Possible tornado damages plant in Iberville parish

NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) — The National Weather Service says an industrial plant in Iberville Parish may have been damaged by a tornado as heavy storms moved through the area Thursday morning.

No injuries were reported.

Iberville Parish Emergency Preparedness officials say the SNF Flopam plant about a mile south of Plaquemine reported roof damage around 7:30 a.m. The plant makes water-soluble polymers.

In Breaux Bridge, St. Martin Parish authorities said high wind tipped over a trailer, but the occupant was not injured.

Forecasters say a rain shield that’s drenched Louisiana for two days continues to march across southern parishes. Tornado warnings were issued in several areas after radar detected rotation in storm clouds. The heaviest rain was nearing the New Orleans area at mid-morning.

The heaviest rainfall reported over the 24-hour period was in the Concordia Parish community of Clayton, said weather service meteorologist Brad Bryant. Up to 4 inches more was expected in some places as the slow-moving weather system moved east into Mississippi.

Much of south Louisiana remained under tornado and flash-flood watches on Thursday.

Schools were closed Wednesday or dismissed classes early in St. Mary, St. Helena, Vermilion, Iberia and St. Martin parishes. Those in St. Mary Parish, near the coast, and St. Helena Parish, about 85 miles north, were to remain closed Thursday, officials said. Also closed Thursday were schools in Vermilion, Lafayette, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, St. Landry, Evangeline, Iberia and Upper and Lower St. Martin parishes.

The storm system creating the bad weather was expected to move into the Ohio Valley by Friday.

Flood warnings were issued for the swollen Pearl River in east Louisiana and forecasters were watching the Vermilion River in the state’s bayou parishes and the Comite and Amite rivers in the Florida Parishes north of New Orleans.

Accompanying the heavy rain was a dense blanket of fog that plagued morning commute in the New Orleans area, especially over the 23-mile-long Causeway that crosses Lake Pontchartrain. The city’s massive pump system was expected to be able to handle the rainfall, but street flooding was possible. Local officials expected up to 4 inches of rain to fall on Thursday.

St. Martin, Tangipahoa, Lafourche and St. Landry parishes were among those providing sandbags.

St. Landry Parish declared a state of emergency due to flooding this morning.

Starting Tuesday, 2 to 6 inches of rain had fallen from southwest Louisiana up into the Baton Rouge area, according to the National Weather Service. Franklin got 5.6 inches and Gonzales 6 inches.

In neighboring Mississippi, downed trees and mudslides were reported in Adams County along the Mississippi River.


Associated Press

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