West Feliciana: National Weather Service confirms EF-1 tornado

WEST FELICIANA – As of Thursday morning, the National Weather Service now confirms an EF-1 tornado ripped through St. Francisville Wednesday.

NWS Survey Crews in Saint Francisville report damage north of town consistent with at least an EF-1 tornado. The survey is ongoing at the time of this statement and should conclude later this evening with assessments in path length, path width and wind speeds forthcoming.”

NWS

An EF-1 tornado is classified as one with winds between 86-110 MPH. The damage left behind in West Feliciana Parish proves the destruction.

A violent round of storms left people in West Feliciana Parish in the dark Wednesday. The storm damage has also forced West Feliciana school officials to cancel classes on Thursday, April 11. UWK spoke with West Feliciana Sheriff Brian Spillman who who said it felt like hurricane force winds and that has emergency crews working even harder.

“Right now. The entire parish is without power. Anyone that has power anywhere in the parish, most of our roadways were blocked at one point and there’s still many of them, especially the smaller roads, are still blocked with trees.” Spillman said.

He said the goal today is to try to get all of our roadways open to make sure emergency services can be available for those who need them overnight.  

“We’re still actually getting a couple of people out of some homes who are trapped in their homes and can’t get out. They aren’t hurt. So we’re still working on two or three of those.” 

Focus then turns to the recovery process and power restoration. David Latona with DEMCO tells UWK that the outages are significant but they are hard at work.

“20,000 are without power right now. The bulk is in East Baton Rouge parish. The rate of outage in West Feliciana parish is higher though than East Baton Rouge Parish but the population is lower. At its peak, West Feliciana had 95% out of power and as of 12:30 p.m., it’s down to about 50%,” Latona said.

Despite the severe damage across West Feliciana parish, Sheriff Spillman says there are no fatalities to report. 

“We had a few injuries, none of them major. We had a large tree following a vehicle of someone who was working with Demco but they were able to get that person to the hospital and get emergency services provided there. I just got an update that he’s gonna be okay.”

There is another message that the Sheriff feels is paramount in his parish.

“I can’t emphasize enough, let us get through the first 24 hours. Let us deal with the situations that we’re still dealing with. Please don’t get in the way of the response and recovery efforts. There’ll be plenty of time to see this damage. If you want to see it, today is not the day. Let our guys do their job.” 

For those who are in immediate danger or need help, the first response is always to call 9-1-1. The Sheriff says the dispatch center is available for other issues. They can be reached at 225-784-3136.

Photo taken at Ozark Insurance Agency in Zachary, Louisiana

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area. 

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