Severe weather and violent tornadoes have gripped the southern state in recent days killing three people. Shocking video has captured the moment a single bolt of lightning struck outside a nursing home in Louisiana. CCTV footage caught the moment from atop a communications tower.
According to a Facebook post, the lightning struck a parking lot next to Twin Oaks Nursing Home, across from St. Joan of Arc Church, in LaPlace.
“We also uplift prayers for our neighbors in St. Charles Parish,” St John the Baptist Parish Sherriff’s Office said in the post.
St. Charles Parish was hit by a suspected tornado Wednesday, devastating the area.
Sheriff Greg Champagne said one woman was killed and seven others were injured when a possible tornado blew through the parish Wednesday evening.
“She was outside the residence, so we don’t know exactly what happened,” he said. “All kinds of things could have happened in the debris everywhere. You know, she could have been struck. We don’t know for sure.”
The storm system that spawned dozens of reported tornadoes from east Texas to the Florida Panhandle moved on from the south on Thursday after killing at least three people and uprooting families across Louisiana, where some homes were blown into pieces
The same storm front spawned twisters as it marched from central Texas across Louisiana, where all three storm deaths were confirmed, before destroying farm buildings in Mississippi and tearing roofs off other buildings in Alabama.
In Union Parish, Louisiana, near the Arkansas line, volunteers stocked a gymnasium with donated clothing and other supplies for dozens whose homes were badly damaged or destroyed.
“It shows that people love you,” said Patsy Andrews, who survived the storm hunkered down in a bathtub with her three children. “It shows that people care.”
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Andrews teared up as she recounted how winds blew open her front door early Wednesday in the Union County community of Farmerville as tornado alerts sounded. Windows started breaking with a popping noise like gunfire, she said, as the family crawled into the bathroom.
“The only thing we knew to do was just crying, we were screaming, just calling on Jesus,” Andrews said. She added: “We all grabbed each other, we jumped in the tub. All we could do was just pray. It was very devastating.”
A few others caught in the storm’s path weren’t so lucky.
An 8-year-old boy and his mother were killed in rural Keithville, Louisiana, when their mobile home was swept away Tuesday, along with the woman who was killed by a possible tornado in St Charles Parish.
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The National Weather Service can take days to confirm whether destructive winds were in fact tornadoes. Data compiled by the Southern Regional Climate Center at Texas A&M University showed nearly 50 tornadoes reported across six states since Tuesday – the vast majority of them in Louisiana and Mississippi.
In Mississippi, a suspected tornado destroyed four large chicken houses, one containing 5,000 roosters, Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said. In Summerville, Alabama, Fire Chief Michael Aaron said storm winds tore away roofing and downed power lines.
State emergency managers said four people were also injured in storms. Three of those were in the Mississippi Delta’s Sharkey County, where storms hit a mobile home park in Anguilla on Wednesday. One person was injured in Hinds County, home to the capital city of Jackson.
Before the storm front started moving offshore, police in rural Doerun, Georgia, reported that a suspected tornado struck a large building housing a cotton gin, leaving a sagging heap of bent metal. No injuries were reported, the police department said in a Facebook post.