. Monday to assess damage and address any concerns.
The storm is expected to move past southeast Louisiana and southwest before noon Monday, according to the National Weather Service.